The Tenant

Katrine Engberg, trans. from the Danish by Tara Chace. Scout, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-1-9821-2757-2
For landlady and retired Copenhagen academic Esther de Laurenti, the protagonist of Danish choreographer Engberg’s fast-moving first novel and series launch, the murder of her 21-year-old tenant, student Julie Stender, strikes alarmingly close to home. Not only was Julie attacked just two floors below Esther’s flat, but key details of the crime, including intricate carvings on the victim’s face inflicted while she was still alive, are sickeningly familiar to her—because they’re lifted from the manuscript on which aspiring mystery writer Esther is working. The sometimes uneasy juxtaposition of realistic characters like feisty Esther and the perennially bickering detective duo assigned to the case with the unabashedly artificial—think a subsequent victim discovered mid-ballet in a theater chandelier—runs throughout. The undertow from the overly ambitious plot drowns any sense of plausibility, but Engberg’s sparkling cast and palpable evocation of a society U.S. readers will find similar yet foreign keep the pages turning pleasurably. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 08/29/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9821-2759-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-9939-4
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-9821-2758-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-9941-7
Library Binding - 595 pages - 978-1-4328-7919-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 464 pages - 978-1-9821-8783-5
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