The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Jonas Jonasson

On June 14th, 2007, the King and Prime Minister of Sweden went missing from a gala banquet at the Royal Castle. Later it was said that both had fallen ill: the truth is different. The real story starts much earlier, in 1961, with the birth of Nombeko Mayeki in a shack in Soweto. Nombeko was fated to grow up fast and die early in her poverty-stricken township, be it from drugs, from alcohol, or just from plain despair. But Nombeko takes a different path. She finds work as a housecleaner and eventually makes her way up to the position of chief advisor, at the helm of one of the world’s most secret projects. Here is where the story merges with, then diverges from reality. South Africa developed six nuclear missiles in the 1980s, then voluntarily dismantled them in 1994. This is a story about the seventh missile … the one that was never supposed to have existed. Nombeko Mayeki knows too much about it, and now she’s on the run from both the South African justice and the most terrifying secret service in the world. She ends up in Sweden, which has transformed into a nuclear nation, and the fate of the world now lies in Nombeko’s hands. Jonasson introduces us to a whole cast of eccentrics: a nerve-damaged American Vietnam deserter, twin brothers who are officially only one person, three careless Chinese girls, an angry young woman, a potato-growing Baroness, and the Swedish King and Prime Minister. Quirky and utterly unique, ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ is a charming and humorous account of one young woman’s unlikely adventure.

Reviews of The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

  • ‘A comic delight of love, luck and mathematics’ Daily Express

    ‘As unlikely and funny as Jonas Jonasson’s 2012 debut bestseller, “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared”’ Observer

    ‘Excellent. A drily satirical tour of the world [taking in] Swedish liberals, Colonel Gaddafi and of course, apartheid and the South African Prime Minister B J Vorster’ The Times

    ‘’Feel-good’ set to stun level’ Guardian

    ‘A funny and completely implausible farce about a woman, a bomb and a man’s frustrated ambition to overthrow the king of Sweden … The rest of the world will chuckle all the way through it’ Kirkus