The Inner Darkness (Cold Case Quartet #3, William Wisting #14), by Jørn Lier Horst

Eight stars

With the release of the latest English translation in Jørn Lier Horst’s crime series, I leapt to get my hands on it, hoping for a mystery that would pull me in. I was not disappointed with this well-paced Scandinavian noir crime thriller. The day has come for convicted killer Tom Kerr to help the police. Kerr has agreed to lead the police to the scene of where he dumped one of his as yet undiscovered victims. On hand is William Wisting, head of the Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service, Kripos, as well as many other officers. Wisting’s daughter, Line, is filming the event, a proud journalist looking for footage to use in a future documentary. While out in the rural forest, Kerr triggers a trip-wire and a number of police are injured, some seriously. Kerr is able to remove his shackles and flees deeper into the woods. It’s apparent that someone helped him orchestrate this escape, as all officers scour the area to locate and recapture Kerr. Some, like Wisting, cannot help but use this experience to substantiate their claims that Kerr always had help during his crimes, an unknown individual given the moniker, the Other One. Without knowing who this could be, everyone is left to wonder if the duo will reunite and continue their killing spree. When a young woman goes missing, there’s little doubt that the similarities from Kerr’s past victims are telling a story here. Wisting is pulled into an internal investigation for his mishandling of the entire Kerr event and his neck is surely on the line. Wisting refuses to give up, knowing that he will have to troll deeply to find out where Kerr may have gone and how the Other One might have helped develop a serial killer, as well as making sure the torch continues to burn brightly. Jørn Lier Horst has done a wonderful job with this latest novel, which will keep the reader hooked until the final pages. Recommended for those who love Scandinavian noir crime thrillers, as well as the reader with a penchant for the work of Jørn Lier Horst.

The complexities of a Scandinavian thriller make for some amazing reading, as I have said many times before. Those who love the crime genre, but are seeking something a little different than the superficial US or UK thrillers that are churned out regularly, ought to take a dive into those based in Scandinavia. I have found so many that give me chills and prove to be of a higher quality. William Wisting is such a wonderful character and I cannot get enough. While he has long since given up offering any backstory, his grit and determination makes him someone worth following as he seeks to get to the heart of the crime. Wisting uses his skills and knowledge of the criminal mind to inch closer and uncover clues that are lost to most everyone else. Those in supporting character roles also offer wonderful support in a series that is so full of twists. Horst offers a handful of returning folks whose presence helps accentuate the work that Wisting does, while also giving their own backstory a slight flavouring. The story itself was unique without being too out there. Horst works the angle from the side of the police and exemplifies the intricacies of Norwegian police procedure to pull the reader into the middle of the story without letting go. Short chapters help propel the story forward and the reader cannot help but read more in order to get to the end and final out how it all comes together. As with many Scandinavian thrillers, the translation into English does not disrupt the flow whatsoever. In fact, the English version is of a higher quality than many of the books I read where that is the language of original publication. As I have asked before (and surely other series fans will echo my query), when will the first five or so novels in this series see an English translation? If they are anything like the wonderful novels that I have been able to read, they need to be released. Those who are curious about trying something Scandinavian, I cannot recommend doing so enough. You won’t regret it, at least if you happen to choose some of the series I have found!

Kudos, Mr. Horst, for another winner. If memory serves, one more left in this cold case sub-series. William Wisting remains masterful and I cannot say enough about the books!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: