Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780307377487, 480pp.
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
From one of Sweden’s most successful defense lawyers comes an unflinching look at Stockholm’s underworld, told from the perspective of the mob bosses, the patsies, and the thugs who help operate its twisted justice system.
JW is a student having trouble keeping up appearances in the rich party crowd he has involved himself with. He’s desperate for money, and when he’s offered a job dealing drugs to the very crowd he’s vying for a place in, he accepts it. Meanwhile, Jorge, a young Latino drug dealer, has just broken out of jail and is itching for revenge. When JW’s supplier gets wind of Jorge’s escape, he suggests JW track him down and attempt to win his trust in order to cover more area in the drug circuit. But JW’s not the only one on Jorge’s trail: Mrado, the brutal muscle behind the Yugoslavian mob boss whose goons were the ones who ratted Jorge out to the cops, is also on the hunt. But like everyone else, he’s tired of being a mere pawn in an impossibly risky game, and he’s seeking to carve out a niche of his own. As the paths of these antiheroes intertwine further, they find themselves mercilessly pitted against one another in a world where allegiances are hard-won, revenge is hard-fought, and a way out of it all is even harder to come by.
Fast and intricately paced, and with pitch-perfect dialogue, Easy Money is a raw, dark, and intelligent crime novel that has catapulted Jens Lapidus into the company of Sweden’s most acclaimed crime writers.
"An intelligent and original thriller that displays as much wit as it does muscle . . . Lapidus skillfully weaves together the narratives of characters from every level of the Swedish criminal underworld . . . [He's] a fantastic writer of action, but he also knows when to leave the guns holstered and build suspense." —The Daily Beast
"[A] searing debut…This sprawling novel, full of offensive language, exposes moral degradation of every stripe while relentlessly depicting Sweden’s underworld and the reasons it exists and grows."
—Pubishers Weekly (starred review)
"At last: an epic European thriller to rival the Stieg Larsson books. It's an entirely new criminal world, beautifully rendered—and a wildly thrilling novel."
"Jens Lapidus, with his dazzling book, Easy Money, is the new Swedish thriller writer everyone’s been waiting for."
—Reggie Nadelson, author of Londongrad
"A solid, rich, and witty page-turner about the criminal world of Stockholm, where cocaine is the prime mover . . . Lapidus shows much literary promise—no one else in Sweden does what he does here."
"A raw and rebellious thriller . . . Lapidus’s writing sweeps you along with short, rhythmic sentences that are fast and engaging. [An] utterly captivating read. Sharp and entertaining."
—De Morgan (Denmark)
"A cornucopia of sex and violence, hookers and pickpockets in a Stockholm both good and bad . . . A staggering gangster novel."
"A terrific book about the underworld of Stockholm . . . An absolute must-read."
—Het Parool (Netherlands)
"Without a doubt a debut to take seriously."
—Helsingsborgs Dagblad (Sweden)