My thanks to Anne Cater, for including me in this blog tour – and what a book this is. Death Deserved is like a truly unstoppable force, Horst and Enger make an incredible pairing and have written an outstanding piece of crime thriller, published of course, by Orenda Books, a leader of translated works of this field.
The Blurb – Death Deserved
Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm
never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.
Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing- persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of
a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…
Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flair for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.
Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it ….
Our Authors – Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger
Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense. Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. Death Deserved is Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger’s first co-written thriller.
Translated from Norwegian by Anne Bruce – who had degrees in Norwegian and English from Glasgow University – written and spoken Norwegian, as well as Old Norse `Icelandic, Swedish, and Danish.
My Review – Death Deserved
An intense, taut and structured book, with details and characters that go that bit further into your mind, so far that they really pull you into the story. Which is fast paced and compelling to the very last page.
This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of books for Alexander Blix – he is the embodiment of a true police officer, he’s thorough, concise and astute. He follows his instinct and it’s got him into some near misses over the years, he’s older now, but still as engaged in his profession as he ever was.
This time he’s ‘partnered’ up with a rookie, in the shape of Sofia Kovic. Luckily for him, she’s a quick learner and doesn’t need guiding over ever little instruction, she’s pro-active and energetic and keen to get stuck into what starts out as a missing person and soon becomes a hunt for a serial killer.
There’s also Emma Ramm, a journalist who covers celebrity news who works for News.No. She’s covering the release of Sonja Nordstrøm’s new autobiography Always Number One, except Sonja doesn’t show up for any of her TV or radios interviews that morning and Emma becomes suspicious, that this is very unlike Sonja to avoid publicity, having been number one for many years, a sporting hero to thousands over a number of years, since she was 11. And her book has already caused controversy by naming and shaming several of her competitors and even her coach. Where is she?
Emma’s keen to get on in the journalism world and so goes to Sonja’s house, only to find it open and what seems to be signs of a struggle – she calls the police and Blix and Kovic get sent straight out, to the scene. Blix seems to feel an affinity with Ramm and the pair start to contact each other, Ramm runs the pieces in the paper and soon she’s covering the piece, with Blix drip feeding her information. But theres already a crime writer at the newspaper Henrik Wollan and he’s not so keen to share the stories or the glory on this one.
Theres is a whole myriad of characters along side Blix and Ramm, as you would expect in a police procedural, pathologists, forensics, this is big news, a national hero goes missing, everyone wants to be involved. Except for Stian Josefson – the ghost writer on Nordstrøm’s book and he’s hauled in for questioning along side a few others.
But not before a body is found, but it’s not Sonja, it’s another celebrity in the shape of Danish footballer Jeppe Sorenson. Now I’m not one to give away spoilers – but the deaths seem linked. Pretty soon the death toll is upped again and again, all in the space of 48 hours. Blix works out who the possible killer is, but they can’t find them, he’s one step ahead and knows it.
Meanwhile Sonja Nordstrøm is still missing, and more bodies keep being found. Emma Ramm keeps reporting and Blix is removed from the case for supplying her with information. But she involved and won’t let the cases go either. They collaborate and its not long before the killer contacts Ramm, he’s enjoying his 15 minutes of fame and wants more.
Of course, whilst all this is going on Blix’s daughter Iselin is taking part in Worthy Winner a Big Brother style game show, where she’s been on TV for the last couple of months and could win the huge prize money, being one of only 3 contestants left in the house. He feels like he’s let her down, police life is a busy one and him and her mum split up, he feels guilty about a lot of things and he’s trying hard to be in the audience when the programmes air live, but with the case it’s been tricky. Of course Emma loves that she can use this to her advantage, and if Iselin wins, wow she could get the story of the century. Which is why she’s at the live show as press. The penultimate show, when disaster strikes.
Of course I can’t not mention that this is ‘Nordic Noir’ and that its been translated from Norwegian. I have read this genre before, so to see the Norwegian words and spellings is usual and soon becomes normal, you stop trying to pronounce them and just read, especially with this book, you soon forget they are even Norwegian words or names. Orenda have a number of foreign authors and they all write amazing books that have been translated.
This is a brilliant start to a new series and for Horst and Enger to reach even more readers with more enticing Nordic Noir. A superb pairing – long may they continue to work together, as they make a great team – the meeting of minds, two heads are better than one and all that. More please chaps – a huge 5/5 from me.
Death Deserved is Taut, Fast Paced and Compelling.
@EngerThomas #JornLierHorst @OrendaBooks @annecater #DeathDeserved