Death of the Demon-Anne Holt; Anne Bruce (translator)

Death of the Demon
Anne Holt; Anne Bruce (translator)
Scribner, Jun 18 2013, $16.00
ISBN 9781451634808

Twelve year old Olav is sent to live in a group foster home with seven other children just outside Oslo because his mother could no longer deal with his hideous behavior. The home’s director Agnes Vestavik quickly realizes her newest charge is a troubled tweener, but she apparently underestimates how disturbed he is. Soon after Olav’s arrival, someone stabs to death Vestavik; the prime suspect is Olav who has vanished.

Hanne Wilhelmsen knows she is unsuited for her latest position as an Oslo Police Chief Inspector since the job requires political finesse, sharing information with staff and delegating duties to subordinates; key factors she prefers to ignore. With Detective Billy T., Hanne looks into the foster home’s employees while much of the force search for Olav who seeks his mother. At the same time her longtime partner Cecilie wants them to have a child.

The latest Hanne Wilhelmsen Norwegian police procedural (see 1222, Blind Goddess and Blessed Are Those Who Thirst) is a fascinating murder mystery that provides a powerful spotlight on when the country’s foster child system fails. Action-packed on both her professional and personal fronts as the protagonist distrusts everyone even her lover and her best friend, readers will enjoy this Norwegian Noir.

Harriet Klausner

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