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…
Sometimes when you read a novel that has been written by two authors, it can feel a little disjointed, with each author’s style and influence working against each other, thankfully in Death Deserved that is not the case. In fact, the writing feels flawless and harmonious, the creation of two incredibly talented writers, who together have shaped a story full of an abundance of tension. It is a character rich narrative, with a story that builds slowly into a crescendo of terror. With a killer, who twisted sense of righteousness, leads to a disturbing series of killings!
I have always loved fascinating thrillers, but I do love them to be more than a series of explosive events, with lead characters you want to spend endless amounts of time with and a killer, who leaves me shivering with fear, so twisted and clever, that he is a match for the hero of the story. Well the killer in Death Deserved is deliciously malevolent, he revels in the manner of the drama he creates and wants to be remembered for not only the act of killing, but also the vision behind his carefully laid out murders. Now, it would take an intelligent hero to stand up and be noticed against such a wonderful villain, well this novel has two, Police Officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm. Blix is both intelligent and resourceful, but what makes him so utterly fascinating is the emotional scars that created the man he is now. Having once killed a man in the line of duty, he lives with the memories of that time, but rather than crushing him, it has created an investigator with an endless well of determination to create a safer place in his community and protect himself and any potential victims. He has a keen mind that revels in solving riddles, especially when he and Ramm work together. Putting them in the same story as the killer, there is a balance, a Yin and Yang, between the shadows the killer lives and the light, passion and brightness of the investigating team.
Add this into a story I felt immersed in to such an extent that normal life faded into the horizon, you have a superb read.
The genius lies in way as a reader your fooled into thinking you have sussed out the story, but I had not, I’d been hoodwinked. The teasing out the story around the disappearance of Sonja Nordstrøm, is gradual and It felt good to allow Blix and Ramm to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, while I went on the journey with them.
I do hope this is not the end of this writing partnership or these superb characters, because I really want to spend more time with them.
Many thanks to the authors, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.
About the author’s
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.
About the translator
Anne Bruce has degrees in Norwegian and English from Glasgow University covering both Nynorsk and Bokmål, classic and modern texts, written and spoken Norwegian, as well as Old Norse, Icelandic, Swedish, and Danish. She has traveled extensively throughout Scandinavia on lecture and study visits, and undertaken translation and interpretation for visiting groups from Norway. She has translated Wencke Mühleisen’s I Should Have Lifted You Carefully Over, Jørn Lier Horst’s Dregs, and Anne Holt’s Blessed Are Those Who Thirst.