I’m feeling like quite the jet setter after visiting Québec, England, Ireland, Israel & Denmark in recent literary travels. Now I’m returning to Norway to catch up with Chief Inspector William Wisting in the 13th instalment of the series.
And just in time. Wisting has been handed a politically sensitive case with strict instructions….perform a thorough investigation but tell as few people as possible.
Bernard Clausen was a well known politician who recently died. Nothing suspicious, it was from natural causes. The real mystery arose after his colleague found boxes of money hidden in Clausen’s cabin. Wisting needs to find out where it came from PDQ before word leaks out & hits the political fan.
He handpicks a few select colleagues & swears them to secrecy. Included is his journalist daughter Line who is given the task of looking into Clausen’s personal & professional background. None of them could have guessed where it all would lead. And it’s not long before some sinister events make it clear there are those who’d prefer they stop digging.
I’ve always thought of this series as more thinking man’s mysteries than action driven thrillers. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some hair raising moments. But it’s Wisting’s understated style & dogged determination that drives the plot. He’s a smart, likeable guy whose brain never stops turning over the evidence.
Line has inherited her father’s drive & has a different approach that adds to the investigation. Also returning is cop Adrian Stiller, a character you may remember from the last book. I was a bit leery as he was a bit of a scumbag in that one. He & Line have some history & he’s not above using those around him to further his ambitions.
Progress on the case is initially slow. The team feels as if they’re trying to assemble a giant jigsaw without knowing what the final picture looks like. Or even some of the pieces. The plot is intricate & it takes a while to lay the groundwork but after a couple of connections are made, the pace picks up considerably with a literal race to the finish.
For me this didn’t score quite as high on the entertainment meter as the last book (The Katharina Code) as it has a more sober tone. But I can always rely on this author to deliver a smart, well plotted story that keeps you guessing. I enjoy Wisting’s company & hope he doesn’t mind if I tag along on his next case. If you’re a fan of Arnaldur Indriðason, Håkan Nesser, Leif Persson or Quentin Bates, you should be reading this series.