Book Review #4: Marked For Life by Emelie Schepp

marked for life


Title: Marked For Life (Jana Berzelius #1)

Author: Emelie Schepp

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller



When a high-ranking head of the migration board is found shot to death in his living room, there is no shortage of suspects, including his wife. But no one expects to find the mysterious child-sized handprint in the childless home.

Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius steps in to lead the investigation. Young and brilliant but emotionally cold, Berzelius, like her famous prosecutor father, won’t be swayed by the hysterical widow or intimidated by the threatening letters the victim had tried to hide. Jana is steely, aloof, impenetrable. That is, until the boy…

A few days later on a nearby deserted shoreline, the body of a preteen boy is discovered, and with him, the murder weapon that killed him and the original victim. Berzelius is drawn more deeply into the case for as she attends his autopsy, she recognizes something strangely familiar in his small, scarred, heroin-riddled body. Cut deep into his flesh are initials that scream child trafficking and trigger in her a flash of memory of her own dark, fear-ridden past. Her connection to this boy has been carved with deliberation and malice that penetrate to her very core.

Now, to protect her own hidden past, she must find the suspect behind these murders, before the police do. 


Marked For Life is a simple police procedural turned race-against-time thriller. The case seems simple. There’s a murder to solve. But the strange part of the murder is the fingerprints of a child found among the clues, when there are no children in the household. The beginning here is slow in pace. But then, a second body of a boy turns up, along with the murder weapon of the earlier crime. It is here when we start getting an idea of what the story is about. Once you find out about our protagonist Jana’s connection with the case, things start to pace up faster. Now the story is a race against time, where Jana has to find the answers before the police does or else the consequences would be catastrophic with Jana’s secret past coming out in the open. Jana’s take on the investigation is addictive and enthralling. The way she goes about things, trying to stay a step ahead, makes you keep turning the pages. The perspective of the “unnamed girl” also adds flavour to the story and gives a view of the other side of the story, making it all the more interesting. The first book in a trilogy, Marked For Life has made a good impact on me. Now all I want is to get my hands on the second book, Marked for Revenge, soon and see what more Jana has in store for me.


Final Verdict:

A total must read, Marked For Life by Emelie Schepp gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.


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