10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, …
translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce
This police procedural, set in Oslo, Norway, is the first to feature policeman Alexander Blix and blogger/journalist Emma Ramm.
Blix is a twenty year veteran of the Oslo police. Shortly after his career began he was involved in a fatal shooting that has now become part of the police academy’s syllabus. Since then, his partner at the time, Gard Fosse, has risen through the ranks and is now Blix’s boss. While Fosse is a ‘by the book‘ type of policeman, Blix is more ‘by the gut‘. Blix is not ambitious for career advancement because he loves the investigative side of his work and would hate to leave that for a desk job.
On a personal level, Blix is divorced and the father of a twenty year old daughter who is presently starring on a reality TV show called “Worthy Winner” (a ‘Big Brother type show)
Blix has a new work partner, Sofia Kovic, who is twenty-six years old and has recently transferred in to their squad.
Emma Ramm is in her late twenties. A celebrity blogger/journalist for news.no, she also has ties to Alexander Blix. Ties that make Blix feel somewhat responsible for her. Emma is an interesting character in that she keeps herself to herself and has a medical condition that she hides from everyone except her sister.
Emma is directly involved with the police’s latest case as she is directly approached by the killer/abductor and it is Emma who makes a crucial observation about how he is planning and conducting his nefarious plan.
Blix is removed from the case when his boss and nemesis discerns that Blix is the ‘leak’ who is letting news.no know some vital details to the current case.
Emma and Blix put their heads together to solve the case and rescue Sonja Nordstrom.
I found that I immediately connected with both the protagonists in this novel so I was eager to follow their experiences in this very interesting serial killer case.
Blix was clever, a born copper, who follows his gut instincts to conduct his behavior at work. His workaholic mentality has jeopardized his relationship with his wife and daughter. Now divorced, he lives in an impersonal flat in which he spends as little time as possible.
I enjoyed witnessing the evolving work partnership between Blix and Sofia Kovic and look forward to reading about more of their endeavors in future books. The cleverly orchestrated crime was a compelling read that had me avidly turning pages.
Emma, a driven and ambitious blogger journalist, is also very clever and presented as a sympathetic and empathetic character. Her childhood trauma and tragedy served to make her someone whom you just have to root for.
The book covers some fascinating themes such as moral integrity, celebrity, control, justice and regret.
I am eternally amazed when I learn that two authors have co-written a book. The fact that two minds can cause a seamless narrative is astounding. Add in the fact that this book is written by two authors AND is a translation, makes the achievement even more astounding.
“Death Deserved” is an absorbing and engrossing crime thriller that I can highly recommend to all fans of the genre.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Orenda Books via Karen Sullivan.
Publication date: February 20, 2020 Publisher: Orenda Books
ISBN: 9781913193003 ASIN: B0815T9PLM 276 pages
“Death Deserved” is the first crime thriller jointly written by two internationally acclaimed Norwegian authors.
Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of five books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017. Rights have been sold to Germany and Iceland. Thomas Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.
Jørn Lier Horst is a former Senior Investigating Officer at the Norwegian police force. He made his literary debut as a crime writer in 2004 and is now considered one of the foremost Nordic crime writers. His William Wisting series of crime novels has been extremely successful, having sold more than 1 million copies in Norway. The series has also been translated into thirty languages. Dregs, sixth in the series, was published in English by Sandstone Press in 2011. The next book, Closed for Winter, won Norway’s Booksellers’ Prize in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Riverton Prize. The Hunting Dogs, won both the prestigious Golden Revolver, for best Norwegian crime, and The Glass Key, which widened the scope to best crime fiction in all the Nordic countries, in 2013. He has a beloved dog named Theodor.
Anne Bruce, who lives in Scotland, has a joint honours degree in Norwegian and English from Glasgow University. She has translated a number of books by Jørn Lier Horst and bestselling author Anne Holt.
You can follow her on Twitter @annembruce