Anxious People–with some twists

Anxious People

By Fredrik Bachman

Published 2020

Read June 2021

This is delightful book.  Part mystery.  Part drama.  Part comedy.  The author has a dry sense of humor and a wonderful understanding of human nature. 

A person desperate to get enough cash to rent an apartment so that they don’t lose partial custody of their kids following a divorce decides to rob a bank—with the intention of returning the money at some point.  Unfortunately, the bank is a “modern” one that doesn’t use cash so that plan fails.  During the subsequent police chase the robber stumbles into an apartment in the midst of a real estate open house and the attendees become hostages.  Except that was not the robber’s intention. 

Over the course of the novel, we meet and learn about the robber, each of the hostages, and the two police that are trying to work the hostage crisis while the person from Stockholm assigned to lead the situation is stuck in traffic. The characters are quite a collection with a nice range of turmoil happening in each of their lives and we learn that their situation is not as it seems.  The novel shifts back and forth between interviews by the police of the various hostages after their release and the forward moving story in the apartment. 

The structure is great.  The characters are wonderfully messy.  The story has some twists and turns and, in the end, some commentary on how we perceive ourselves and each other. 

Bravo Fredrik Bachman!  Keep writing!

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