Having long been a fan of Jørn Lier Horst, I wa pleased when his newest book came across my virtual desk. Horst has developed the William Wisting series and dazzled readers for many years, with an attention to detail and complex cases that boil down to a simple fact. This ‘series within a series’, in which Wisting explores some cold cases, serves to entertain readers just as much as any other book with Wisting in the protagonist role. A long and storied career with the police has helped William Wisting earn a great reputation amongst his colleagues. After being summoned to meet with the Director General of Public Prosecutions, Wisting is sent on a covert mission on the outskirts of Oslo. After the death of Bernhard Clausen, a prominent Norwegian politician, someone discovered a large cache of money on the property, neatly packed away in a few bags. Wisting must determine the origin of this money and do so before the press gets wind of anything. When Wisting arrives, he discovers a massive amount of cash in various demonization and currencies, which raises a red flag for him. As Wisting tries to learn a little more about Clausen, Wisting uncovers that a freak motorbike accident took the life of Clausen’s adult son a number of years ago. Even more interesting, one of the son’s friends died in a freak drowning around the same time. Calling upon his journalist daughter, Line, to assist, Wisting discovers that there might be more to the story than a simple drowning. He also makes a loose connection between the discovered money and a robbery, but not before someone burns the cabin to the ground. Wisting is left to wonder whether he is opening too many old wounds, especially when he feels he can connect the money to the deaths in some way. When Line and her young daughter are threatened, Wisting knows he’s onto something, but cannot justify giving it all up just yet. What secrets did Bernard Clausen possess and how might things unravel into a homicide investigation? Horst spins another wonderful story and keeps the reader wanting to know more in this second ‘cold case’ quartet. Recommended to those who have long enjoy Horst’s writing, as well as the reader who find enjoyment in Scandinavian police procedurals.
I can always rely on a great read when picking up a book by Jørn Lier Horst. His novels pack a wonderful punch and keep the reader constantly thinking while they are entertained. William Wisting has developed as a character over a number of novels, honing his skills as a police detective. Well-versed in all the types of antics criminals can take, Wisting is duped by little and appears to have a great deal of patience as he coaxes the truth out of witnesses, sometimes without their knowing. The reader will also see a softer side to Wisting as he interacts with his granddaughter and chooses to help out wherever he can. This contrast works well, especially for those who have a long history reading these novels. Other characters serve to complement Wisting and the larger story in a highly effective manner. Horst has a way of creating characters who fit in perfectly and there is no lack of this in the novel, from the high ranking political figures through to the lowly workers who have tried to hide over the past number of years. The story was strong and kept my attention throughout, even when choosing to focus on a cold case matter. I cannot help but love the Scandinavian flavour of the plot and delivery which differs greatly with the usual fare I read. The translation into English does not appear to hamper the strength of the book at all. I have often said that there is little hesitation in the narrative and it almost seems as though the book was penned in English, making the read even better. While I still hope for the first few novels to be translated into English, I am happy to see such progress in the William Wisting character and this series as a whole.
Kudos, Mr. Horst, for another great piece. Your know how to lure the reader in and won’t let go until the final sentence or two.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons