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Spring Tide

Cilla & Rolf Börjlind

The spring tides are the highest of the year in Nordkoster; the beach will be covered in particularly deep water tonight. Three men on the beach are digging a hole, covertly watched by a young boy. His intrigue turns to horror as he makes out the fourth figure of the woman for whom the hole is intended. Buried up to her neck in the sand, the high tide is rapidly approaching. Still screaming in terror, the victim takes her last breath as water fills her nose and mouth—in her stomach, she feels her baby kick. And her waters break. The abhorrent crime remains unsolved 24 years later; but gruesome violence is still prevalent. A gang has been killing homeless people in parks, filming their attacks, and broadcasting them on the internet. The police have their work cut out trying to keep abreast of the crime wave. Olivia Rönning hopes to follow in her father's footsteps and join their ranks in the next few months as she completes her training; she has only one last hurdle to overcome over the summer break, a challenge from her professor to pick a cold case and solve it. Should be simple, she thinks. Little does she know the world she is getting involved in, the danger she faces, and the ugly truths she risks uncovering.

The first novel from Cilla and Rolf Börjlind (translation Rod Bradbury) begins with a haunting crime that’ll stay with you. What follows is a well-paced story with shifting focus/narrative/characters that all comes together to form an excellent read in what is likely to become a major new crime series.


The writers are a married couple and have worked on TV scripts for such Swedish crime dramas as Arne Dahl and Wallander. In Spring Tide their portrayal of Sweden is of the dark side. The young, downtrodden and fearful that share the city with the wealthy elite are well depicted; a homeless community under attack from a declining welfare state, the sex trade and, shockingly, violent acts that are being filmed and posted on the internet.


An unsolved murder took place back in 1987, a young pregnant woman left on the beach at the time of spring tide, a case that’s not been solved. In the present, young police trainee Olivia Rönning looks at the cold case her dead father had worked.


The inexperienced Olivia makes a trip to the island and searches for the other original detective Tom Stilton who has disappeared. Stilton worked with Olivia’s father on the original case. Olivia and the struggling ex-cop Tom Stilton eventually join together forming a new duo that could be here to stay. Both are troubled, interesting, likeable, original and different enough to form a great pairing. The investigation, like the book, involves a varied cast of characters including a corrupt right-wing mining magnate.  


Violent but with political and social issues at its heart Spring Tide is a page turner with a good payoff. And with a sequel set to appear in 2015, this is shaping up to be the next big Swedish crime series.


A Swedish 10 part mini-series of Spring Tide is due for broadcast in 2016. 


About Cilla & Rolf Börjlind:

Cilla and Rolf Börjlind are not only Sweden’s most praised script writers for crime and thrillers, they are also bestselling authors. Their books are characterized by charismatic characters and the stories depicture Sweden, full of social conflicts. The routine from script writing is reflected in the ability to create tension and twisted plots. Everything is tied together, elegantly and sometimes surprising. As a reader you plow through the stories. In the Börjlind world people are driven by a passion for social justice. Another characteristic is the typical Börjlind surrealistic humor.


Even before The Spring Tide, the first book in the series about Olivia Rönning and Tom Stilton, was launched in Sweden, it was sold to twenty countries. And when published, the Swedish critics were overwhelmed.


Cilla och Rolf Börjlind have written 26 Martin Beck-films for movie theater and TV and most recently the manuscripts for the Arne Dahl’s A-group series. In 2004 and 2009 Swedish television showed their long crime series The Grave and The Murders, written directly for SVT. The series became an immediate successes, among the critics as well as with the audience. The couple has wrote material for a number of other TV-series. Rolf Börjlind has written 18 movies and received a Guldbagge Award for the manuscript for the film Yrrol.



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