Seeking to ride on the coat-tails of the Millennium trilogy - it's billed as being by the same producers, although only one of the dozen or so involved in the earlier films is credited - the newest crime thriller out of Sweden has a journalist protagonist very different from Mikael Blomkvist.

Annika Bengtzon is the heroine of eight books (this is the sixth) by best-selling novelist Liza Marklund.

The film version is a routine, though nimble and crisp, procedural. Bengtzon (the pretty, leggy Crepin recalls a young Nicole Kidman) attends a ball after the Nobel banquet at which the laureate - a scientist whose research into stem cells has made him enemies - is shot and wounded and his dance partner, a high-ranking member of the Nobel Committee, is shot dead.

Gagged from writing about the case because she's a witness, Bengtzon digs around the edges, following a hunch that the scientist was not the target.


It's fair to say the slightly far-fetched story works better in the telling than the tale, certainly on screen. The very trim running time fits with the makers' ambition for TV sales - five more books are slated for small-screen adaptations - but it delivers a pacy and enjoyable watch.

And it achieves what so few thrillers do - creating a plausible newsroom: the news editor on deadline who bellows at the illustrations desk "I need some blood here" may not be pretty, but he's true to life.

Stars: 3.5/5
Cast: Malin Crepin, Per Grafmann, Anna von Rosen
Director: Peter Flinth
Rating: M (violence, nudity)
Running time: 89 mins - In Swedish with English subtitles
Verdict: Nimble and pacy journo-vs-killer thriller.