Last Updated on February 7, 2019 Joakim Zander is a Swedish author and lawyer, best known for his Klara Walldéen spy thriller series, which currently includes three books, all translated into English.
Here are the Joakim Zander books in order for his Klara Walldéen series.
Klara Walldéen Series In Order
- The Swimmer (Klara Walldéen #1) – published in Swedish in 2013 under the title Simmaren, translated to English in 2014
- The Believer (Klara Walldéen #2) – published in Swedish in 2015 under the title Orten, translated to English in 2016
- The Friend (Klara Walldéen #3) – published in Swedish in 2017 under the title Vännen, translated to English in 2019
About Joakim Zander
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1975, Joakim Zander (website) grew up in the small town of Söderköping, on the east coast of Sweden.
Even as a child, Joakim wanted to become a writer, and he knew he would be one at some point.
At the age of 15, he moved to Damascus, Syria, with his parents when his father started working for the United Nations in the Middle East. He lived there for almost a year, after which he went to Israel for a year, followed by the US, where he was a high-school exchange student.
Around the age of 18, he wanted to write books, but he was not sure he could do it, so he went to study law.
Once he left the Swedish Army after finishing this military service, he enrolled as a law student at Uppsala University from where he earned his Master of Laws degree (juris kandidat), after which he went to the Maastricht University where he got his Ph.D. in law.
During his law studies, he wrote a dissertation which appeared in the Cambridge University Press titled The Application of the Precautionary Principle in Practice, a paper which earned him the Rabobank Prize.
Being a lawyer by trade, he worked for several years the European Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Now he is a full-time writer, having left the law business behind in 2015.
His debut novel, The Swimmer, published in 2013, has gained instant popularity and it was published and read all over the world. The Swimmer is the first book in the Klara Walldéen series, which currently includes 3 books, with a third titled The Friend, published in 2019.
The Swimmer is an exciting spy thriller introducing Klara Walldéen, who was orphaned as a child and was subsequently raised by her grandparents in a remote area in Sweden. As a grown woman she is now working in Brussels as a political aide to the Swedish representative to the EU.
When her ex-lover Mahmoud Shammosh comes across sensitive information, on Christmas Eve, Klara is dragged into a very dangerous situation that turns into a heavy chase across Europe, where escaping from killers who would do anything to keep their secret is paramount.
We also meet a retired spy, who learning about Klara, becomes entangled into the whole situation. Is he now a friend or foe?
The second book in the series, The Believer, we meet Yasmine Ajam, who left Sweden five years ago and moved to New York to reinvent herself. When she learns that her beloved brother, Fadi, has been killed in Syria, but then she learns about him being spotted in some photos. She becomes convinced that Fadi is still alive, and she makes her way back to Sweden to try to locate him.
In the meantime, Klara now works as a researcher in London at a human rights research institute, focusing on the prediction of how privatization of police force will impact the world. She is going back to Stockholm for her presentation on the topic when her laptop is stolen and she sees one of her colleagues being pushed in front of the subway train. Through all this ordeal, she meets Yasmine, and she learns that someone she trusted turns out to be involved in shady things.
The book’s topic is contemporary, touching on ISIS, innocence, revenge, and love.
One of the ideas in the book – Fadi to be sent undercover to the jihadists by the CIA came actually from a real case when a Swedish guy joined the Jihad and later said that the CIA pushed him to infiltrate them. Of course, the CIA denied, but there are hints that the story could be true.
The Friend, published in 2019, is about a young Swedish guy, Jacob Seger, who begins working in Lebanon in the area of international diplomacy at the embasy, is full of dreams about changing the world for the better. Right until, three weeks later, when he sees newspapers full of his name pictures of his face, in relation to terrorism. Suddenly, he is a wanted man, and all he can do to stay alive is escape Beirut.
Before all this happened, he met Yassim, a political photograph, with whom he started a homosexual relationship. Could Yassim have anything to do with Jacob’s downfall, and if yes, in what way?
Meanwhile, Klara Walldéen had to bury her grandfather, and her friend, Gabriella, is helping her get through it all. Except that Gabriella seems to be mentally somewhere else, preoccupied. When the next morning Gabriella is arrested, Klara gets a message that if anything happened to Gabriella, Klara must meet an informant. Thus, Klara and Jabob’s fate intertwine in an action-packed series of events around terrorism and the Middle East, a topic which so far all three Jacob Zander books have in common.
The three books are apparently part of a trilogy, so The Friend is the last book in the Klara Walldéen series. The author’s debut novel, The Swimmer, was sold in over 30 countries, turning Joakim Zander into a bestselling author all over the world.
A father of two children, Joakim Zander lives currently in Lund, Sweden, where he is working on his next book.