Hanne Wilhelmsen Novels, Book 5
Hanne Wilhelmsen is a middle-aged lesbian detective in Oslo, Norway who has a problem case fall in her lap. The Chief Prosecutor’s wife has been murdered – she was decapitated by her own antique sword, with her husband’s fingerprints all over it. Plus he’s offering up an alternative suspect who happens to have died a few weeks earlier.
Nonetheless, Wilhelmsen doesn’t really believe he’s guilty but even with her deputy, Billy T, helping, she has a hard time finding another suspect. Then a reporter is also decapitated and Wilhelmsen needs to figure out how the two deaths are related.
Meanwhile, her long time partner at home has been diagnosed with cancer and the stress of her home life and these cases is definitely taking its toll, all played out against the bleak Norwegian backdrop. The pacing is leisurely, especially for a Scandinavian thriller, but the character development almost makes up for it.
Holt is Norway’s former Minister of Justice. Readers who enjoy Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series or Karin Fossum’s Inspector Sejer series will feel like they are back in Scandinavia.
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7/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
DEAD JOKER by Ann Holt. Scribner (July 26, 2016). ISBN 978-1501123269. 368p.