If you go by the title* and look forward to some overheated emotions and romantic squabbles, you’re out of luck because this is just a thriller; there’s hardly any love in it—numerically expressed, precisely: 0.
There isn’t really a classic crime thread (whodunit) in it. You can follow the power struggle between two criminal interest groups and the investigation of the police looking into one of the companies. Moreover, there are too many characters introduced at the beginning, making it difficult to follow the parallel events. But then the picture becomes clearer.
On another note, it’s challenging to connect with the main characters since each of them seems a bit bland. The blandest of them all is Hector, the Andalusian lover himself. In the second half of Söderberg’s book, the balance shifts, and the least sympathetic characters take center stage. The police also handle the investigation increasingly strangely, so you can only look at it with suspicion: Something is rotten in the state of Swedenmark. Several threads simply disappear into thin air (e.g., Jens, one of the best characters), and if you pay close attention, you may notice that the motivations of several characters are questionable, to say the least. (Hector’s decision regarding Sophie seems completely contrived.)
However, if you don’t pay closer attention, you’ll get a reasonably average but fair crime novel, and it’s guaranteed that if you reach the end, you’ll be interested enough in the fate of the characters to grab the next volume.
The Andalucian Friend (Brinkmann Trilogy #1) by Alexander Söderberg
464 pages, Paperback
Published May 1, 2014 by Vintage
* The Andalusian Friend was published in Hungary as Andalusian Lover.