I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Death Deserved by Thomas EngerJorn Lier Horst
Published by Orenda Books Limited on January 31, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Romance, Mystery & Detective, Hard-Boiled, Action & Adventure, Noir, City Life, Crime, International Mystery & Crime, Police & Law Enforcement, Women Sleuths, Political, Police Procedural, General
Format: ARC, eBook
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Police officer Alexander Blix and celebrity blogger Emma Ramm join forces to track down a serial killer with a thirst for attention and high-profile murders, in the first episode of a gripping new Nordic Noir series...
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 flare for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it...
Some publishers are just complete go-to. Crime fiction and Nordic Noir are phrases that are somonis with Orenda Books. This blog tour invitation for Death Deserved was an automatic YES YES YES. Nordic Noir is a relatively new genre for me, but I am quickly falling head over heels. It has restarted my heart and gave me a passion for crime fiction once more. I couldn’t wait to get my grubby little hands on this exciting and riveting read.
I was expecting huge things from this superstar double act. The anticipation was melting my brain. The prologue created that taut tension that I crave and live for. My eyes couldn’t stop the uncontrollable speed that they took in the lines of the book. The words took on a life of its own. They grew legs and marched straight up to my face and smacked me silly…it had my full attention.
Deserved Death was an interesting title choice but one that seeped in a rightness as soon as the final page was put to rest. Is any untimely death deserved? What events in a person’s life would make it a given that they deserve to die. I’m sure at some point in our lives we have done something that was immoral or bad, does it necessarily mean that our deaths would be deserved? The authors captured everything that I anticipate in Nordic Noir. They led you down a deserted road, one that had the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention, military style. The possibilities were endless, and my stomach churned like it was on the super spin cycle. Nausea and crime is my favourite combination.
This book sets the tone. The dark and dangerous tone. Just sit and imagine taking in the words and the ominous theme tune to the exorcist playing in the background. You know it isn’t going to be like visiting your sweet aunt for the afternoon. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride over the Grand Canyon except that half of the track is missing. Heart in mouth. Senses threatening to leave your body. It truly challenges the control you have over your own emotions.
Two narrators. Two broken characters. Connections intertwined. We meet Alexander Blix, a quiet police officer who has gone through the emotional wringer both professionally and personally. He acts from the heart frequently and is more an action man than a procedure man. It causes him difficulties in his job, but he is respected and admired by his close- nit team. He instantly spoke to me on a deep level. He is relatable and is living a life in the shadows not fully grasping it by the balls. A victim of his past. He threatens to become a victim of his future too.
We also meet Emma Ramm, celebrity blogger. She also has her own skeletons in the cupboard. She can appear cold but progressively you uncover the real her, layer by complex layer. At times she seemed like a rubix cube. Frustrating and complex to fathom out.
Set in Oslo, ex-former long-distance runner, Sonja Nordstrøm has recently released her scathing autobiography. Emma Ramm discovers her lack of contact for a TV interview and visits her home. There appears to have been a struggle. There is, however, no sign of her. The police launch an official investigation. An intriguing Number One has been attached to the TV. The scene is unsettling, and you can feel a lingering shadow threatening to creep beyond the edges.
There is a bigger picture emerging. The police investigation is stretched taut to its very limits. Blix is still haunted by the tragedy that saw him kill a 5-year-old girl’s father. Guns still make him nervous, but his persona belies the man he portrays to the world. The cracks threaten to split. Can he keep it together until the end of the investigation?
The main theme running through this book is the human condition and it’s need and pure want of fame and the culture of celebrity. What drives people to want these things with such a hunger? We know from history that money doesn’t make you happy. More often than not it attracts ill mental health like a calling card. In this story the burden of celebrity attracts the dark. It has created a festering wound seeping in dysfunctionality and pain. It certainly made me think about the important things in life. I am quite happy being a nobody.
Death Deserved is a tautly woven, intricately written tale of suspense and layer upon layers visceral action. The authors nail the exact art of Nordic Noir and make you hunger for more.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
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.