Death Deserved by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst February 23rd 2019
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…
I love Scandi Noir and I was more than a little excited to delve into Death Deserved, a new crime writing duo, a new crime solving duo.
From the off, you knew you it wasn’t going to be one of those novels that starts off slowly, the authors easing you in. Instead we were thrust straight into the action and introductions to the two main protagonists.
Emma Ramm was that strong feisty journalist, tenacious and determined, not one to wallow in a tragic childhood event. She had a wonderful vulnerability, an inability to have close relationships with anyone other than her sister and niece. I am sure this will be something that Thomas and Horst will explore in any future novel.
Alexander Blix, was slightly more complex, divorced, a strained relationship with his daughter, content not to pursue promotion in the police force. Again you sensed a vulnerability, a need to stay within the confines of what he knew, responsibility for those big decisions left to someone else to maintain that comfort zone he had built around himself.
It was Emma and Blix’s relationship that was so interesting, the link hidden from Emma, Blix’s almost father like need to protect her, tender, yet cautious, reserved.
There was nothing tender or reserved about the crimes that faced them. An intelligent, serial killer, more than a match for their investigative skills, a true battle of wits that more than intrigued and captivated.
You had to admire the killer for his ingenuity or rather Horst and Enger’s twisted, ingenious imaginations! I loved that they crashed in on the world of celebrity, their cosseted, rich lives, often the envy of their fans, the killer definitely not a fan.
What got to me was that I never really worked out who it was as Horst and Enger dangled a myriad of potentials in front of me, Blix and Emma. They made you feel that you were part of the investigation, the discovery of important clues uncovered at the same time as Blix and Emma, something that I admired, and found refreshing.
We always go on about pace in crime novels, a bit of a cliche, but I couldn’t not mention it. It was fast, unrelenting, as Horst and Thomas flung more and more at us but they never lost their characters, never gave up their human side. We were given glimpses of their past, of their present day circumstances, the little chinks in their outward exteriors that made you want more. I can see a great future ahead for Blix and Ramm and I will be impatiently awaiting the next instalment.
I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of Death Deserved by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author