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Två soldater

(Grens & Sundkvist #6)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  694 ratings  ·  79 reviews
With over 4 million copies sold worldwide and translated in 28 languages The New York Times bestselling authors, ex-con Borge Hellstrom and investigative journalist Anders Roslund combine inside knowledge of the brutal realities of criminal life with searing social criticism in complex, intelligent plots that have propelled them into the forefront of international crime wr ...more
Hardcover, 686 pages
Published May 9th 2012 by Piratförlaget (first published 2012)
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3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  694 ratings  ·  79 reviews


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Nancy Oakes
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes crime that explores contemporary issues in a serious way
Regardless of what anyone else says, I LOVED this book -- it's probably the most powerful book to come from Roslund and Hellstrom in their writing careers. As usual, you can keep reading for the short version or click here for the longer one.

Roslund and Hellstrom have consistently put out some incredible books that throughout the entire series have remained edgy, gritty and contemporary. Although this installment is a bit long and could have used some paring down, Two Soldiers remains true to f
...more
Tiffany
I was given a copy of Two Soldiers by Anders Roslund through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. It is rare for me to give less than two stars but in this case I simply had to.

The book is about two gang members who start their own gang and recruit children to do so. One of them is in prison at the beginning of the book. The other is on the outside. I will be honest, it took me a week to read 112 pages and I just can't get any further. I had to re-read the first several pages three times
...more
Skip
GR's Nancy Oakes is correct: this series is "edgy, gritty and contemporary;" however, this book was at least 200 pages too long. Heck, Superintendent Detective Ewert Grens did not even come into the novel until almost page 240. The story centers on Stockholm’s youth gangs, and typically kids from broken homes, becoming hardened criminals to find "family." Gabriel Milton and Leon Jensen are the leaders of the Raby Warriors (Ghetto Soldiers) gang, with its Bob Marley philosophy of “one love, broth ...more
Grada (BoekenTrol)
A book that was okay. An awful lot of pages to describe much more than the lives of Leon & Gabriel alone.

The book was filled with hatred, brotherly love, mother's love, gang formation, wishes to belong, and much more.

I disliked the style of writing, the fragmentation, often I did not know whether there were 2 he's in a sentence (and who did what), or that there was just one. I disliked Leon as a character as well.

At the end of the book, a full circle has been made. Will life start anew wi
...more
Charlene Intriago
Too long, but the author(s) did cover a lot of ground in their story about Leon Jensen and Gabriel Milton, born to single mothers, two kids growing up in apartment tenements in the suburbs of Stockholm surrounded by drugs, violence and gangs. It's a little hard to get into at first because it's written mostly in sentence fragments. Maybe that happened during the translation process. But, once you get used to reading those fragments, you are drawn into quite the story about these two kids and the ...more
Richard
Oct 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Skip the first 185 pages to "Today". Somewhere in the next 488 pages is about 20 pages of story. This could be made into an exciting movie using about 20 pages of carefully edited story from the book.
Calzean
This started well, with the tale of a young urban gang of whom half are in jail but still running a ring of underage hoods to sell drugs and undertake various robberies. The gang has big plans to free its members and take revenge on the pigs. There were a few references to "Clockwork Orange" and there is a similar level of senseless violence. But the escape was too me implausible, the constant repetition of thoughts became nauseating, the characters never developed and there really was no big cl ...more
Lit Hamerrsmith
I read the Previous author books, and I read them eagerly. When I took this book, I was full of expectations. I survived about 50 pages in continuous reading. I only didn't connect and decided that it was a pity. It does not happen to me much that I give up. But I respect the author who writes a book to keep on trying to read. This time I decided it was better to move on. Maybe one day I'll come back to it to reread it.

Merry Christmas!!!
Rick
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting with lots of twists, but hard slogging. The first third is pretty slow. Many incidents are told from different points of view. Still recommended.
Sharon Burgin
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At 600 pages, this is a long book, but you wouldn’t want it any shorter.

This is the first Scandinavian thriller that I have read and I must admit I felt a little confused at the beginning of the book with character and place names. I also felt that in setting the scene, the authors jumped backwards and forwards in time and place with the same / different characters. I thought that I might have to re-read the beginning to come to grips with who was who, but I didn’t need to as once I got into it,
...more
miteypen
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is part of a series starring Chief Superintendent Ewert Grens. But it is much more than a vehicle for the detective. More than anything, it is a social commentary on the problem of youth crime in Sweden (although it could be set anywhere). The characters are excellently drawn and the story is absorbing. I would add a cautionary note, however: This is definitely a downer. I came away feeling depressed and a little anxious about a world in which crime is increasingly a nearly irresistibl ...more
Ay
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confronting! Disturbing! Violent! Definite page turner for me. Not the 'usual' read for me, but felt empathy for the two 'soldiers'... and their battle. The fact that the author combo is one journalist and one ex-crim, gave the book the stark truth it is written by. Will read more of this duo for sure! Will recommend this in the bookstore for those who are not faint of heart!
Linus
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Starts of really good, but then Ewert Grens enters and the pace and thrill is all gone. And that's how the remaining parts of the book are... Unfortunately.
Hans Brienesse
This was a difficult book to read initially. The descriptions of what was going through a criminal's mind, although necessary to the plot, was quite laborious reading. Once the main action was happening the plot really got moving and the book was delightful to read. One criticism I would make is that the incidents leading to the action have undoubtedly happened to prisoners but all to the one person???! Some of the "building" was quite MacGyverish and would have not been out of place in a typica ...more
Viva
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I rate this two stars, which according to the GR rating system = "it was ok". This is a neutral rating from me. I actually found this writing disjointed and hard to follow, probably not helped by the fact it's a translation from another language. I found it difficult to be interested in the characters or the story. I got this book free as a review copy.
Timo Tiilikainen
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a great book in the social critical tradition of Sjöwall& Wahlöö. It is a long book ,almost 600 pages, and it took about 300 pages till i was caught in the story. I tried reading it once before but I did not get
past the beginning
ella
Jul 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
i read this book in the original language. it was the first book ive ever read in swedish and im sure some parts went over my head. however, i understood enough to know that this book is bad.

first of all, the fact that some of the paragraphs consisted of a single sentence that was completely separated from the previous setting... unnecessary and weird. i felt like the author(s) tried to make the story seem a lot Cooler or whatever you want to call it than it actually was.

on top of that, i found
...more
P.A. Davies
I've shown my reading of this as finished even though I didn't make it past the first third of the book.
For me, it was a difficult book to read. Whether that was because of the translation of it or whether it was because the author has tried too hard to make it gritty and in fact over egged the pudding?
Now, I like good descriptive text in a book. It makes me visual characters and puts me in the same situation, place, room or environment, as they are. But I don't like over description or too lon
...more
Laura
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes these guys are incredible; other times they're just preachy. This book wasn't as preachy as some of their other work, though it did hit you over the head a bit with certain points. The good points are: It's really action packed. You can visualize it as a film. The characters are well-drawn - you find yourselves caring about the gang members, and while we don't get the personal information on the detectives that we got in the previous book, they're likeable and I felt that their motivat ...more
Dan Downing
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes we here in the United States get to believing ours are the only violent high rise slums in the world, and all such places are populated by racially divided people. This gritty story, one which the reader can sink teeth into, belies that mythical feeling.
We have a huge feast of a tale, one deserving full place settings, covering a generation and the violence, hoodies and all, attendant on illicit drugs, youth gangs and a system hobbled by laws created to make an untouchable class of cri
...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Horrific story line, all to familiar from the media. Really liked the characterisation of the criminal gang, but I felt we did not get enough information on especially their relationship as children and what happened to them when they were children to really understand why they thought this was the only way they could find validation. Really disliked the main detective, whilst some of his colleagues were more interesting and I would have liked to hear more of them. I realise it is in the middle ...more
Alison Campbell
This is the first Scandinavian crime fiction novel that I haven’t enjoyed, mainly due to the subject of gang wars drugs, violence, arson, robberies and bombings with some of the offenders being as young as eleven years old.

The only characters I felt any empathy towards was DCI Ewart Grens and Jose Pereira, who was head of the police organised crime and gang section in Raby, and the fire service, goodness knows how they faced the will to go to work every day is beyond me.

This is the first time I'
...more
Chris
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been a very hard book to begin - it doesn't make sense, and the writing is so choppy it is hard to follow. I think it is about drug dealers, so far. I don't know if this is a continuation of a series, no way to tell. I'll comment more after I've read more.
==============
I'm glad I stuck with it. After a while, the gritty writing style becomes much easier to follow. This is quite a social commentary on gangs in Sweden, but could also be set in the USA with changes to the names and places.
...more
Nic Adams
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real eye-opener into the brutality, barbarity and indiscriminate nature of gang life, prison life and the real challenges that face Sweden (not only!) today...... crime syndicates, gangs - at first the motorcycle gangs then add the street gangs with almost always drugs as the common denominator and mafia-like organisations with the police in some areas "only going in to collect the dead bodies." Remind of you of somewhere????
This book gives an expose in a fiction story about young men with a c
...more
Myrna
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cnf
I was disappointed in this book. The previous two were decent, but this one was lacklustre to say the least. I just couldn't get into it. I slogged away until page 430, and with only 166 pages left I really thought I'd finish it. I'd made it this far, and the end was in sight, right? One moment I thought, "It's not great, but it's not bad enough to ditch." But you know what? I was wrong, because the very next thought I had was, "I don't want to read one more page of this." And so I'm not going t ...more
Annemarie
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
excellent and riveting read. this is the third book I have read by tese authors and have become fond of inspector grens who is a lonely and sad person but thoroughly endearing in his way. I was sceptic about this book as I do not read stories often that centres around gangsters. the first two chapters went slowly but as the story build up momentum it hooked me and in the end I was sorry to see the story end. two soldiers covers the brief adult life of two gangsters and the circunstances in which ...more
Tim
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This was a really good book, deep and flawed characters and a great story. Really enjoyed reading this.

However, it sat on my shelf looking at me for over a year - due to its length (and also that it is my first forray into Swedish gang crime). In the end I felt it suffered from a lack of editing - I think it could have been cut down a few hundred pages which would have given it more of an impact.

Thank you for my free copy of this book which I received via a Goodreads Giveaway.
Aya
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I really liked this book. It had a strong story that punched me right in the face and it was great. I loved the fact that we got to read the story from different perpectives but the only reason why I am giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 is the unbalance in chapters. One "chapter" could be less than a page and another chapter could be more than 40 pages. I just wish there was more balance in the chapters. Great story line though!
Carol
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book! It grabbed me by the throat and would not let go until it was finished. There were passages I read and reread simply because they hurt my heart; mothers so long past the heartache of their children's actions but still suffering. Such anguish knowing that so many young children were so desperate to belong to "family" even though that family is a gang. Some day I'll reread this; it's a classic.
R.E. Conary
Wonderful Sweden. Or is it? Authors like Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö (Martin Beck), Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallander), Stieg Larsson (Lisbeth Salander), Arne Dahl (A-group) or Jan Guillou (Spy Carl Hamilton) show you the dark underside of Swedish society but it takes Roslund & Hellström to tear away the blinders, uncover the horror of an inadequate juvenile justice system and reveal the depths of the pit of hell. Well-written and compelling but sad.
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Anders Roslund is a Swedish author and journalist. He is the founder and former head of Kulturnyheterna (Culture News) on SVT, Sweden's national television broadcaster. For many years he worked as a news reporter – specializing in criminal and social issues – and as an Editor-in-chief at Rapport and Aktuellt, the two major News programmes on SVT.

Roslund regularly collaborates with Börge Hellström,
...more

Other books in the series

Grens & Sundkvist (7 books)
  • The Beast (Grens & Sundkvist #1)
  • The Vault (Grens & Sundkvist #2)
  • Cell 8 (Grens & Sundkvist #3)
  • Flickan under gatan (Grens & Sundkvist #4)
  • Three Seconds (Grens & Sundkvist #5)
  • Three Minutes (Grens & Sundkvist, #7)