A Palpable Hytte

Jørn Lier Horst, The Cabin (2018, Det Innerste Rommet, translated by Anne Bruce, 2019)

cabinSo, it has to be said, the original book is called something closer to The Innermost Room, rather than The Cabin, but the cabin seems to be the must-have accessory of your upper middle class Norwegian. The title, I would argue, has a certain amount of ambiguity as to [spoilers!] which room it is.

But maybe it’s Norwegianer.

Look at that snow on the cover. Not bad for a novel set in (if I recall correctly), August.

So Wisting is called upon to go to the cabin (the not innermost room) of Bernhard Clausen, former Foreign Secretary and Minister for Health, who has just died of a heart attack. That, naturally, is not a crime – but the large sum of money found in the cabin is deeply suspicious, to say the least. Clausen’s wife, Lisa, died of cancer a dozen or so years earlier, and his son, Lennart, was killed in a road accident. Was one of those responsible? Was Clausen hiding a bribe? Or money for a ransom?

Wisting calls in his favourite SoCO, Espen Mortensen, and begins an investigation – there’s a bit of a walkie talkie, odd holes drilled in the walls, a phone number, the name Daniel and finger prints on the money.

And then the cabin burns down.


Wisting and Mortensen start investigating, on the QT, and wonder if the money might be linked to an airport heist. And an old anonymous letter emerges, suggesting that Clausen was somehow connected to the disappearance of Simon Meier, on a fishing trip, an unsolved mystery. But when Wisting decides to look into that case, he discovers that Cold Case investigator Adrian Stiller has all the paperwork.

If only he knew a journalist he could persuade to poke around, and get the details out of Stiller.


Send in Line.

So, there’s a certain battle of wits, and we perhaps Wisting cross a line of correct behaviour for the first time – he doesn’t trust Stiller’s methods, but he is using them against him. He also seems to be micromanaging Line, which she doesn’t like (although I’m not at all sure that a journalist could be used this way by the police, even if she is family).

There are some other oddities – a homosexual undercurrent that doesn’t seem to quite go anywhere, and the first time (I think) it has been mentioned. Whilst Lier Horst has used apparently real addresses in the past, the politicians here appear invented (probably sensibly). And just as in The Katharina Code, Line gains a friend with a young child.


So, this brings me up to date with the series – there’s another book, The Inner Darkness, I think out in hardback, but I will wait for the paperback. These have been fun, so far, but perhaps alcoholic sociopaths are just more fun as detective.

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