Oslo Blues

Anne Holt, 1222 (2007, translated by Marlaine Delargy)

Anne Holt, Salige er de som tørster (Blessed Are Those Who Thirst, 1994, translated by Anne Bruce)

Anne Holt, Demonens død (Death of the Demon, 1995, translated by Anne Bruce)

Anne Holt and Berit Reiss-Andersen, Løvens gap (The Lion’s Mouth, 1997, translated by Anne Bruce)

I prefer, where possible, to read series in order — but not all novels necessarily get translated and I found a copy of 1222 so figured I should go for it, although this is several titles after the first. So, the detective Hanne Wilhelmsen is in a wheelchair, she seems to have split from her girlfriend and a minor character has been killed off. I’ve missed a lot.

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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.
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Not to Be Confused with Da Vinci

Jørn Lier Horst, The Katharina Code (2017, Katharina-koden, translated by Anne Bruce, 2018)

katharina codeSo here we have a definite shift – the earlier Wisting novels came from small press Sandstone, but this book marks a move for Lier Horst to Penguin and the embracing of cliché du jour “figure walking away from us into snowy forest” book cover. The scene could be snowy, but the novel is set in October and not late enough that a fishing trip at a cabin isn’t practical. I note that Jørn Lier Horst’s name is smaller than the novel’s title, so he isn’t yet being sold on that.

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From Dusk til Dawn

Jørn Lier Horst, When It Grows Dark (2016, Når Det Mørkner, translated by Anne Bruce, 2016)

When It Grows DarkSo, I wonder if Lier Horst has painted himself into a corner – it seems as if he’s producing a Wisting novel every year and – spoiler – Wisting’s daughter Line has had a daughter at the end of Ordeal. The pattern of Wisting’s investigation intersecting with Line’s journalism (but it takes most of the novel for a police officer and a journalist to spot this) is likely disrupted by baby Ingrid being in a sling. Indeed, I think Line only has a cameo in this volume, which I suspect we’d call a novelette in sf terms.

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The Real Ordeal

Jørn Lier Horst, Ordeal (2015, Blindgang, translated by Anne Bruce, 2016)
Ordeal“As a criminal investigator, I have never believed in coincidence. There are always explanations. Patterns, threads and logical connections. […] But I must admit that there is a place for coincidences in life, outwith the rules laid down by the laws of nature and described by the province of science.”

Coincidence and synchronicity, especially the former, reverberate through the Wisting series. William Wisting is investigating a case that impinges on an old case or is struggling after a case has gone cold and his daughter, Line Wisting is investigating a death or something criminally related. It takes most of the book for a detective and a journalist to work it out, even if it is blindingly obvious to we, the oh so wise reader. Continue reading →

Deep Cover

Jørn Lier Horst, The Caveman (2013, Hulemannen, translated by Anne Bruce, 2015)

cavemanI hesitate to invoke the f-word.

I come to this having watched Wisting, and this has a strong family resemblance to the source novel in episodes 1-5, even though The Hunting Dogs (episodes 6-10) comes earlier in the sequence. Is it faithful to the book? The FBI come in to help Larvik’s police force in solving the murder of an American tourist, and I was certainly intrigued to see how FBI Special Agent Maggie Griffin (Carrie-Anne Moss) came across on the page. Continue reading →