cover image The Night Ferry

The Night Ferry

Lotte and Søren Hammer, trans. from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund. Bloomsbury, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-63-557-162-2

In the harrowing first chapter of the Hammers’ tour de force fifth thriller featuring Det. Chief Supt. Konrad “Simon” Simonsen (after 2017’s The Lake), an assassin leaps aboard a tourist boat on a Copenhagen canal that’s filled mostly with children and fatally stabs the captain, the tour guide, and two other adults. A woman he spares jumps into the canal, where she drowns; the killer plunges into the water and swims to safety. The boat drifts into the harbor, where it’s cut in half by a night ferry; most of the children perish under the ferry’s propellers. Simon and his team soon learn that one stabbing victim is Pauline Berg, part of the Copenhagen homicide department’s inner circle, whom everyone thought was on vacation but was in fact pursuing a two-year-old unsolved case with which she was obsessed. The ensuing investigation of the boat massacre leads Simon and his talented, ethical crew to an international conspiracy of silence involving the neglect of damaged veterans of the Bosnian War. This masterly indictment of bureaucratic ineptitude, mismanagement, and corruption is a must-read. Agent: Sofie Voller, Gyldendal (Denmark). (July)