Review: The Swan and The Jackal




Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyle—until he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share.

And then Seraphina was gone.

It’s been six years since Fredrik’s lover and sadistic partner in crime turned his world upside-down. Seraphina went into hiding and has eluded him ever since. Now, he’s getting closer to finding her, and an innocent woman named Cassia is the key to drawing Seraphina from the shadows. But Cassia—after sustaining injuries from a fire that Seraphina ignited—suffers from amnesia and can’t give Fredrik the information he desperately seeks. Having no other choice, Fredrik has been keeping Cassia locked in his basement as he not only tries to get her to recall her past—because she and Seraphina share it—but also to protect her from Seraphina, who clearly wants her dead.

But Cassia is a light in the darkness that Fredrik never believed existed. After a year subjected to her kindness and compassion, he finds himself struggling with his love for Seraphina, and his growing feelings for Cassia—because he knows that to love one, the other must die.

Will light win out over darkness, or will something more powerful than either further destroy an already tortured soul?

(Note: THE SWAN & THE JACKAL is NOT a New Adult title. It, and all other books in the series are categorized as Suspense/Crime/Thriller.)


“My beautiful swan. My savior and my undoing.”

Have you ever been PROUD of an author? I’ve felt many things: surprise, joy, happiness, admiration, respect, disappointment, hatred, anger. I’ve been profoundly happy for them, to see them improving book after book and to see those books getting the recognition they deserve. I’ve been happy for them, but I had never been PROUD of any one of them…till now!

PRIDE! This is THE word to describe what I’m feeling right now after reading The Swan and The Jackal by J.A. Redmerski. The third, and by far the best, in my personal opinion, book in “In the Company of Killers” series. By far one of the best books I have ever read in my life!

Proud of her courage and boldness, consistency and coherency with which she writes and tells a story, of her overcoming herself! Proud with the way she has written a story that was so unexpected with so much brilliance. Proud of her for, after a few disappointments I had with some books about secondary characters that I was looking forward to, not making me question her choices in this book! For, actually, had surpassed any expectation I could ever have! So much so that Fredrik Gustavsson is officially my second favorite character of all time! (You couldn’t possibly believe Andrew would ever lose his place, right?)

Three consecutive books that entranced me! Three releases that exceeded the insurmountable: themselves!

J.A. Redmerski is not simply a writer or an author. She is a truly storyteller. This distinction may exist just inside my crazy mind, and I do not know if you will understand me. But for me, a brilliant writer is one who has a special way with words and can put them together with perfection and harmony. A brilliant author is one who creates fantastic storylines, which has an amazing creativity. But a brilliant storyteller is one that tells a story in such a way that the reader has absolutely no doubt about anything s/he says! You do not question what s/he tells you; you do not consider other possibilities. You accept as gospel what you read or hear. And you get so caught up in the story that you cannot put it down. Few authors have these three qualities together, and even less are the ones who do it brilliantly. For me, the most difficult to find and be is to be a storyteller. Many write very well. Others are very creative. But if they cannot tell a story convincingly and that holds the attention of a reader, the rest alone will not sustain. A storyteller, in the other hand, can do the simplest plot and writing look incredible in the eyes of the reader! J. A. Redmerski has the three qualities and develops them impeccably.

She also doesn’t leave gaps in her writing. And even the small hits she sometimes drops are so subtle that even the most careful reader doesn’t realize it or, when it is noticeable, we are not sure what to do with it. Because even though the twist had already been used before, she magnificently reinvents it! It is NEVER the same!

This time the twist she gave me made me choke while its outcome led me to utterly ecstasy! PRIDE! Simple, pure, true, genuine PRIDE!

Pride describes my feeling towards her as an author, but what about the book itself? Adrenaline! Fear! Anguish! Shiver! Laughter! I laughed out loud! Pain! Confusion! Surprise! And, finally, a bittersweet taste in my mouth! As much as I know that these books are into the thriller and suspense genre and they are about assassins, and in this particularly case a sadistic one, often the very embodiment of evil, I cannot help but feel bittersweet about it. If it were any other character in the series, I would probably describe this book in one word: bliss! However, as we are talking about Fredrik, bittersweet is the only thing I can think of.

This is one of those books that we can’t talk about the plot, because it would spoil the whole surprise. I have A LOT to talk about, but not without giving all the possible spoilers I can think of. However, I can say I have a single block in readings. The ONLY thing that makes me stay away from a book and for which I have no stomach: love triangles (especially when there is cheating! And for many reasons!). But in this case, and in this book… Ohhhhhhh THIS BOOK! Fredrik… Seraphina… Cassia… A deeply and fully tormented soul. Another that manages to be even darker, but that seems to have been made solely to understand the first one. And a third one that even though is deeply hurt still holds a light inside; a light able to make the cruelest heart to beat again. Does soulmates can be divided into three? Is it possible that three hearts were made to complete each other? Is it possible to these three hearts to coexist; or one of them will be inevitably extirpated, even when we know that this will leave a huge hole in their souls?

This book is NOT for anyone. There are things that are not for any author, and there are things that were not meant for any reader. It takes courage, it takes an open mind, and we need to go beyond our limits and our comfort zone in order to read this book! I cannot deny that it requires a certain type of reader who likes this kind of story. Thank God I can face books like this, because, after all, it is books like these that make the life of a reader worth it! At least, it IS books and authors like THESE that make MY life as a reader SO worthy!

6 out of 5 stars… OH YEAH! And also 6 out of 5 bittersweet hearts!

By Fernanda Aragão


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4 pensamentos sobre “Review: The Swan and The Jackal

  1. Ah, se eu soubesse ler em inglês, não dependeria de editora brasileira nenhuma pra ler… No começo, eu não sabia exatamente do que essa série ”tratava”. Sei lá, até hoje acho estranha. Acho que só lendo pra entender, né?


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