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    Review of STUDIO SEX by Liza Marklund


    ATRIA BOOKS, 1999/August 2002 (English Translation)

    Intern reporter Annika Bengtzon gets a call on the 'Creepy Calls' line and angles for a role in reporting the story. To her surprise, she gets the assignment and soon finds herself in the midst of the investigation. Through a combination of luck and hard work, Annika gains some insights into the case--tracking down facts that give her newspaper several scoops--but the case is more complicated that she first believes. Somehow a longstanding government corruption case is involved, and the competitive press starts pointing the finger at Annika--insisting that she was running planted news.

    Set in Sweden and written by Swedish author Liza Marklund, STUDIO SEX feels European with a concern for international happenings that may seem, well, foreign to U.S. readers. Political intrigues play a role, and U.S. readers may be surprised by the apparent lack of privacy and protection that government officials are accorded. Marklund's insights into human reaction to death--the obsessive grief of many who barely knew the victim yet are now seeking a connection with her--ring true. Annika's battle with journalistic ethics--balancing respect for the dead and their families against the public's right to information--reflects the larger story.

    The fundamental story of Studio Sex is that of the growing maturation of Annika as she battles her own demons and tries to get at the truth behind the death of the haunted victim. Marklund's paragraph introductions, showing a young woman's descent into sexual domination and abuse add a texture to the novel--a texture that strengthens rather than distracting from the story.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 11/07/02

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