cover image Death Deserved

Death Deserved

Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger, trans. from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-913193-00-3

This outstanding series launch from Horst (the Inspector William Wisting series) and Enger (The Henning Juul series) introduces 40ish Alexander Blix, a psychologically wounded Oslo homicide detective. When former star athlete Sonja Nordstrøm fails to keep a video appearance for her new tell-all autobiography, journalist Emma Ramm, an ambitious celebrity blogger in her 20s, visits Nordstrøm’s apartment, where she finds the author gone and signs of a struggle. One of the police officers called to the apartment is Blix, who’s unnerved to see Emma, with whom he’s connected by a traumatic incident 19 years earlier. Emma doesn’t recognize Blix, who, despite anti-leaking warnings from his by-the-book boss, ends up consulting Emma, herself a troubled soul, about what’s initially a missing person case. After the case mushrooms into a succession of eerily planned and executed homicides of amoral celebrities, Blix and Emma concoct a brilliant but dangerous scheme to catch the culprit. A devilishly complex plot, convincing red herrings, and well-rounded characters help make this a winner. Scandinavian noir fans will eagerly await the sequel. (Sept.)