I am the first to admit that Stockholm Delete was one of my worst reads back in 2017 and I was not really expecting much of Top Dog because of that. Especially as it picks up Teddy's story and the mysterious cadre of men responsible for child abuse on a large scale. I was not expecting great things from this book, in fact I wasn't even expecting good things from this book and it sat on my shelf for a good long while before I knuckled down to read it.
Although we pick up where we left off with Teddy and Emelie there is not much back story so having battled through Stockholm Delete paid off - I actually knew who these people where and something of their backstory - without that I fear some sections would have seemed completely random and bizarre. Especially when Nicko and Chamon come in to the picture. It is much of the same though so I did find myself almost scan reading a large portion of Teddy and Emelie's story.
The highlights for this reader were the new characters of Roksana and Z. When they sublet an apartment they find something they hadn't bargained for and their lives change irrevocably because of it. This was where my interest lay and I could happily have just had a book about these 2 and their entanglements after finding the stash of Ketamine in the apartment. There was such humour and hope in their story - even after they clash with the criminal underworld and try to fight their way out from under.
I also enjoyed the transcripts of Hugo Pedersen's telephone conversations and text messages with his associates and friends. They really shed light on his descent from businessman to illegal trader. The connections with the abuse ring are tenuous to say the least but, probably because of his greed and naivety, actually strangely amusing. Talk about being in over your head and not understanding that you are.
I'm not sure if the author has slightly changed their style or if the translation in to English was by another person but the word flow was much better in this book. It was less disjointed and flowed much more easily from the page to the reader's imagination which made it a fairly entertaining read on the whole. Not a great read by a good read.
I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.