The Caveman, by Jorn Lier Horst

Four stars (of five)

In his latest novel to cross the language barrier into English, Horst dazzles readers yet again. With the holiday season upon him, William Wisting is taking account of the passing year and what is to come. After man’s body is found in his own home four months after he’s expired, Line Wisting seeks to personalise the man and bring her father up to speed. Both Wistings recollect the man as a neighbour from years ago, saddened that his isolation may have played a role in the delayed discovery. Inspector Wisting is pulled into action when a man’s dissicated body is found under a Christmas tree lot in a wooded area. His identity is only made with fingerprint analysis on a document inside his pocket. The man turns out to be from the FBI’s Most Wanted List from decades ago, accused of multiple murders. Can Wisting and his team work with American authorities to close the case, and how does Line’s story tie into the larger picture? Unravelling the mysteries of both men in their respective spheres may prove essential. Yet another stellar piece of work, which paves the way for ongoing success at Horst’s hands.

Horst uses key ideas and pushes the story forward in an exciting and succinct fashion. That his novels are penned in a language other than English and yet prove to be so powerful baffles me. By saying that, I mean not that English is the only language in which the reader ought to read, but that they flow so well in English, even if they were not originally intended for such an audience. While the translator is due some praise, it is also on Horst that his stories run so smoothly that their translation does not dampen the level of thrill for readers. I can only wonder if Norwegians who read some English-penned thrillers wonder how we can consume such drivel. Horst’s novels keep getting better and this only feeds the fodder that the original five novels in the series really need English rights to show their wonderful foundation-creating depiction of Wisting and the rest of the gang.

Kudos, Mr. Horst for another wonderful addition to the William Wisting collection. I am eager to see how you will top this with another wonderful adventure!