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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,105 Ratings  ·  115 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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Rating details
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Aug 10, 2012 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
Feb 12, 2010 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
Aug 09, 2015 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 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.
Val Penny
Mar 30, 2015 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
Jul 28, 2014 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
Marie O'halloran
Apr 16, 2013 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
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.
Katriina ❆
May 14, 2014 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
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
Carol Balawyder
Apr 03, 2015 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
Jim Fonseca
Feb 16, 2015 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
laura m
Apr 14, 2014 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.
Stacy Cook
May 25, 2012 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.
Nov 01, 2012 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.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book almost by accident, as I was just testing out my local library e-book lending system, and it was just "there". In the event it gripped me from the start - I loved the way it was written, which may not appeal to everyone, with situations and events described from the two main characters' perspectives. I found that an interesting insight into their minds and thought processes. Loved it.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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!
Samantha Kimbro
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
i could not put this book down and neither could my sister who read it after me. once again alvtegen's style grabbed me and would not let me go and by the end i felt like i had been put through a wringer. at the end, i put the book down, and walked around saying "no! no! no!" a true psychological piece of work.
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent psychological thriller that also manages to thoughtfully examine the nature of love and betrayal. Some translations from Swedish to English are a bit awkward, but this one is very well done. It reads like it was written in English. Betrayal is my first Alvtegen novel. I will now look for others she has written.
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really dark and disturbing; more psychological thriller than police procedural. Excellent read.

The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that the ending felt a little rushed for me. Also, I wasn't sure Eva would be as gullible (or that her parents and Henrik would be) as she was.
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.
Cj Keele
This book was a great psychological ride through the art of betrayal which was at times creepy but other times thrilling but the end was not what I expected and I was disappointed. But well worth the read for the author's great writing.
Jul 31, 2013 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 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.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of Nordic mysteries, this author to me is one of the best, though this is the first one I've read by her. Excellent story, with many twists. Not a bad ending, but it lost a little steam, which made it 4 stars, not 5. That said, worth it.
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 added it
Shelves: abandoned
The characters were boring, and the story slow. I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.
Vera Delava
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zeer spannend door de onverwachte wendingen in het plot.
Er komt nochtans weinig geweld voor in dit boek.
Apr 01, 2012 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
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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
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