Book Review: Leona: The Die Is Cast by Jenny Rogneby


Rating: 3.75  Bookworms

Short and Sweet Summary: After a seven-year-old girl robs a bank Detective Leona Lindberg is put on the case to solve the mystery.

Genre: Crime Thriller

My Review:

Should I simply tell it the way it was? That the Leona that most people knew was not me. That since I was little I had mechanically imitated other people to learn to fit in. Be accepted. That I couldn’t handle it anymore.

Leona is unlike any character that I’ve ever read before. I’m relatively new to the crime/thriller/suspense genre and it’s been a fascinating journey. Please take this review with a grain of salt because as a newbie I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I’m still getting used to the main character having no redeemable qualities, such as Leona. I believe that people generally try to find the best in others but try as I might Leona is simply not a good person. One might say that her one good characteristic is her fondness for children but at the end of the day she’ll still put her own needs above the needs of others, including her own children.

It struck me that a few years ago it would have been inconceivable for me to do what i was going to do tomorrow. I was fascinated by my capacity to adapt to new circumstances. It was a good quality. I hadn’t thought about it before. 

From the very first page you know that Leona is not happy with her lot in life. Although she’s married, has two kids, and a good job she doesn’t feel satisfied with life. Even the thrill of being a cop is gone making Leona desperate for a way out. Out of the monotonous life that she has been living and finding something thrilling. As the book goes on Leona’s actions get more and more daring to the extent that you begin to wonder when is it enough. The line between good and bad isn’t just blurred it’s miles behind her. It’s all; her family, her job, her friends; a means to an end for her. She is cold, uncaring, and selfish, and everyone is a pawn in her game.

In my good moments I thought I probably broke even. In reality, that was far from the truth. To be honest I hardly understood how it was possible to have lost so much money as I had in so little time.

In her desperate search for a thrill Leona starts playing poker and she quickly becomes addicted. Soon she has worked her way through her families savings, approximately $55,425, but nothing can deter her from getting her fix; she feels like if she can just keep playing her odds will get better. A lot of Leona’s rash behavior stems from this addiction and everything just spirals from there.

How liberating it had been to finally do something about the feeling of imprisonment that was eating me up from inside. Fighting to be true to myself. I couldn’t back out now. When I saw the stressed people walking by outside the car I was once again reminded of the meaninglessness of the life I was living. This constant struggle. To what end?

One of the repeating motifs in this book is being true to oneself. Leona feels like she has to pretend to be someone she’s not in order to fit in with modern society. She struggles everyday to keep her mask in place but now it’s starting to slip and she is ready to embrace her true self no matter what the cost. I think many people can relate to not being able to be 100% themselves sometimes. I mean hopefully people aren’t hiding a terrible side like Leona but for me I can relate because of my mental illness. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for many years and, like many people with mental illness, I’ve gotten very good at hiding it. When I’m out and about I wear a happy face until I can get alone and let the mask drop. It’s not always a struggle but I can relate to not being able to let it all hang out, if you will.

Deep down I had probably always known that an average life would be impossible to maintain. That I couldn’t cope with living within the confines of normality.

I’m really interested to see if there is going to be a sequel. This book ended in a very interesting spot in which the author could easily pick it back up again or she can let the readers come to their own wild conclusions. It’s in no way a cliff hanger but I would definitely call it an unsettled ending.

Goodreads Synopsis:

This best-selling Scandinavian thriller follows its troubled heroine as she investigates a high-profile robbery for Stockholm’s Violent Crimes Division.

Naked and bloody, a seven-year-old girl walks into a bank in central Stockholm in broad daylight and gets away with millions. Leona Lindberg of Stockholm’s Violent Crimes Division agrees to work on the case. With a long, distinguished history in the police force, she seems the perfect choice. But Leona is grappling with deep issues of her own–a gambling addiction, a strained marriage–that could jeopardize the investigation. As she struggles to keep the volatile pieces of her life under control, the line between right and wrong becomes increasingly unclear–and even irrelevant.

This is a hard-boiled crime novel, filled with unexpected twists and turns, featuring an unusual heroine. Leona makes for gripping reading while challenging feminine norms and posing questions about what lies behind the choices we make.


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Get to know Jenny Rogneby:A1SdEjgUHZL._UX250_

Jenny Rogneby is a Swedish criminologist and former criminal investigator at Stockholm City Police Department. Her work inspired her to create the character Leona and write the best-selling and internationally acclaimed crime novel Leona – The die is cast, the first in the Leona series. Her books are published in more than a dozen countries and the film rights are sold to Hollywood.

Connect with Jenny Rogneby:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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