Sweden and Russia – past and present

Ten Swedes must die by Martin Österdahl

During a farm auction in the Stockholm archipelago, a dead man is found in a hope-chest. His body is cut in half and he has a number and strange symbols engraved in the forehead. The dead man turns out to be the head of the Swedish Migration Board and is the first in a row of prominent Swedes, who become victims of brutal and ritualistic murders.

At the same time (August 2000), the Russian Navy holds its biggest navy exercise since the fall of the wall and the Kursk nuclear submarine, after being hit by two explosions, sinks to the bottom of the Barents Sea. While the Russian sailors are fighting for their lives, President Putin coldly refuses help from the West and a new-old East-West conflict is beginning to escalate.

The only one to see how the happenings hang together is the Russian expert Max Anger, but he is opposed from all directions. The evil has its origins far back in time, in the darkest chapter of Swedish history and in events no-one wants to resurface again. He must try to stop the killer, but it will be a fight against the clock…

Ten Swedes Must Die is an action-packed thriller, where crime fiction author Martin Österdahl brings together today’s political problems with our historical past. It´s the second installment in a series featuring Max Anger, the first one being Ask No Mercy, which partly takes place in Sankt Petersburg some years earlier. It deals with the election of a new president in Russia and the beginnings of the technological revolution, but has a backstory, that goes all the way back to the last years of WWII and the cruel reign of Joseph Stalin.

Max Anger

Max Anger is a former fighter in an elite band of special-ops soldiers in Sweden, now working as an analyst at Vektor, a think tank conducting research on Russia. He is haunted by his battle scars and his own mysterious family past and his personal story is intertwined with the political history of Sweden and the brutal crimes he gets involved in. The novels bring forth all kinds of old mysteries and crimes and the trails of the past have important implications on the present. The island of Arholma, outmost in the Stockholm archipelago, was the place where Max Anger grew up, but it also played an important role in some historical events.

The author

Martin Österdahl studied Russian, East European cultures and Economics at the University of Uppsala. He also lived in Russia for a period during the 90s, just after the fall of the Soviet Union, and his personal experiences of Russia have inspired him in writing the Max Anger series. He very intelligently uses real time events,  both past and present, as background for his stories and characters. The books are extremely well planned with several parallel plots and a well researched  historical background. Martin Österdahl tells more about himself and about his books in this interview.


Librarian, lecturer and entrepreneur - and a fan of thought-provoking crime fiction from the Nordic countries