The first book in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series
I've watched my fair share of Scandinavian crime dramas so I had high hopes for this novel. Im not sure if they were met or not to be honest.
This is the story of a murder and drugs and insanity in downtown Oslo. I did appreciate all the little details of places in Oslo so this became a kind of travel book as well. There are three main characters in this novel; Karen Borg, a lawyer, and police officers Hakon Larsen and Hanne Wilhelmsen. Multiple crimes are linked together with dastardly lawyers turned criminal and the Norwegian population apparently swimming in drugs.
This is not a fast paced book; it trundles along at a leisurely pace. We also gain the inner workings of the police officers having a somewhat one sided love affair and we have the pleasing piece of diversity in the shape of a terrific lawyer being a lesbian, but its pretty standard stuff.
But it bothered me that the crime was impossible to crack, not because of great writing, rather because not all the players in the game were named somewhere along the line. A good crime novel leaves little bits of clues scattered all through the text so that, if you are sharp, you can piece the mystery together. Its not until the dying pages of this book that the character who was the kingpin in this mystery was revealed. It should be in the retrospect that the reader can see clearly who done it, not discovering something vital being kept under cover to make the apparent plot twist something to end all plot twists.
Apart from this 'minor' issue, I enjoyed this book and will probably get more in the series, if for no other reason than to see where the love affair ends up.
Could have been a lovely 200 page book. Sadly the other 150 pages are backstories on characters that have no relevance to the plot or outcome, strange dreams of no import, and details for the sake of details. Not nearly as good or as interesting as earlier works, and the plot is a rip off of an actual US politic scandal.
A Norwegian crime novel set in Oslo, this first Hanne Wilhelmsen novel explores the fictional world of drugs, crime and corruption in Norway. Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is appointed to investigate the Dutchman's case and the investigation leads all the way up to the highest ranks of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice. While containing a formulaic plot similar to other crime novels, author Anne Holt sets herself apart by commanding excellent characterization, legal analysis and Norwegian personality. Readers of crime fiction will surely enjoy this addition with a Norwegian twist.
I enjoyed this book set in Scandanavia - nice to read mystery from other country, as with Henning Mankell style. Clean, clear writing, good detail, look fwd to more.
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