cover image Ordeal


Jorn Lier Horst, trans. from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce. Minotaur, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-11136-4

A helpful opening author’s note to Horst’s solid fifth William Wisting mystery to be published in English (after 2015’s The Caveman) not only outlines the Larvik, Norway, chief inspector’s personal history but also invokes a major series theme: “The tension between police personnel facing the pressures of investigating crime, and management whose priorities are balancing budgets and meeting targets.” The widowed Wisting, who’s now 55, is beginning to feel professionally inadequate: Is he too old to cope with rising organized crime, an ever-more-complex legal system, and a society fearful of aiding the police? He also wonders whether he let his former lover, Suzanne Bjerke, leave him too easily. All these troubling what-ifs simmer as Wisting and his investigative-reporter daughter, Line, separately probe grisly new discoveries related to an old unsolved case. The case pits Wisting against his new chief of police in a slow-moving but thoroughly realized clash between moral principle and bedeviling bureaucratic exigencies. [em](Aug.) [/em]