cover image Blessed Are Those Who Thirst: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel

Blessed Are Those Who Thirst: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel

Anne Holt, trans. from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce. Scribner, $15 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3478-5

A sympathetic lead distinguishes Holt’s second novel featuring Oslo’s Det. Insp. Hanne Wilhelmsen (after The Blind Goddess). Hanne has been keeping her relationship with her female lover a secret, a choice that creates tension between the two women. Professionally, the inspector must deal with the person who’s leaving rooms drenched with blood every Saturday night, but without traces of an actual body, as well as a series of rapes. Evocative descriptive prose is a plus (“In the west, the heavens showed that intense hue only a Scandinavian sky in springtime is blessed with—royal blue on the horizon and lighter toward the meridian, before dissolving into a pink eiderdown where the sun was still lying lazily in the east”). Holt made her U.S. debut in 2011 with the eighth book in the series, 1222, which was an Edgar finalist. (Dec.)