The CIA grooms her.
The Mossad prosecutes her.
KSI, the most secret branch of MUST, the Swedish Military Intelligence, recruits her.
Klara Andersson, discreet, anonymous - and lethal.
THE ASSET is the first of three books with Klara Andersson as protagonist. It is also the first book of the three translated into English.
Who is Klara Andersson?
Read the Swedish trilogy
Den vidundeliga utsikten (The amazing view), Maria Gustafsson’s first novel, was published in 2003 followed by Huset på Carrera 9 (The House at Carrera 9) next year. Then came Absintängeln (The Absinth Ange), all three with Klara Andersson as the protagonist.
The Asset, M. Gustafsson's first novel in English, is loosely based on her first Swedish novel.
I am M. Gustafsson.
I was born in a little town in the north of Sweden, Boden —about two hours’ drive from the Arctic Circle. It was called “The Northern Lock” or “Fortress Boden”. At the time, it had 13 000 inhabitants and
8000 young men doing their military service. Boden was the Swedish stronghold toward the East, meaning the Soviet Union. There were five enormous fortresses cut deep into the mountains surrounding the town, built to hold a great number of soldiers that could remain in there for months, and equipped with state-of-the-art communications and weaponry.
Big signs told foreigners they were not allowed anywhere near the town, and all roads could be blocked in a moment, to make it impossible for unwanted vehicles to approach.
Sometime, along the 60’s and 70’s a Swedish Intelligence Officer, Stig Bergling, turned Russian spy, selling all intel about my town to the Russians. After that the defense installations turned useless and were dismantled. The fifth and last fortress ceased to be part of our defense system in 1997. Today one of them is a tourist attraction and the others are officially filled with sand.
I grew up there, never meeting anyone from another country until, in my mid-teens, I spent almost a year abroad, with my mother.
Of course my hometown and what happened there influenced me. Add my conspiratorial mind, and my choice of genre was unavoidable.
"I love the excitement of not knowing what is going to happen, at any time! Maria Gustaffson definitively knows how to write criminal novels! I just had a little difficulty to read Swedish. I'm a Dane.Would be good if it was translated into English!"
“This is intelligent entertainment, thrilling and fact-based.”
“There is no lack of action, and it is obvious that the author is setting her characters against locations she knows well.”
Swedish book review