The Believer

Joakim Zander’s latest work, “The Believer,” is a follow up to his previous novel, “The Swimmer.” (Harper, 378 pages)

Yasmine Ajam and her family had fled the turbulence of the Middle East to begin life in Sweden, settling in the less affluent Bergort district of Stockholm which

is home to many immigrants.

For Muslims, integration into Swedish society is difficult. For Yasmine, this meant leaving Sweden and the rough neighborhood of Bergort to begin a new life in New York.

But for her brother Fadi, things were even worse; a charismatic Imam recruited the social outcast to go to Syria and fight for ISIS. Fadi’s dreams of jihad ended in a fatal drone strike.

One day, Yasmine receives a picture of Fadi in their old Bergort neighborhood, which prompts her to go back to Sweden and find out what has happened to her dear brother.

She is shocked when she uncovers weapons hidden under the floor of his old bedroom. Convinced that her brother is still involved in jihad, Yasmine vows to save him.

Klara Walldeen, a character from Zander’s earlier book, “The Swimmer,” is still deeply shaken from the terrifying ordeal she suffered following the death of her former lover, Mahmoud Shammosh.

As she tries to put her life in order, she has taken a position with a human rights institute in London and is preparing a paper for the European Union concerning the privatization of police forces.

One night after a bit too much wine in a local pub, she finds that her computer was stolen. As Klara tries to solve the mystery surrounding her missing computer, she suspects that one of her colleagues was involved in the theft.

Things turn deadly when she witnesses this co-worker being killed in the subway. In a twist of fate, the paths of Yasmine and Klara cross, and the pair find themselves embroiled in the war on terror.

Joakim Zander’s latest work reads like a cross between a spy novel and a commentary on the war on terror.