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3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  1,062 Ratings  ·  114 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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Aug 10, 2012 Steve rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 09, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it
Had not read any books from this author before but will do so now. Solid story about life, communication love and how it can all go so wrong. Betrayal then leads to revulsion and revenge, this never usually ends well.....
Nov 08, 2011 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2010 Adam rated it liked it
Shelves: scandinavian
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
Apr 16, 2013 Marie O'halloran rated it really liked it
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
Jul 28, 2014 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Katriina ❆
May 14, 2014 Katriina ❆ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nope
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
Carol Balawyder
Apr 03, 2015 Carol Balawyder rated it really liked it
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
Nov 01, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
A brilliant mystery by a Swedish author. Or more a character study: two obsessive pots of poison, and when they boil and meet, what happens...
Eva's marriage is failing (because of betrayal, her husband is having an affair).
Jonas' love, Anna, is in hospital (also kind of because of betrayal).
Awesome characters that drive the story and set the pace. Dark, but below the surface... the dark is in the characters, not in excessive external action in this case.
Therese Svensson
Ännu en mycket spännande, och på sitt sätt helt vedervärdig, skildring av den på utsidan normala människans svarta insida. Karaktärerna byggs upp väldigt snyggt, och slutet knöt verkligen ihop alla trådändar. Ett säkert, men rysligt, kort att läsa på stranden eller i hängmattan i sommar.
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.
Jul 31, 2013 Lena rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 15, 2016 Ragne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Forfatteren viser en enorm evne til å sette seg inn i forskjellige typer psyke, noe som gjør denne boken skremmende realistisk. Selv om leseren misliker alle karakterene, kan man ikke la være å like dem.
Virkelig skremmende eksempel på hva som kan skje når man ikke lenger snakker med hverandre.
Kiki Kokolores
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!
Devin Lind
Jan 02, 2014 Devin Lind added it
Shelves: abandoned
The characters were boring, and the story slow. I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.
Valerie Penny
Mar 30, 2015 Valerie Penny rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 01, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it
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
Pamela Scott
Nov 19, 2016 Pamela Scott rated it really liked it
My head is sore and my flesh is crawling after reading Betrayal. This is a great read full of dark undertones and twists that make your stomach hurt. Betrayal is the theme that weaves a dark line through this book, people betray the ones they love, over and over. Eva’s husband betrays her. In her quest to seek revenge she betrays him and their marriage and sets herself down a dark path. If only she’d made different choices. If only her husband had made different choices. If only whacked-out, nut ...more
Marina Sofia
Oct 18, 2013 Marina Sofia rated it liked it
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
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
Melanie Chabrol-
Feb 12, 2012 Melanie Chabrol- rated it liked it
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
Zach Oshka
Dec 19, 2010 Zach Oshka rated it liked it
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
Jim Fonseca
Feb 16, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: swedish-authors
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
Diane S ☔
Feb 18, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
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
Jacques Reynart
Mar 16, 2014 Jacques Reynart rated it it was ok
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
Dec 06, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
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
laura m
Apr 14, 2014 laura m rated it it was amazing
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.
Amanda Fleet
Dec 30, 2012 Amanda Fleet rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-a-copy
In a hospital, Jonas watches over his girlfriend who is in a coma. Elsewhere, Eva's marriage is falling apart. A chance meeting of the two leads to their lives becoming disturbingly entwined.
This was genuinely creepy! It's told in a number of first person/POVs - Jonas, Eva etc. and it only gradually reveals the reality. It was done very well, with a good ending. Not necessarily a surprise or twist, but it wasn't that kind of book.
Stacy Cook
May 25, 2012 Stacy Cook rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was much better than her previous book Missing, though I have to agree with other readers I wasn't too thrilled with the ending. Im not sure how I wanted it to end, but it wasn't the way it did. The story was one of, you guessed it, betrayal. Two stories of betrayal to be clear. Jonas and Eva are betrayed and then their paths cross as does their betrayal and there the story really takes place.
Aug 11, 2012 Inga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ohman was soll man zu diesem Buch schreiben? Am Anfang etwas verwirend weil es aus der sicht von mehrern Personen erzählt wird und man nicht immer direkt begreift von wem es jetzt aus geht. Aber nach so ca. 80 Seiten wird es spannend. Warum dann nur drei Sterne? Weil es einfach für mich kein Ende hatte, sondern so mitten drin einfach fertig ist. Ich bin ziemlich entäuscht -.- klar kann man nicht immer ein Happy End haben aber zumindes ein Ende.
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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...

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