Knifed in the back…
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
When respectable, middle-aged Agnes Vestavik is found at her desk with a kitchen knife in her back, it seems at first as if no-one could have wanted her dead. But as Hanne Wilhelmsen and her team investigate, they suddenly find themselves with a surfeit of suspects amongst the staff and in Agnes’ personal life, all with strong motives. And then there’s Olav – a 12-year-old newcomer to the foster home that Agnes ran: a boy with serious behavioural problems and a mother who can’t cope. Why did he run away on the night of the murder? Did he witness something? A question they can’t ask him until they find him – but Olav doesn’t intend to be found…
This was my first introduction to Hanne and her team and I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read. There’s obviously a back-story and it would probably be better to read the books in order, but I found this worked perfectly well as a standalone. Hanne has just been promoted to Chief Inspector and has persuaded her friend Billy T to transfer to her team. Their interactions are good fun and give the book a lighter side, without in any way detracting from the plot. We also see Hanne’s home-life with her partner Cecilie and get to see why Hanne is reluctant to make their relationship public.
The descriptions of the foster-home and the troubled children are very convincing and handled with a welcome light touch. So often such places are rather unfairly portrayed as being all doom and gloom, but Holt brings out much of the humour and genuine care that in reality usually exists in them. We see Olav’s past through his mother’s eyes – a child she loves but can’t control. Both Olav and his mother are very well-drawn characters and Holt manages to make the reader increasingly sympathetic towards them as the book goes on.
Overall, a very enjoyable read that will certainly encourage me to read more in the series.
Thanks to Alex over at thinkinginfragments who suggested this author to me, and you’ll find Stacia’s fine review over at Red Panda Reads, a great resource for Nordic crime – of the fictional variety, of course!
NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.