cover image Odd Numbers: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel

Odd Numbers: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel

Anne Holt, trans. from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce. Scribner, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3473-0

Early in Edgar-finalist Holt’s outstanding ninth Hanne Wilhelmsen novel (after 2016’s Beyond the Truth), Billy T., Hanne’s old friend and police partner, visits Hanne, who was shot in the spine in the line of duty and is now gingerly returning to police work, at her Oslo apartment. As Billy T. is telling Hanne about his troubled and alienated son, Linus, they hear a nearby explosion. A bomb has shattered the office of the National Council for Islam in Norway, a moderate Islamic group, killing 23 people. In the wake of this tragedy, there is an outbreak of flaming anti-Islamic rhetoric from Norway’s right-wing Progress Party and hate-filled radical Islamic videos claiming responsibility for the bombing. Billy T. laboriously traces Linus’s apparent flirtation with radical Islam, while Hanne and an oddball detective, Henrik Holme, probe a cold homicide case with ties to young Pakistani immigrants. On the personal side, Hanne faces potential conflict with her partner, Nefis, a Turkish Muslim who’s now nominally an atheist but whose faith is still intact “deep inside.” Holt sheds a vital humane light on one of today’s most lethal social problems. (June)