A small-time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. A young Dutchman, walking aimlessly in central Oslo covered in blood, is taken into custody but refuses to talk. When he is informed that the woman who discovered the body, Karen Borg, is a lawyer, he demands her as his defender, although her specialty is civil, not criminal, law. The young man is adamant: he will speak to Karen Borg, and to her alone.
A couple of days later, Hans E. Olsen, a lawyer of the shadiest kind, is found shot to death. Very soon, police officers Håkon Sand and Hanne Wilhelmsen establish a link between the two killings. They also find a coded message hidden in the murdered lawyer’s apartment. Their maverick colleague in the drug squad, Billy T., reports that a recent rumor in the underworld involves lawyers employed in drug dealing. Now the reason the young Dutchman insisted on having Karen Borg as a defender dawns on them: Since she was the one to find and report the body, she is the only Oslo lawyer that cannot by any means be implicated in the crime. As the officers investigate, they uncover a massive network of corruption involving the highest levels of government.
As their lives are threatened, Hanne and her colleagues must find the killer and, in the process, bring the lies and deception out into the open.
Anne Holt has worked as a journalist and news anchor and spent two years working for the Oslo Police Department before founding her own law firm and serving as Norway’s Minister for Justice for part of 1996 and 1997. Her first book was published in 1993, and her work has been translated into 25 languages. She lives in Oslo with her family.
“Det. Hanne Wilhelmsen and her colleague Håkon Sand, an attorney with the Special Branch of the Oslo police, look into two murders in Edgar-finalist Holt’s well-paced first Hanne Wilhelmsen novel.… Snippets of the crooks’ reactions to the police investigation add tension, while the breaking of a ‘book code’ helps bring the criminal activities into focus.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Holt delivers a deeply woven detective mystery that keeps readers guessing until the bitter end. Highly recommended for crime fiction enthusiasts.” (Library Journal)
“Politics and drugs make uneasy bedfellows in this first case for Hanne Wilhelmsen…Fans of Henning Mankell’s majestically lumbering police procedurals will relish every twist in the long road to resolution.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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Not Sure Why I Didn't Like It
It was so slow. I never thought it was going anywhere. I just never felt any sense of anticipation as I listened, and Hanne was very unlikeable in this book, so even though I had already met and liked her in another novel, I just didn't care about her in this one.
I first read 1222 and was enthralled from the first word, and I think I was expecting the same kind of engagement from this book. Perhaps if I had gone into this book without those expectations, I would have enjoyed it more.
The interrogations were handled nicely.
It's not a case of cutting exactly, just changing pacing. Holt does a FAR better job in 1222.
Skip this Anne Holt book and go for 1222 instead.
- Tracey Rains
I so wanted this to be the start of a great series
I don't believe I can listen to another book by this author. It would probably be easier to actually read than listen to. It took until the second half of the book to clarify the characters, their roles, and how the plot would eventually come together. Entirely too disjointed for me.