11 June 2012

Review: THE FINAL MURDER, Anne Holt

  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 997 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (July 1, 2011), translated by Kari Dickson from Norwegian. Originally published in 2004.
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058BS03A
  • Source: I bought it
Synopsis (Amazon)

A talk-show star is found killed in her home, her tongue removed and left on her desk, cut in two. And when a second body, that of a right-wing party leader, is found crucified to the bedroom wall with a copy of the Koran inserted into her body, Superintendent Adam Stubo is pulled from leave to lead the investigation. Is there a celebrity-slaying serial killer on the loose? His partner, Johanne Vik, agrees to help with the case but begins to see a pattern, one that traces back to her FBI days. If she's right, the pattern will end in the murder of the investigating officer: Adam.

Vik and Stubo series (Fantastic Fiction)

1. Punishment (2006)
aka What Is Mine
2. The Final Murder (2007)
aka What Never Happens
3. Death in Oslo (2009)
4. Fear Not (2011)

My Take

Adam Stubo is aware that there is no-one on his murder investigation team who is as capable of  detailed criminal profiling as his wife Johanne. But Johanne has recently given birth to a new  daughter and really needs her rest. Adam is delighted when she agrees to work through the case notes with him at night at home. But Johanne is fearful about the threats to her family's safety and to Adam himself this case might pose.

It took me a while to settle into this book. The style of the opening chapters felt a bit heavy but by mid-book things were flowing smoothly. A bit predictably, each of the victims has secrets, and the police investigation struggles to decide whether there is a single killer or whether these are separate crimes.

The reader knows more about what is happening than the investigators do, but why these murders are happening is kept from us until the very end.

I thought Johanne Vik's constant anxiety about her new-born daughter felt very authentic.

My rating: 4.5

I also reviewed 1222

About the author

Anne Holt spent two years working for the Oslo Police Department before founding her own law firm and serving as Norway's Minister for Justice in 1996/97. Her first book was published in 1993 and she has subsequently developed two series: the Hanne Wilhelmsen series and the Vik/Stubo series. Both series will be published by Corvus.

1 comment:

kathy d. said...

I read this book and was mystified as to why the extreme brutality of the crimes; thought that perhaps the lack of sunlight in Norway contributed to the cruel murder methods.

I liked it and am looking forward to more books in translation in this series.


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