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The Andalucian Friend

(Brinkmann Trilogy #1)

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,474 ratings  ·  469 reviews
Enemies Are Everywhere

When Sophie Brinkmann—nurse, widow, single mother—meets Hector Guzman, her life is uneventful. She likes his quiet charm and easy smile; she likes the way he welcomes her into his family. She quickly learns, though, that his smooth façade masks something much more sinister.

Guzman is the head of a powerful international crime ring with a reach into dru
Hardcover, 446 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Crown (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.20  · 
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 ·  2,474 ratings  ·  469 reviews

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Tanja Berg
Mar 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
The WORST book ever to come out of Sweden! I had the "privilige" of reading this in what was *hopefully* an unedited version in Swedish. If that was anything to go by, this author cannot write. There is no plot. There is not one likeable character. This book does not have a single redeeming quality - unless the author (or editor for the English edition) rewrote the whole thing since I held this manuscript in my hands.

This is what I wrote to a friend about it after reading it 1,5 years ago (so yo
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is well-written. In the beginning, It had a slow pace because there were to many characters that had to be developed in the background. Mobsters, bad-policemen, gun-dealers, lots of action, blackmailing and a lot of killing. Its plot is like a spider web and too many twists and thought i liked it I don’t agree that this one is “The next Dragon tattoo” best seller.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it

It's at times long-winded, but as far as a Scandanavian Thriller goes, it's still pretty good. I wasn't as big a fan of this novel as I have been of the Stieg Larsson trilogy. This novel, though, offers a really wide cast of characters. It builds slowly at times, but that allows you to really dig at the characters thoroughly.

It has a lot of action. Tons of drug dealers. Plenty of crime. And enough violence to make you squirm. It's a badass novel, no doubt.

I enjoyed the fact that it had a globa
Mar 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"The Andalucian Friend" by Alexander Soderberg

I was very disappointed with this book. I had read the exciting Prologue last year and was really looking forward to reading more, but oh dear! After the first 200 pages I nearly gave up on it altogether, and indeed only skim read the rest just in case it did finally begin to live up to the publisher's hype, but no ...

There are two problems with the book. Firstly there is only one character who shows any signs of humanity - but she (Sophie Brinkman,
Rita K
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
I hoped to like this much more than I did. I was expecting a really engrossing story with great characters. While Sophie and Jens were both engaging characters, I ended up asking what drew Sophie to her patient Hector in the first place. I did not understand his great appeal and did not see that she would necessarily get involved with him. It just did not ring true. Depicting nearly all the police characters as corrupt and manipulative made me question the plot. The policeman Lars was the most p ...more
Jeanette (Again)
I tried hard to stick with it, but it was just too confusing. I found myself dreading picking it up, because it was so much work trying to keep track of all the characters and plot threads.

There were some strange turns of phrase that left me shaking my head, wondering if it was the author's error or a translation problem.
For example: "...he and Inez kept bursting out laughing in Spanish."
Huh? How do you laugh in Spanish as opposed to, say, laughing in Swahili?

Willo Font
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. double-expresso mocha-chino. If you like "La Reina Del Sur" by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte, or did the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson, then this ride is for you. Get some snacks and a comfy seat and enjoy. You won't regret it. There are no good vs. bad guys here. They are all bad . If someone writes a decent script to this book it would be a runaway blockbuster. ...more
Patrice Hoffman
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Andalucian Friend is heralded as being the next best thing to come out of Sweden and it is being compared to the global phenomenon The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson. I for one don't see how they are similar besides the location of each title being in Sweden. With that being said, I move on to my review of The Andalucian Friend.

The Andalucian Friend begins with Sophie Brinkmann meeting a man named Hector Guzman in the hospital she is a nurse for. They begin a relationship outsi
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
The Andalucian Friend is Alexander Soderberg 's debut novel.

Sophie Brinkmann is a widowed nurse, living a quiet life with her fourteen year old son Albert. She's a good nurse, often spending extra time with some of her patients. Hector Guzman is one of those. There's an attraction between the two and they continue meeting up after Hector is released from hospital. But, there is much more to Hector than meets the eye. He and his father head up a Spanish (Andalusia) crime family. They're in a dr
Fack You
Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: terrible-books
I could not even finish this book. Maybe I messed up on my part, but I had pretty high expectations for this book being called, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets the Sopranos". Please. There were so many things that made this book "unfinishable", I don't even know where to begin. But here it goes anyway:
1. The first thing I noticed about this book was that the writing was a little above 8th grade level. Meaning: this book reads as if it was written by a high school kid. Even in the first pa
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read this is! It comes out in March 2013 and is the first in a planned trilogy. An ordinary nurse, mother of a teen boy, is unexpectedly caught up in the conflict between competing underworld factions in Sweden. I never really was sure who's good and who's bad but the characters are all very well drawn and I was very involved in their world. Another cool thing is that the nurse is in no way the all-too-typical victim. She takes charge when opportunities arise. Likewise, one of the c ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book had a good storyline but was hard to follow at times. It jumped around from character to character (which there were so many of) that I lost track many times as to who was who (even with the list of characters at the beginning) and how they related to the story. Luckily, I was able to follow the main characters and the general gist of the story. Since I plan on reading the second book in this series, The Other Son, I am really hoping it's easier to follow. ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Seriously, I'm getting mighty tired of crappy books comparing themselves to great books in order to make money.

This book was VERY poorly translated for one.

"Her cell phone buzzed anxiously on the counter."

"A car horn sounded anxiously."

Those two gems appear on the same page.

"Wondering where all the small talk was leading. He realized."


My personal favorite was "If I remembered rightly."

These lines and many others stopped me cold.

The characters are cliché and cardboard. Sophie is an idiot.
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Oh, boy. This was touted as a successor to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it doesn't come close. The author is a screenwriter and this has the feel of a screenplay. The action scenes were hard to follow and there were practically no characters to feel empathy for, except Sophie, although she seems a bit dead at the beginning. I think the author made a mistake not exploring her ties to Jens. This would have added some depth to her character and explained her loveless first marriage. There w ...more
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A beginning friendship with a patient changes the lives of a widowed nurse and her son into a living hell.
Drug lords, weapon smugglers, over-active police enforcement, the good, the bad and the ugly. But the bad can be good and the good can be bad. Get ready for a roller coasting ride. Amazing thriller, super suspense ... and this is only the first in a trilogy.
Ken Fredette
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cops or robbers, who do you dislike? In this case it's the cops. They're worse then the bad guys. I stayed up late to finish the book, but I can see other books being written. It was weird reading because of the bad cops, or the Germans or the Russians. Take your pick. I would recommend this book to be read. ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I literally could not tell you what happened in this book except that a lot of people died.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was just a really huge mess!
I didn't like any of the characters. The main character, nurse Sophie, was really weird. I couldn't understand her neither her thinking. Some other characters were just disgusting!

There were too many parts of the story, and they weren't connected at all... The book was also too long, some things were so unimportant, descriptions were top precise and boring.
Jovan Mihajlovic
Too many characters, so reading should be started with a pen and paper.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually judge how good a book is by the amount of time it takes to me to read the first 100 pages. Often I become distracted, wander off for coffee or snack raids to the kitchen or decide that yes, my apartment is a tip and needs tidying, leaving my book to one side to be picked up again later. Indeed, you could be forgiven for thinking, like me, that on initial inspection `The Andalucian Friend' would be a Scandinavian crime novel very much like any other Scandinavian crime novel but you woul ...more
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this book from Goodreads giveaways.

I'm a huge fan of very twisted crime and action thrillers like Robert Ludlum, Michael Connelly, and Jo Nesbø. But Ludlum is dead, and the legacy Covert One series that continues after him isn't just as twisted, even when written by Lustbader. Harry Bosch is about to retire, and Harry Hole won't last for more than one or two adventures (one new one, and the yet not available early one, #2, The Cockroaches). Just when running out of
Kristine Brancolini
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book on the strength of a review in Booklist. I generally trust Bill Ott and he assured me that Andacian Friend is the next big thing -- first in a Swedish trilogy, movie rights already sold. In the beginning I couldn't put it down. I found the central character nurse Sophie Brinkman to be an interesting and sympathetic protagonist. Yes, she meets and is initally drawn to Hector Guzman, who turns out to be the son of a Spanish crime boss and his heir apparent. But she never completel ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It all started with a hospital stay. Sophie, a nurse in the ward finds herself deeply attracted and drawn to the patient with the broken leg, finding excuses to go into his room even when she is no longer one his attending nurses. A relationship begins to build between Sophie and the patient, Hector, and she finds herself maintaining a relationship with him even when he is discharged. But just when Sophie begins to fall for Hector, finding happiness with him and his large family and associates, ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Sophie Brinkman, a nurse and single mother, is swept into the midst of a police investigation of an international crime ring and finds her attraction for the ringleader has disastrous consequences.

Sophie becomes acquainted with Hector Guzman while he’s her patient and is beguiled when he later invites her to his birthday party and then a poetry reading. Hector, whose cover is a legitimate publishing house, is embroiled in a turf war with a ruthless German gang.

The budding relationship between So
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
It’s always great to find another Scandinavian crime novelist. This one is the first in what is called the Brinkman trilogy. I had listened to the second one, The Other Son, and loved it, so I was anxious to get the prequel back story, and although this was a good one, it was as good as that one. It is a complex multilayered, international plotting, about crime with rival mafia groups, the Guzmans, a Spanish crime syndicate, the Hankes in Germany, and another group in South America. Sophie’s hig ...more
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a solid thriller with some more complex characterizations that lift it out of the crime thriller genre into a more novelistic zone. Set in Sweden (think Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the author leaves us in sympathy with the crime family and despising the corrupt police who are trying to bring them down. This is all very enjoyable, although if you stop to think about the business of the crime family, they are really every bit as despicable. It is just that at the top the crime boss is su ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok

Overall rating = 2 and 1/2 stars

The Andalucian Friend is a book that caught my interest because of its intriguing blurb and for the fact that it promised a tale of mayhem, crime and corruption. The story is set in the Scandinavian nation of Sweden and has quite a few POV characters. The prologue begins in midst of the novel's happenings and then we are shown how the characters meet namely Hector and Sophie. These are the two main characters around whom much of the story revolves.

This book has
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Bummer, cause I was really excited to read this one.

I almost stopped reading this book a few times. It's over 450 pages long and I didn't really feel like I cared about any of the characters until I was at least 200 pages in. I felt like there were probably more peripheral characters than necessary and not many great storytelling devices to tell them apart.

The story centers around Sophie Brinkmann, a nurse who winds up in the middle of an investigation into a violent organized crime ring. It see
Mar 24, 2013 marked it as could-not-finish
I'm not rating THE ANDALUCIANIN FRIEND because that wouldn't be fair--I didn't finish it. I couldn't. I read more than 100 pages, and it not only did not grab my attention; it was boring me to tears. I won this book from but am sorry I requested it.

One sign that a book billed as a thriller will not be thrilling is a preface that is a flash-forward scene. In my experience, a book begins this way when the subsequent chapters are boring. This kind of preface is a promise: even th
Ron S
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
The first in a trilogy, this Scandinavian crime thriller revolves around a nurse caught up in the investigation of an international crime ring. The wide cast of characters and multiple plot threads can be confusing at times and the suspense builds very slowly; readers that allow themselves the right to not finish a book might find themselves doing just that. For those that persist, the last quarter of the book is very suspenseful once the plot is sorted and the reader has become invested and int ...more
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Alexander Söderberg has worked as a television screenwriter and lives in the countryside in the south of Sweden with his wife and children. The Andalucian Friend is his first novel.

Other books in the series

Brinkmann Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Other Son (Brinkmann Trilogy #2)
  • Den gode vargen (Sophie Brinkmann, #3)

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