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Nordic Noir

Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger, Jørn Lier Horst and translated by Megan Turney | Review

Smoke Screen BT Poster - Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger,  Jørn Lier Horst and translated by Megan Turney | Review

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.

Smoke Screen Published by Orenda Books on December 18 2020
Genres: Nordic Noir, Crime
Pages: 315
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Publisher
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When the mother of a missing two-year-old girl is seriously injured in a suspected terrorist attack in Oslo, crime-fighting duo Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the case, and things aren’t adding up … The second instalment in the addictive, atmospheric, award-winning Blix & Ramm series.

Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion, and the city is put on terrorist alert.

Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, Blix instantly recognises her as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Semplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.

Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…

I was a little worried about reading Smoke Screen, not because I believed that it would be a terrible read but because I just loved Death Deserved so much and wanted Smoke Screen to have that lasting impact also.  This review is the proof that this writing duo know just how to deliver time and time again.  An intriguing title, a mysterious cover and a synopsis that promises to deliver a narrative balancing on a tripwire.  Enger and Horst have penned another addition that will create a shadow on my soul and leave me hungering to visit the Scandinavian Isles. 

Smoke Screen is book two in the Blixx & Ramm series and its New Years Eve in Oslo.  The partygoers have gathered at the square at city hall.  The annual fireworks display goes horrifically awry with an explosion which ups the terror threat level to extreme.  One of the casualties is the mother of Patricia Smeplass, a two-year-old girl that was kidnapped around ten years ago and never found.  Is this a coincidence or is it a targeted attack?  Blixx and Ramm go about investigating the connection.

Smoke Screen and its narrative was like walking into the eye of the storm.  Familiar sights were gone but you were completely powerless to the pulling power that the book had over you.  The plot pulled you in every direction, leaving you feeling disorientated, but the narrative had the threat of a knife edge breaking you, but you can’t look away with the thrill of it all.  I was rattled and I loved every minute of it. 

Two incredibly flawed characters that seem to be an odd pairing but one that works because well, it just does.  They feed off each other’s energies and the pressure mounts imperceptibly but it never stops them getting to the bottom of their cases.  Smoke Screen surely puts this dream team of authors at the top of their game.  Blixx, a police officer that is plagued by traumatic events and Ramm, a journalist and blogger that has her moral compass intact despite previous difficulties.  Blixx is more a father figure to her than acquaintance. 

Smoke Screen highlighted the fragility of life and I was brought to my knees with its hard hitting and bleak prose, it was genuine and often felt like a punch to the gut.  I have only experienced this kind of flow with but a few authors but Enger and Horst nailed the inevitability of life and death. 

Smoke Screen is laced with more than a smattering of the dark and disturbing but gives a bird’s eye view of what being human entails and the depths of depravity that some individuals will stoop to.    

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 was Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger ’s first co-written thriller. They are  currently working on the third book in the Blix & Ramm series. 

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