30 January 2015

Review: CLOSED FOR WINTER, Jorn Lier Horst

  • first published in 2011
  • translated from Norwegian into English by Ann Bruce 2013 and published by Sandstone Press
  • #7 in the William Wisting series, second to be translated into English
  • ISBN 978-1-908737-49-6
  • 321 pages
  • source: my local library
  • Winner of Norway's Booksellers' Prize 2012
Synopsis  (publisher)

Ove Bakkerud, newly separated and extremely disillusioned, is looking forward to a final quiet weekend at his summer home before closing for winter but, when the tourists leave, less welcome visitors arrive. Bakkerud’s cottage is ransacked by burglars and next door he discovers the body of a man who has been beaten to death.

Police Inspector William Wisting has witnessed grotesque murders before, but the desperation he sees in this latest murder is something new. Against his wishes, his daughter Line decides to stay in one of the summer cottages at the mouth of the fjord. Wisting’s unease does not diminish when they discover several more corpses on the deserted archipelago. Meanwhile, dead birds are dropping from the sky.

My Take

There is a nice introduction to William Wisting at the beginning of this novel, giving the reader a description of the setting, and Wisting's personal history. The foreword also points out how Jorn Lier Horst draws on his own deep experience of police procedures and processes in these novels, resulting in a strong sense of these novels being grounded in reality.

CLOSED FOR WINTER brings two different types of crime together: those who want to take advantage of Norway's wealth by burglarising summer cottages now closed up for winter, and drug runners bringing cocaine into Norway and using it as a base for money laundering.

Wisting has recently returned from sick leave, a breakdown, worn down by thirty years of increasingly complex and disillusioning police work. There are times when he wonders if he has returned too soon.  This seems to lead quite naturally into reflection by the author into the state of Norwegian society, and how it compares with its near neighbours.

A very satisfying read.

My rating: 4.8

I've also reviewed
4.7, DREGS

About the Author
Jorn Lier Horst was born in 1970, in Bamble, Telemark, Norway. He has worked as a policeman in Larvik since 1995. His debut novel in 2004, Key Witness, was based on a true murder story. The William Wisting novel series has been extremely successful in his native Norway as well as Germany and the Netherlands. DREGS was his first book published in English. In 2013 the next novel in this series, The Hunting Dogs, won both the prestigious Golden Revolver, for best Norwegian crime, and The Glass Key. See more


Vicki said...

Excellent review, Kerrie. It sounds like a book I'd really enjoy. Off to see if it's available on Kindle...

Margot Kinberg said...

Glad you enjoyed this one, Kerrie. I think the William Wisting character is well-drawn, and the story's a good one. I'm waiting for more of this series to be translated.

Irene said...

Sounds good, thanks. I'm currently reading Norwegian by Night, I'm learning so much. Who knew? I surely didn't.


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