The note had just said
Tösses Konditori, Karlavägen 77, Stockholm
We need to talk
The handwriting was female. He didn't know why he'd turned up. Maybe it was because he'd tried everything else.
"You're R.E. Vuer?"
The voice had come from behind him. He spun round, his hand instinctively reaching inside his jacket. The woman looked at him gravely.
"Don't shoot me. At least, not until you've drunk your coffee."
She put two full cups on the table, then took off her coat and sat down. He had to admit she was quite attractive.
"Well?" he asked.
She took a sip of coffee. "You've been tracking Patterson for some time now, haven't you?" she said. It wasn't a question.
"Maybe," he answered.
"He's here," she said. She reached into her bag, and pulled out a shiny paperback. "Look at this."
The title was Postcard Killers
. There were two authors: James Patterson, Liza Marklund.
"Who...?" he said confusedly, shaking his head. Suddenly, the jet-lag was catching up with him.
"One of our most popular authors," the woman replied. "She writes... wrote... intelligent feminist thrillers. I read the whole Annika Bengtzon series, all eight of them. Great books."
"And now..." She swallowed, visibly fighting back tears. "Her reputation... ruined in one day. No one will ever take her seriously again. She's finished."
She looked straight at him. He couldn't help noticing how blue her eyes were.
"Mr. Vuer," she said, "I've got to stop that... djävla skithög
... before he does it again. Will you help me?"
He put his hand on top of hers.
"There's nothing I'd like to do better," he growled. "And call me R.E."Chapter 2
They walked down Strandvägen.
"Is this your first time in Stockholm?" she asked politely.
"Uh-huh," he grunted.
"Well," she said. "That's the Royal Palace over there. But you'd probably rather know where Lisbeth Salander lives, right?"
He ran his hands through his tangled hair and gave her a crooked smile. Herregud
, he really was quite good-looking under that dishevelled exterior! He just needed someone to look after him...
She made an effort to pull herself together. "It's up there," she said, pointing. "Nice location, don't you think?"
He stopped suddenly.
"We're wasting time," he said. "We need to get through four murders and five annoying plot twists, visit Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Oslo, get some back story, fall in love, and have some tasteful but explicit sex before we stop Patterson in a bloody showdown seconds before he gets away. And we need to do it all in the next page and a half. It's impossible. Might as well give up now."
She moved closer, and suddenly he was holding her, their bodies molding together. "I know how he persuaded her to do it," she whispered, as she nibbled his right earlobe. "And I've already bought the plane tickets. Still think it's impossible?"
He pulled back for a moment, then kissed her again. "Hey," he said softly. "I think I like working with you."[The rest of this review has been suppressed in the interests of good taste and general public decency]Afterword from the second author
When world-famous Goodreads reviewer Manny Rayner contacted me and asked if I would like to help him write this article, I was so pleased and flattered! Oh yes, I said, without a second thought. Maybe this will make me famous too!
- Gulla Kulla