ORIGINAL TITLE: Åtta månader
AUTHOR: Magnus Montelius
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Albert Bonniers förlag
GENRE: Current Books, Fiction
Eight months is a thriller about power and the people who are prepared to do anything to conquer it. A story about modern influence operations and their impact on politics, media and the moral choices of the people they are targeting.
After a tip off from a source, journalist Nina Wedén publishes the scoop of the year, exposing Sweden’s Foreign Minister as a sex client. When the minister resigns the charismatic but inexperienced Jacob Weiss is appointed as his successor. To her astonishment, Nina Wedén is offered the position of press secretary to Weiss. Now she has to use all her investigative talents to protect the new minister. But who is really in charge in the corridors of power? Nina begins to question everything, even her own scoop.
At the same time, political consultant Max Boije suddenly has all his assignments cancelled, and messages to his influential contacts are left unreturned. Is it because of the eight-month gap he discovered when researching Jacob Weiss’s past? When one of his sources is found murdered, Max realizes that he has stumbled on a secret that someone finds worth killing for.
Max Boije now has to search for the truth at the very top of the political hierarchy.
And Nina dials the number she has been instructed to use only in case of absolute emergency.
”The plot progresses mercilessly towards an ending that the reader may well recognize the contours of. But that's part of the game, because what is interesting is the uncovering of the power play in central Swedish government circles.
Four years after Guillou completed his Coq Rouge series, Magnus Montelius debuted in 2012 with "The Man from Albania", a story of agents and political intrigue in a league of its own.
Now, seven years later, we have a new Montelius that lives up to the debut qualities.”
Jyllandsposten, 5/6 stars
"It is an incessantly intriguing story, with loads of unexpected twists and turns, all of which author Magnus Montelius skillfully masters. He build interesting characters where power merely is one of the propelling forces - although often the main one - but in his fed up Prime Minister and corrupt consultant there is also room for self doubt, dreams, and visions."
"This is thrilling at the very top of the political ladder with strong connections to pressing topics such as Russian intrusion and Swedish homeland security.
It is a true page-turner and one is lead to believe that there might be a sequel. I am keeping my fingers crossed for it to be so. And for not having to wait eight years this time."
"It’s a rare gift, being able to make politics breathtakingly thrilling. Magnus Montelius shows that he has that gift in EIGHT MONTHS.
It is incredibly smartly told, with tiny, almost invisible events that turns up the tension until it borders unbearable. This is a second book well worth the wait."
"A novel can turn into fluorescent word art when well written. In this case, it’s about power, moral and money, what it does to a person’s life and conscience and it’s terrifically well depicted."
"An ambitious spy novel with a strong sense of now"
"The environmental advisor Magnus Montelius had his big breakthrough in 2011 with the critically acclaimed debut novel The Man from Albania. Now he is back with a political thriller.
The freelancing and largely unsuccessful journalist Nina Wedén exposes the Foreign Minister as a sex client. No one is more surprised than her when she is offered the job of press secretary to the new Foreign Minister. At the same time, one of political consultant Max Boije’s sources is murdered. He appears to have come a little too close to the truth. What is really going on in the corridors of power?
With Eight Months, Montelius proves that the success of his debut novel was no coincidence. This novel, too, is a well-written and entertaining political thriller. The plot is refreshingly unpredictable, which makes reading a pleasure. Eight Months is a brilliant novel in its genre. It simply cannot get any better than this. Overall rating: 5 out of 5."
"In Eight Months a murder is committed, but the violence is far removed from the reader. Nonetheless, the atmosphere quickly becomes creepy in classic Hitchcock fashion, with a growing sense of unease that something is going on behind the scenes. Someone is pulling the strings but one can’t understand who ... It is incredibly elegantly narrated, with little, almost imperceptible incidents that turn up the suspense to the limit of what is bearable. This is a second novel that was worth waiting for."
"Montelius stirs an interesting cocktail of the Social Democrats’ desperate need for a new political star, Russian meddling, and compliant media ... Montelius has a somber style, which is delightful ... [An] ambitious spy novel with strong contemporary features."
"This is suspense at the highest political level, with strong links to topical issues such as Russian meddling attempts and Swedish national security policy. And just like The Man from Albania, Eight Monthsis immersive. It is a true single-sit read. Furthermore, one suspects that there will be a sequel. I’m keeping all my fingers crossed for that."
"Magnus Montelius has written a well-composed political thriller about power and foul play, that is also about people with dreams and ideals. ... It is an incessantly suspenseful story with many unexpected twists, all of which the author fully commands. He constructs interesting characters, for whom power is one of many driving forces – albeit often the primary one. In his tired Prime Minister and corrupt consultant there is also room for self-doubt, dreams and visions. In terms of prose, Montelius is effective, with enviable drive”
"Eight years ago, Magnus Montelius made his debut with The Man from Albania. At the time, it didn’t attract much attention. But over the years it has almost gotten the status of a classic. In particular the deeply original plot. But also the dialogue, the character depiction, the prose ... It is best compared to the experience of reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jens Lapidus’ Easy Moneyand Malin Persson Giolito’s Quicksand. The feeling that a significant new authorship in the suspense genre has emerged."
"Instead, read the excellent political spy novel Eight Months ... Montelius deftly leads us into the corridors of power, produces credible scenes, and offers vivid personal portraits. It is a suspenseful story that is patiently told without ever losing pace or drive. Here, no one can be trusted – a perfect setting for a spy story. The only thing you can be sure of is that the language won’t stab you in the back; the prose maintains an impressively high level from start to finish without distracting from the story."
"Montelius has written a complex novel, a thriller with many layers, a depiction of power’s corrupting impact. A spy novel of the same caliber as the very best, such as John le Carré and Len Deighton. But he writes in his own voice."
"A fantastic political thriller that captures much of what is happening in Sweden and the world right now. A well-written text and skillfully composed web in which multiple mundane, true or probable, threads are woven into something implausibly terrifying, which we as readers nevertheless perceive as perfectly possible. Eight Monthsis an unusual flower in the Swedish flora of suspense novels. There are occasional attempts at political thrillers and spy thrillers, but few attain this level ... ... a really, really good story. Strong characters, a skillfully constructed plot, excellent prose and taut suspense."
"From the very first page, Montelius manages to captivate me ... The pace is high and the plot well-thought-out. ... entertaining and captivating throughout."
"Remarkably well-written and so incredibly suspenseful ... After eight years, [Montelius] returns with a book that is, if possible, even better ... It is very elegantly written and one doesn’t understand who is pulling the strings up until the downright phenomenal ending."
"He doesn't disappoint his readers ... This is an incredibly suspenseful, uncomfortably topical political thriller, written with drive and stylistic acuity."
"A genuinely suspenseful political thriller from the Swedish corridors of power.”
"Magnus Montelius skillfully leads the reader around the labyrinth of politics. The surprises are many and none of the things that seemed obvious at the beginning of the book remain so upon its conclusion. Who can be trusted? What can power do to people? If this is how things are done in the dark corners of politics, what is the point of voting or caring at all? With his second book, Magnus Montelius comes into his own as one of our finest thriller writers, and I really hope it won’t take another eight years for his next book to reach the bookshops. Rating: 5 out of 5"
"Another author who has raised my spirits recently is Magnus Montelius. [Eight Months] is a political thriller about the most impenetrable and maze-like corridors of power. It is the story of an extraordinarily charming psychopath with delusions of grandeur, surrounded by all the usual sycophantic men and women, and who, just in case, has also engaged Russian operatives in order to realize his political ambitions.
[It is] deftly composed and ceaselessly suspenseful while also provoking a thought or two, at least in my mind. Unlike Montelius, I have actually spent a number of years in Rosenbad [Swedish Government HQ], so how accurate is his description of the Swedish political establishment? Not particularly, I would say, which nonetheless is completely irrelevant in view of the fictitious description that he offers. Literary entertainment at its best."
Leif GW Persson
Niels Krause-Kjær, Danish author
Danish rights sold to Modtryk
Film rights sold to Anagram