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Bad Blood

(A-gruppen/Intercrime #2)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,842 ratings  ·  164 reviews
In Arne Dahl’s riveting follow-up to Misterioso, the Intercrime team is assigned the task of tracking down an American serial killer on the loose in Sweden—quietly, and as quickly as possible.

When a Swedish literary critic is found tortured to death in a janitor’s closet at Newark International Airport, the police realize that the murderer made off with the victim’s
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 13th 2013 by Pantheon (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,842 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it

In this 2nd book in the 'Intercrime' series, the Swedish detective squad is on the trail of a vicious serial killer. The book can be read as a standalone.


Stockholm's Intercrime Unit A squad deals with serious crimes that extend beyond Sweden's borders. As this book in the Nordic crime series opens, the team hasn't had a case in quite some time and is concerned about being split up.

Before that happens t
David Carr
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This better second book, after Misterioso, was written in the pre-dawn of the current century and it has to be read with that awareness. It is Swedish, and so I think that awareness must also include the residual shock surrounding the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986, a crime without a certain perpetrator. It is a police procedural, serial killer novel of the kind I have been reading since finding David L. Lindsey's Mercy 25 years ago. So many have been written, and (since the cannibal genius ...more
Dimitris Passas
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
''Bad Blood'' is, in my humble opinion, one of the best books of ''A-Gruppen'' (or ''Intercrime'') saga even though it is only the second installment in the series. The elite team of policemen is facing a unique, for the Swedish standards, case involving an American serial killer known as ''The Kentucky killer'' who, according to strong evidence, is in the country wreaking havoc to the local community. This novel stands out, mainly, for the terrifying villain who uses a special instrument of tor ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Bad Blood is the second in the Intercrime series by Scandinavian crime writer,Arne Dahl. In this novel, we meet again the team of police officers featured previously, getting to know a little more of their characters and what “makes them tick”. They are an interesting, flawed and varied set of personalities, who gel into an effective crime- solving force.

Their task this time is to find the America
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery, sweden
Bad Blood is book two in the Intercrime series by Arne Dahl. Detective Paul Hjelm and Detective Kerstin Holm of the Intercrime team caught a case of the death of Swedish literary critic. The plane ticket of the murdered victim was stolen, and the request by FBI to help in finding a serial killer Detective Paul Hjelm and Detective Kerstin Holm realise that the murderer is coming to Stockholm. The readers of Bad Blood will continue to follow Detective Paul Hjelm and Detective Kerstin Holm to see i ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of noir, Scandinavian novels, crime thrillers
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon Vine
Book Info: Genre: Suspense/Thriller/Noir Crime
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: those who like darker crime thrillers, those who like Scandinavian crime novels
Book Available: August 13, 2013 in Hardcover and Kindle formats
Trigger Warnings: torture, murder, infidelity (flashback to first book), child abuse

My Thoughts: This is an absolutely brilliant book, like the first one. Again I am not surprised to find that Arne Dahl is a bestseller and very well-known elsewhere in the world. While it is very dark, it's also very well-written, and a highly enjoyable read.My/>Trigger/>Book/>Recommended/>Reading
Luanne Ollivier
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5/5 It's no secret to faithful readers that I'm a crime fiction fan. I always enjoy discovering new authors in this genre.

Arne Dahl's latest North American release is Bad Blood. This is the second book featuring his recurring characters, the members of the A-Unit of the Swedish Intercrime Team.

The team is notified by the FBI that an American serial killer has eluded authorities and is on a flight to Sweden. Once the plane lands, the killer manages to again escape and the inevitable wait be
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
The second in Dahl's Swedish special crime team novels, and pretty good. While there is a lot to groan about, the interesting plot and humor (when it works) more than make up for the odd moments and mistakes about America.

The plot involves the 'Kentucky Killer' traveling to Sweden. Since this was written pre-9/11, the ease with which K (as he is called) goes through the airports can be excused, even it gave me pause. What also stopped the flow for me was Dahl referring to Kentucky as
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-nordic
Stockholm's A-Group, tasked with investigating crimes with international connections, are following the trail of an American serial killer, who appears to have murdered a Swedish citizen in New York and taken his seat on a flight to Sweden. The routine investigation of a warehouse break-in appears to throw up links to the killer, and the team have to pull together all the lines of enquiry to try to track down a vicious and ruthless killer.

This was an enjoyable read, combining a polic
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Take the late (and very great) Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series, move them to Sweden, particularly Stockholm, bring them into the world of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, change all of the names of the characters to Scandinavian names and you have the Intercrime series of Arne Dahl. Well, sort of. (No one is Ed McBain except maybe Evan Hunter.)

But we have a group of detectives, all with particular talents who are assembled together in the Intercrime Group. None are perfect but they do h
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great police procedural from Mr. Dahl. I am enjoying the slow building rapport between the team of investigators first introduced in the beginning novel in the series 'Misterioso'.
3,5/5 stars
Rikard Bergquist
Meandering, slow, predictable first half that picks up speed in the second half. Twists and somewhat breaks the mold but stays a little bit to true to the genre, to become something out of the ordinary.
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, 2013
Be careful what you wish for…

Paul Hjelm and the team have had very little to do since they wound up their last case in The Blinded Man. 'Violent crimes with an international character' seem to be in short supply. And Paul is bored...

'What they needed was a robust serial killer, of a robust, international character, thought Paul Hjelm as he slid back into his orgy of self-pity.'

Be careful what you wish for! Even as Paul thinks this, a serial killer is on his way to Sweden - a killer who tortu/>'What
Amanda - Go Book Yourself

A review copy was provided by Gill Hess in return for an honest review

I should start by saying that I haven't read the first book nor have I seen the TV series. It usually really irks me when I discover that the book I'm reading is part of a series but it didn't really effect my enjoyment of this one.

The blurb on the back sounded really interesting and I couldn't wait to get into it. I was expecting a roller-coaster like thriller but that wasn't what I got. The first half of the book moves quite slowly. I
The second book in the A-Unit series opens just about a season after Misterioso’s conclusion. Dahl does a nice job of summarizing the previous novel without giving away any plot points, but covers just enough of a re-cap that readers starting with this second novel in the series would not be overly lost. Like its predecessor, this novel falls more into the police-procedural sub-genre of the mystery/thriller. Accordingly, its opening pages are fairly slow paced. But this pacing completely changes by the last ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
I thought that the first eighty odd pages of history and establishing of the unsympathetic characters was far too long and tedious, the story took a long time to develop and gain momentum but once it did it was riveting. Being a police procedural in style I can easily see how this story could translate successfully to the small screen (BBC4 has picked this title and series up and I believe it has already screened).

I like hearing the behind the scenes banter and theorising; the blackb
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really like this series, and the second book is even better than the first. Dahl manages to be both really grim and outrageously funny. There's a bit of proselytizing when our heroes end up in NYC, but I enjoyed seeing the US's policies on crime from a European perspective. Very creepy bad guy. Will keep reading these. Great ending.
Ken Fredette
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
There were places where Arne just talks to himself because I don't know it doesn't make sense. It was worth the effort put into it but not much more.
Mike Cuthbert
In a clever turn, Dahl’s villain comes from the US, allowing Dahl to comment on both Swedish and American politics and government. Both are seen rather negatively!) The Kentucky Killer has a long history—almost two decades—of killing using the same device: a type of corkscrew machine that first incapacitates the vocal cords so the victim cannot be heard, then allows all sorts of tortures to go on uninterrupted. (The screw device is reminiscent of Jo Nesbø’s cleverer death machines.) At any rate, ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Bad Blood' is a very common name for a book, but the one I read was by the award-winning Swedish novelist Arne Dahl. I'm not sure whether it was the English translation, or because it was written in 1998, or that fact that I hadn't read the first of his stories about these characters, but there was something about it that was a miss for me. Yes, there was lots of suspense, brutality, gruesome murders, tension and a fairly fast pace, so I continued reading. But the characters didn't resonate wit ...more
Bev Taylor
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
the a unit is a group of policeman formed after solving a special case but they have been kicking their heels for a year

that all changes when they receive a call from the states. it appears that a serial killer is now on his way to sweden after a killing at newark airport

he is known as the kentucky killer with over 20 murders to his name and a unique way of torturing his victims with pincers that squeeze the vocal cords shut

has he now returned and why to sweden, or do they have a copycat kill
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dahl’s follow-up to Misterioso, finds Detective Hjelm still in his humorous, existential, perpetual crisis. The A-unit, the collection of brilliant, yet misfit detectives, but with no major crimes. Things change, when a Swedish literary agent is murdered in a broom closet at JFK airport, with an bizarre pincer devise in his throat, which prevents screaming while being tortured It was developed during the Vietnam War to torture Viet Cong. The FB gets involved since they had been tracking a serial ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epub

When police find a Swedish literary critic tortured to death in a janitor's closet at Newark International Airport, they realize that the murderer has made off with the victim’s ticket and boarded a flight to Stockholm, where he apparently slipped through customs.

With no clear motive in sight, Detectives Paul Hjelm and Kerstin Holm of Intercrime' s A-Unit take over the investigation. They learn that the method of torture used was not only a highly specialized means of extracting information—sec

Bonnie Brody
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
'The Kentucky Killer', a serial killer in the U.S., has murdered a Swedish national at the Newark Airport and apparently taken a plane to Sweden with a false passport. After lying low for 15 years, this serial killer is at it again and the Swedish police don't have a clue what connects him to Sweden and the Swedish literary critic he murdered. The killer utilizes a type of torture that makes it impossible for the victim to cry out despite the horrible pain he is enduring.

The police d
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was much better than Misterioso, the first book in this series. It had more social commentary for one thing which I like in a story set in another country. And it wasn’t centered on the same person who frankly was sort of boring. Part of the story took place in the States where two members of the Swedish crime squad went to talk to the FBI. And there was less talk and more action. You’d miss a little background if you didn’t read the books in order, but I would recommend starting with this ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Just, wow! This really was amazing and exceeded my expectations. A powerful opening that sets up the novel was written with such a high quality and flow that I was convinced the book had peaked too early. Boy was I wrong!
Arne Dahl consistently kept up the quality and flow throughout whilst also delving into characterisation on a much deeper level than you'd expect, but this didn't alter the flow in any negative way. The hunt for The Kentucky Killer by Paul Hjlem the Swedish A Unit was riv
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really a 4.5. As with the first one, reads more literately than many serial killer novels and the characterisation is complex and draws you in. Having read the first novel, I was more familiar with the characters and parts were really quite humorous with some jaded quips and observations. Doesnt end as expected but that in itself was a tribute to the main villain. An intriguing story and the writer often has relevant politics - both national and police - influencing the story so that things reso ...more
Barbara Talbott
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A chilling psychological thriller following a serial killer who has learned diabolical methods of torture and killing originating in Vietnam. The use of pincers to insert in the throat, causing the victim to lose the ability to make a sound. Detectives Paul Hjelm and Kerstin Holm of Intercrime’s A-Unit are the investigators who are put on the case to catch the Kentucky Killer as he is called. A really good book.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bad Blood is a sequel to Misterioso, but it's an engrossing a stand alone crime novel. But it's much more than that. In part a political thriller, an international serial murderer story, sprinkled with some interesting philosophic theorizing about crime and the social structure.

As in Misterioso, instead of being focused on single detective, it individually develops the character of each member of the team. The endings (and there is more than one) are surprising.
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Arne Dahl is the pen name of Jan Arnald, an internationally known Swedish crime author and literary critic.

His writing can also be seen in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. He published Barbarer (2001) and Maria och Artur (2006) under his own name, but under his pseudonym he has written the A-gruppen (Intercrime) series, involving the A-team, a group highly trained in dealing with criminal cases in Sweden.

Other books in the series

A-gruppen/Intercrime (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Misterioso (A-gruppen, #1)
  • Upp till toppen av berget (A-gruppen, #3)
  • Europa blues (A-gruppen, #4)
  • De största vatten (A-gruppen, #5)
  • En midsommarnattsdröm (A-gruppen, #6)
  • Dödsmässa (A-gruppen, #7)
  • Mörkertal (A-gruppen, #8)
  • Efterskalv (A-gruppen, #9)
  • Himmelsöga (A-gruppen, #10)
  • Elva (A-gruppen, #11)