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The Brother

Joakim Zander
Refugees, Yasmine and her brother Fardi live with their parents in Bergort one of the less attractive suburbs of Stockholm where the severe attitude of their father leads Yasmine to promise to protect her brother and never leave him. Fadi soon becomes involved with one of the gangs of the young to such an extent that Yasmine finds it necessary to leave and go to the USA.

Five years later she is doing quite well in New York as a scout for advertising agencies but learns that her brother has been killed in Syria as a jihadist. This news is later distorted by an email from her mother containing a photograph which seems to be of Fadi and Yasmine resolves to go back to Sweden in order to find out whether he is really alive. She manages to convince one of the agencies that there seems to be a movement involving a certain symbol which she should check out in Sweden, but on arriving back it seems the suburb where she originally lived has become both unsettled and dangerous with rioting and arson most nights.

In the meantime, Fadi has effectively found religion to such an extent that he becomes involved with others of a radical nature and goes to Syria to join ISIS and fight for his faith but he finds things are not all what they appear to be. Due to what happens in Syria he finds himself returning to Bergort on a mission of vengeance, something only he can carry out with the knowledge he has gained while being away.

Yasmine believes Fadi is alive but in endeavouring to find him, her investigations cause her to become mixed up in a series of events which result in real danger and threats to her own life. Another main character, Klara, is not at all happy about what is happening in her own life due to the research work she is doing in London and certain incidents begin to make her suspicious. Her own investigations lead her to Sweden and she meets Yasmine while following someone in Stockholm. It soon becomes apparent something sinister is happening, that intelligence agencies seem to be involved and all is not what it seems.

This is a thriller which started off rather slowly but developed as time went on. In the beginning it was not easy to discern just who was the narrator in some chapters but this became easier as the story progressed though it was not obvious that the third character Klara was referring to an earlier book by the same author and heroine of the same name. These aside the book was fairly easy to read and worth reading – apart from the incident where a shotgun became a rifle, something which should have been picked up during proof reading and, of course, the fact that not all foreign words and phrases are known by everyone.

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