The Redeemer

Jo Nesbo’s The Redeemer is a true Harry Hole novel. Lots of thumbing his nose as his superiors while he fights off his desire for alcohol and following the clues wherever they lead him. He is a moral crime fighter trying to make sure the bad guys are found, but the punishment may not be what society would recommend. In this novel, there’s several character storylines that intertwine and its hard to tell who’s done which deeds. In the end, Harry makes a choice that while moral on one hand, lets a murder occur and a murderer escape.

Gripping read.

Read December 2018

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Dregs

Jorn Lier Horst’s Dregs finds Police Inspector William Wisting investigating left feet that wash up on the shores. Several people went missing months ago, some connected to each other, some not, and Wisting needs to find the connections.

The story behind the murders is decades old and shows the patience and treachery people can be capable of.

Slow read.

Read July 2018

Hour of the Wolf

Hakan Nesser allows us insight into the murderer’s mind in the Hour of the Wolf when we see the first accidental murder and the following cover-ups to hide the crime. Alongside the murderer, we follow the investigation led by Chief Inspector Reinhart, Van Veeteren’s successor. When Van Veeteren’s son turns up murdered and left in a ditch, the whole team must work tirelessly to find their mentor’s son’s killer.

The murdered confounds the police since the crimes are not decisively connected. The first murder seems completely unrelated but is the key to understanding what happened and what will happen. Van Veeteren must also come to terms with his son’s past and how it connected to his murder. The key to understanding the crime comes from him with his ability to look into a criminal’s thought process to deduce the reasoning behind the crimes.

Good read.

Read October 2017

 

broken verses

In broken verses, there are two essential relationships. Pakistani’s greatest poet and his muse, as well as the muse’s relationship with her daughter. The story is told from the daughter’s perspective, years after the poet was murdered by government thugs and her mother went missing. Aasmani has never recovered from her mother’s desertions after the poet’s death, nor the many, many times she left her when he poet was exiled.

Through letters written in the poet’s secret code, Aasmani tries to unravel the mystery behind the poet’s death and her mother’s desertion. Having believed that the only ones who knew the code were dead, Aasmani doesn’t know what to make of the letters until she starts to believe one or the other didn’t die. Her current romance and her relationship with her family become strained as Aasmani investigates the source of the letters and confusion builds as more letters are received.

Beautifully, poetically written.

Read June 2017

The Cold Song

Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song tells the story of a family unravelling. Siri, a well known chef; John, a novelist with writer’s block; Jenny, Siri’s mother; young kids in the house and neighborhood; and the nanny. The stories of the characters intertwine and change from blaming themselves to blaming each other. What happens to an already disruptive family when the nanny, a beautiful young woman, ends up missing after a birthday party for Jenny. A party Siri plans but no one else wants.

Is it the philandering husband? The jealous wife? The alcoholic grandmother? One of the children? Or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time? The narrative weaves the guilt of each person and their relationships until we finally learn what happened.

This was a slow read for me, but I think the pacing of the book is meant to mimic the coldness in the family. When no one can trust or talk to one another, a frigidness and slowness seeps in.

Read November 2016.

The Dead of Summer

Its been a hectic time here in my life. This and the next couple of books were read slowly, in between lots of homework and crazy schedules. I couldn’t find the time or head space to read very often, so each of the next 3 books were read over weeks, which is unlike me. I blame me, not the novelist.

The Dead of Summer, by Mari Jungstedt is about murders that are well planned and executed for an unknown reason. At first, assistant Karin Jacobsson is given the job to begin the investigation, but her boss, Anders Knutas returns from vacation to take over. There is some resentment, but that doesn’t deter Jacobsson from her investigation. Intermingled with the present day investigation, is the story of a German family who vacationed on the Baltic Sea many years ago.

It isn’t until the motive for the murders is revealed can we understand the reason for the backstory. This was a good mystery with all the clues planted in plain sight, but it isn’t until the final connection is made can we, and Jacobsson, understand what happened.

Read November 2016.