Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is a unique tale of a bank robbery gone amok, and so much more. It is an advanced reader’s copy that I recently received in the mail. I chose this book from the box first because I remember enjoying A Man Called Ove (another title by this author).
We learn a bit about the bank robber’s background to understand what drove him/her to resort to robbery. When the robbery gets botched, he/she inadvertently ends up running into an apartment’s open house event, which turns the robbery into a hostage situation.
Officers Jack and his dad Jim are on the case. Jack is working hard to prove himself, but it seems that every witness is intent on giving him the run around.
We discover more about the officers, while each person/couple viewing the apartment has their own tale to share too (some more riveting than others). I was most interested in Zara, an extremely wealthy banker who attends these open houses to see what the other half live like. In actuality, she is haunted by a man who jumped to his death from a local bridge years ago. Unfortunately, we never get to read the note that she carries around in her purse. The same man on the bridge has impacted police officer Jack and hostage Estelle. Life connects us in unknown ways.
The characters’ interactions are both comical and poignant. Oddly, I had a sense of the movies “Clue” and “The Breakfast Club,” in that strangers are brought together with a farcical element. Yet, among the comedy and idiocy is a serious note: a message of second chances, humanity and grace.