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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  737 ratings  ·  95 reviews
From the author's website:

Eva and Henrik have been living together for fifteen years and have a son together. Eva suddenly realizes that her husband is seeing another woman. In anger and desperation, she decides to seek revenge. At the same time, a young man has for the past two years been watching by a hospital bed where his girlfriend lies in a coma after an accident. Bu
Paperback, 297 pages
Published May 31st 2007 by Canongate Books (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,218)
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Definitely one of creepiest books I have ever read (in a good way). I agree with one reviewer who characterized it as Scenes From A Marriage meets Alfred Hitchcock. The author basically takes one concept, that of betrayal, and builds upon that to create a story that is very unnerving. A wife finds out that her husband has betrayed her. A mother finds out that her son has betrayed her. The repercussions of all this play out over the rest of the book. I think that this book is so impactful because ...more
Karin Alvtegen is a Swedish author of crime fiction. She was born on 8 June 1965 in Huskvama, Sweden. Alvtegen’s psychological thrillers are generally set in Sweden. Four of her books have been translated into English: Missing, Betrayal, Shadow and Shame. She has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the CWA International Dagger and is seen as The Queen of Crime in Scandinavia, She lives in Stockholm. She is grand-niece of the popular children’s novelist Astrid Lindgren. I loved ...more
Karin Alvtegen's American publisher compares this book to Patricia Highsmith, and it really is like a variation on Strangers on a Train, with two dark agendas intersecting to create something more volatile than what they would have been apart. Alvtegen is a truly talented suspense writer, taking familiar elements and contorting them here into something unpredictable and shocking. Her method--of only gradually unveiling the full picture of events and motivations--feeds the reader’s curiosity righ ...more
Marie O'halloran
I read this over two days. I probably would have read it in one sitting if I had the time. I found it difficult to put down. This story is very well paced. You wonder about Jonas, the initial impression is that he is okay but you find out that all is not right. With Eva and Henrik, I found myself near the end shouting at them to communicate, this I see was a good reaction. After the ending I was left wondering what next, it didn't quite draw a line under the story but was sufficiently creepy in ...more
Carol Balawyder
In this well written psychological thriller Karin Alvtegen explores how deceit and lack of communication can lead to disastrous results.
Betrayal in its many layers and by the various cast of characters is at the heart of this novel. At times I felt that I was reading a comedy of errors which was unsettling because of the darkness of the characters.
The ending was a surprise that disturbed me and would certainly bring up heated discussion in a criminology class. I won’t say more so as not to spoil
I recently encountered Alvtegen for the first time when a blog recommended her second novel (the first in English translation), Missing. I tend not to read more than one book by the same author in the same month or two (although I'm planning to do that soon with some Eric Ambler novels), but I was so impressed by Missing that I got hold of a copy of Betrayal. And, having finished Betrayal, I'm about to get hold of her next novel, Shame . . .

Suburban wife Eva discovers that for months husband Hen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the second book I have read by this author, in part due to her relationship to the creator of Pippi Longstocking. I got very involved in the book, and quite enjoyed it until the ending. Then I felt betrayed! I don't think I will read more of Karin Alvtegen's books.
Tense, taut tale of psychological suspense set in Sweden. Great characterizations, a chilling atmosphere, and an exploration of betrayals from various points of view made this a real page turner.
Diese Geschichte wird ziemlich langatmig erzählt! Spannung war eigentlich gar nicht vorhanden! Und das Ende war irgendwie übereilt und unsinnig. Schade, hatte mir echt mehr versprochen!
A psychological thriller/chiller from one of the best Swedish mystery writers. This book is not so much a murder mystery (although there is a murder) as it is an exquisite step-by-step portrayal of the devastation felt by a woman with a young child when she learns her husband wants to leave her for another woman. She seeks revenge by plotting to disgrace her husband’s lover at her workplace and by having a fling with a guy who turns out to be a stalker and a psycho. There are multiple betrayals ...more
Jacques Reynart
The way in which Alvtegen handles parallel narratives and seamlessly switches tracks when that becomes necessary is quite admirable. The characterisation is strong and the plot is ingeniously constructed. Most importantly, there is an atmosphere of sustained menace that pervades the story from the second page to the second-last one. But, having become very engaged and read on and on through the substantial descriptions of inner turmoil, I felt less than satisfied with the ending. Try it and see ...more
P. Katriina  ❆
I liked Jonas, as a character, and the way he was written. Jonas was, in fact, the only character that left me with a sort of feeling. An uneasy one, even. But that's as far as it goes, everything else was flat, unrealistic and badly written, including both plot and characters. I had no pity for Eva whatsoever, instead she came of as really annoying and well, unrealistic.
Having read lots and lots of scandinavian writers (more than listed here, as I'm updating rather sloppily), especially swedis
Someone is watching Eva. In the trees at the edge of her garden, a figure lurks in the dark. In the hospital, Jonas watches over his girlfriend, who is in a coma. But what, or who, has put her there? Through a chance meeting, Eva and Jonas's lives will become disturbingly entwined. And Eva will discover that sometimes, in order to survive, you must betray the ones you love the most. A fascinating look at how much we all betray and learn to live with those betrayals.

Probably the main ‘problem’ mo
laura m
Apr 19, 2014 laura m rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: scandinavian/european crime fiction readers
wow what a book!!! only a scandinavian author can write something like this.

death of an unhappy marriage intertwined with descent of a deranged young man deeper and deeper into madness, there can be no happy ending.
really a masterpiece, didn't predict this type of ending. even better than the first book.
not so good as Karin Fossum (really hard to be better, at least in my humble opinion) but a must read for any fans of psychological (crime) fiction.
Samantha Kimbro
This is a great book. I usually don’t read a lot but I think if I can find more books like this that are very suspenseful I would read a lot more and be a committed reader. The story is so intense and you never know what’s going to happen. Who knew Jonas and Eva would meet and do what they did. I am very satisfied with this book and I would actually even read it again
Marina Sofia
Well, this was a bit of a surprise! It started out relatively conventionally, with the discovery of a husband's infidelity and the feeling of betrayal and hurt, the nascent desire for revenge. But then it took a darker twist, elements which made for uncomfortable reading, characters that were for the most part unlikeable, although in parts very relateable, and an ending... Most people have said they did not like the ending and I could say things about it feeling unjust, undeserved - like real li ...more
Linda Owen
Not so much a mystery as a gradually spiraling horror tale with dysfunctional family relationships and a Norman Bates-type character at the center of the vortex. The only sympathetic character is a little boy who appears doomed to repeat his family's destructive patterns of behavior.
Maureen Hetzel
Hard to even give it a single star. This is the second book I read by this author due to recommendations. In both books, I found the characters totally one that I would want to spend any time with no more of her books will end up on my "to read" list. Over and done!
Interesting construction. Wasn't sure where it was going, but the detail & the stories kept me hanging in there until the end.

And I'm glad I did!

I didn't see the final twist until it was finally being revealed, and it was nowhere near what I expected. A little O'Henry, a little Alfred Hitchcock - a real gotcha!
Karin Alvtegen is like a Swedish Ruth Rendell!
Coming from me that is high praise indeed.

Eva, a dynamic, successful young mother, is forced to reassess her marriage when her husband's apathy can no longer be ignored. Then she discovers he's been having an affair with her young son's day-care teacher and her grief and rage drive her into vengeful action. Fatefully, she comes across Jonas, an isolated young man who for the past two years has been keeping vigil beside his obstinately comatose girlfr
Zach Oshka
This was a good book, however I woulden't say it's my favorite book. I'm not saying Karin Alvtegen is a bad writer, I just had a difficult time with the ending. It really angerd me....alot. On the positive side Karin Alvtegen has a real talent to keep you on the eadge of your seat. I know that is such a cliche phrase but that is all I could think of. I loved how the book began, it made me want to keep reading and reading so I could understand why things were the way the were. Well, I don't reall ...more
Nancy Shulgan
I liked this book-I found the characters and the interplay between them and the rationales for their behaviors lifelike and interesting. Very good read
Melanie Chabrol-
with 18 pages to go, i practically read the whole book in one day,(now i know how Mark does it). Bertayal is a book that anyone could relate to, as long as they're in a relationship.
Eva a successful mother,idependant,respectful thinks she has it all, a loving husband and dynamic son.
then one day she realized that her husband is not as faithful to her,she is so angry and tries to figure out the perfect revenge. Is revenge really sweet?, does she succeed. In the distance another man is suffering t
Not at all what i was expecting. Could have turned into a really good suspense but the story never made it that far.
Anna Björklund
Det här är inte Alvtegens bästa bok, okej, men tyvärr inte mer än så. Den blev bättre i slutet men startsträckan var ovanligt lång. Kvinna blir bitter på otrogen man, hämnas på den andra kvinnan men faller på eget grepp.
Pia Bergqvist
The story and characters are good, but I did not find this book as well-written as "Fjärilseffekten"
The Twins
Hard to put down! The story comes full circle and is brilliantly thought through!
A brilliant story of two obsessive pots of poison.
Eva's marriage is falling into pieces - her husband's having an affair and doesn't seem to love her any more.
Jonas' loved one is dying (and betrayals fit in his story too).
Then these two poisons meet by chance, and you'll be wondering how they behave and what happens.
The characters are brilliant, and set the pace and drive the story. Everyone has stories in their past, and everyone's been betrayed in one way or another. Not everyone reacts the sa
☔Diane S.
Loved the coldness of this novel, the setting, the actions of the characters,and their speech and mannerisms. This is nordic psychological suspense that is, in my opinion, done extremely well. Definitely reminds me of the novels of Sophie Hannah and Patricia Highsmith. From reading the jacket, I had a preconceived notion on what was going to happen in this book, and it didn't follow my script at all, which is probably a good thing. I have read two of hers now, I think 4 have been published in th ...more
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The Queen of Crime in Scandinavia.

Missing was awarded the premier Scandinavian crime writing award the Glass Key in 2001 and was also nominated for the Poloni Award and Best Crime Novel 2000 in Sweden.

Shame was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie International Dagger award for crime novels in translation upon publication in English.

Alvtegen lives in Stockholm. She is grand
More about Karin Alvtegen...
Missing Shame Shadow Skuld En sannolik historia

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