Burned

Burned

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Overview



Uncovering class divisions, racial conflicts, and tangled emotions, this gritty, shocking

novel of suspense heralds the arrival of a major new talent.

Henning Juul is a veteran investigative crime reporter in Oslo, Norway. A horrific fire killed his six-year-old son, cut scars across his face, and ended his marriage, and on his first day back at the job after the terrible tragedy a body is discovered in one of the city’s public parks. A beautiful female college student has been stoned to death and buried up to her neck, her body left bloody and exposed. The brutality of the crime shakes the whole country, but despite his own recent trauma – and the fact that his ex-wife’s new boyfriend is also on the case - Henning is given the assignment. When the victim’s boyfriend, a Pakistani native, is arrested, Henning feels certain the man is innocent. This was not simply a Middle Eastern-style honor killing in the face of adultery – it was a far more complicated gesture, and one that will drag Henning into a darkness he’s never dreamed of.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451616453
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 10/04/2011
Series: Henning Juul Series , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.32(w) x 8.32(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of five books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017. Rights have been sold to Germany and Iceland. Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.
Follow him on Twitter @EngerThomas, on Facebook www.facebook.com/thomas.enger.77 or visit his website thomasenger.net

Read an Excerpt

1
June 2009


Her blond curls are soaked in blood.

The ground has opened up and tried to swallow her. Only her head and torso are visible. Her rigid body is propped up by the damp earth; she looks like a single long-stemmed red rose. Blood has trickled down her back in thin, elongated lines, like tears on a melancholic cheek. Her naked back resembles an abstract painting.

He takes hesitant steps inside the tent, glancing from side to side. Turn around, he tells himself. This has nothing to do with you. Just turn around, go back outside, go home, and forget what you’ve seen. But he can’t. How can he?

“H-hallo?”

Only the swishing branches of the trees reply. He takes a few more steps. The air is suffocating and clammy. The smell reminds him of something. But what?

The tent wasn’t there yesterday. To someone like him, who walks his dog every day on Ekeberg Common, the sight of the large white tent was irresistible. The strange location. He just had to look inside.

If only he could have stopped himself.

Her hand isn’t attached. It’s lying, severed, next to her arm as though it has come undone at her wrist. Her head slumps toward one shoulder. He looks at them again, the blond curls. Random patches of matted red hair make it look like a wig.

He edges up to the young woman, but stops abruptly, hyperventilating to the point where his breathing stops. His stomach muscles knot and prepare to expel the coffee and banana he had for breakfast, but he suppresses the reflex. He backs away, carefully, blinking, before he takes another look at her.

One eye is dangling from its socket. Her nose is squashed flat and seems to have disappeared into her skull. Her jaw is dented and covered with purple bruises and cuts. Thick black blood has gushed from a hole in her forehead, down into her eyes and across the bridge of what remains of her nose. One tooth hangs from a thread of coagulated blood inside her lower lip. Several teeth are scattered in the grass in front of the woman who once had a face.

Not anymore.

The last thing Thorbjørn Skagestad remembers, before staggering out of the tent, is the nail varnish on her fingers. Blood red.

Just like the heavy stones lying around her.

Henning Juul doesn’t know why he sits here. In this particular spot. The crude seating, let into the hillside, is hard. Rough and raw. Painful. And yet he always sits here. In the exact same spot. Deadly nightshade grows between the seating which slopes up toward Dælenenga Club House. Bumblebees buzz eagerly around the poisonous berries. The planks are damp. He can feel it in his backside. He should probably change his trousers when he gets home, but he knows he won’t bother.

Henning used to come here to smoke. He no longer smokes. Nothing to do with good health or common sense. His mother has smoker’s lungs, but that’s not what stops him. He wishes desperately he could smoke. Slim white friends, always happy to see you, though they never stay for long, sadly. But he can’t, he just can’t.

There are people around, but nobody sits next to him. A soccer mum down by the artificial turf looks up at him. She quickly averts her eyes. He is used to people looking at him while pretending they aren’t. He knows they wonder who he is, what has happened to him, and why he sits there. But no one ever asks. No one dares.

He doesn’t blame them.

He gets up to leave when the sun starts to go down. He is dragging one leg. The doctors have told him he should try to walk as naturally as possible, but he can’t manage it. It hurts too much. Or perhaps it doesn’t hurt enough.

He knows what pain is.

He shuffles to Birkelunden Park, past the recently restored pavilion with its new roof. A gull cries out. There are plenty of gulls in Birkelunden Park. He hates gulls. But he likes the park.

Still limping, he passes horizontal lovers, naked midriffs, foaming cans of beer, and wafts of smoke from barbecues burning themselves out. An old man frowns in concentration before throwing a metal ball toward a cluster of other metal balls on the gravel where, for once, children have left the bronze statue of a horse alone. The man misses. He only ever misses.

You and I, Henning thinks, we’ve a lot in common.

The first drop of rain falls as he turns into Seilduksgate. A few steps later, he leaves behind the bustle of Grünerløkka. He doesn’t like noise. He doesn’t like Chelsea Football Club or traffic wardens, either, but there is not a lot he can do about it. There are plenty of traffic wardens in Seilduksgate. He doesn’t know if any of them support Chelsea. But Seilduksgate is his street.

He likes Seilduksgate.

With the rain spitting on his head, he walks west toward the setting sun above the Old Sail Loft, from which the street takes its name. He lets the drops fall on him and squints to make out the contours of an object in front. A gigantic yellow crane soars toward the sky. It has been there for ever. The clouds behind him are still gray.

Henning approaches the junction where Markvei has priority from the right, and he thinks that everything might be different tomorrow. He doesn’t know if it’s an original thought or whether someone has planted it inside his head. Possibly nothing will change. Perhaps only voices and sounds will be different. Someone might shout. Someone might whisper.

Perhaps everything will be different. Or nothing. And within that tension is a world turned upside down. Do I still belong in it, he wonders? Is there room for me? Am I strong enough to unlock the words, the memories, and the thoughts which I know are buried deep inside me?

He doesn’t know.

There is a lot he doesn’t know.

He lets himself into the flat after climbing three long flights of stairs where the dust floats above the ingrained dirt in the woodwork. An appropriate transition to his home. He lives in a dump. He prefers it that way. He doesn’t think he deserves a large hallway, closets the size of shopping centers, a kitchen whose cupboards and drawers look like a freshly watered ice rink, self-cleaning white goods, delicate floors inviting you to slow dance, walls covered with classics and reference books; nor does he deserve a designer clock, a Lilia block candleholder from Georg Jensen, or a bedspread made from the foreskins of hummingbirds. All he needs is a single mattress, a fridge, and somewhere to sit down when the darkness creeps in. Because inevitably it does.

Every time he closes the front door behind him, he gets the feeling that something is amiss. His breathing quickens, he feels hot all over, his palms grow sweaty. There is a stepladder to the right, just inside the hall. He takes the stepladder, climbs it, and locates the Clas Ohlson bag on the old green hat rack. He takes out a box of batteries, reaches for the smoke alarm, eases out the battery, and replaces it with a fresh one.

He tests it to make sure it works.

When his breathing has returned to normal, he climbs down. He has learned to like smoke alarms. He likes them so much that he has eight.

© 2010 Gyldendal Norsk Forlag

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Burned 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Hubert7 More than 1 year ago
Enger carefully builds Henning Juul as the main character in this novel, revealing his background, history and behaviors one part at a time. These characteristics are cunningly woven into the story, making for a detective novel where tweaks and twists in the plot come unexpected and naturally at the same time. The plot has enough twists to keep the book interesting until the very last page, even when the culprit has been unveiled. No artificial moves or jumps in the plot, the story logic is correct and intriguing. I enjoyed reading the book, and would look forward to next publications.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 2007 Oslo, the arsonist set the home of investigative reporter Henning Juul ablaze. Henning survived with sever burns to his face and other body parts while his young son Jonas died in the inferno. His marriage to reporter Nora Klemetsen also went up in smoke. Unable to work Henning takes a two year hiatus before returning to work at 123news. His current boss Heidi Kjus was one of the many journalists he mentored. She assigns him to work with Iver Gundersen, who is stepping out with Nora, on the homicide of twentyish Henriette Hagerup. The victim was found inside a tent on Ekeberg Common where she was partially interred, her body battered and a hand severed. OPD Detective Investigator Bjarne Brogeland focuses on the Westerdals School of Communication film student's Pakistani boyfriend Mahmoud Marhoni with the motive being a sharia honor kill as her texting implies she was dating someone else and he tried to flee from the cops. The virtual tips from 6tiermes7 Juul centers his inquiry on Henriette's screenplay A Sharia Caste co-written with Anette Skoppum. This is an intriguing Norwegian whodunit as the motive is the key to solving the case. All the circumstantial evidence points to a Sharia kill by her boyfriend, but Juul helped by an on line informant looks at the screenplay as the cause. Juul's mental state surfaces when he and the killer witness one another while the latter murders again. Although the mystery contains too many headline issues especially involving Muslim expatriates living in Denmark, readers will root for Burned out Juul to solve the homicide. Harriet Klausner
BillPilgrim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Investigative journalist Henning Juul, is returning to work after a two year leave recovering four injuries he received during a fire at his home. His 6 year old son died in the fire, and Henning is consumed with guilt over being unable to save him. He has disfiguring scars on his face and has difficulty walking. He changes the fire alarms in his apartment every day.His first assignment is to cover the stoning death of a college student whose half-buried body was found in a tent where a movie she had written was to be filmed. Her Pakistani boyfriend is the prime suspect. But, Henning thinks he is innocent. His partner for this assignment is his ex-wife's new boyfriend, which creates additional angst for Henning.This is a well crafted story. There are two plot threads that both work well. One is is the story behind the woman's murder. The other involves a ruthless gang which the boyfriend had gotten entangled with. In addition to Juul and his colleagues at work, we are also introduced to the police detectives investigating the case, and Juul's well-placed anonymous source in the police force, who he communicates with only through a highly secure internet chat program.There will be more books to come featuring Juul. The plot for the next one is raised at the end of the book. I look forward to it.
souleswanderer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A woman, brutally murdered, becomes the first story covered by crime-reporter Henning Juul upon his return to 123news following a two year hiatus. What first appears as a possible honor killing involving the murdered woman's boyfriend Mahmoud Marhoni eventually becomes a much more bizarre tale of revenge.Henning Juul is too complex of a character to discover in one book. Enger paints a brief picture of his protagonist throughout the story, yet there is another depth he only touches upon. We learn he's recovering from both emotional and physical scarring after losing his son in an apartment fire, his mother's an alcoholic and emotionally cold, his sister wants nothing to do with him, and he's partnered with his ex-wife's new boyfriend. From a recurring obsession with replacing the batteries in his smoke alarms daily, to observing extinguishers and exits in unfamiliar locations, we are given some insight into a man who is attempting to control his environment while fighting the fear demon. One inconsistency I noted, at the beginning he's very reluctant to meet individuals he works with, but is very outgoing when contacting complete strangers. There are glimpses into his past, which tend to leave more unanswered questions. For instance, who is this all-knowing informant that is Juul's source, and why does a former acquaintance suddenly become his ally on the police force, when their previous encounters show mild antagonism? The story is methodical, with a few extra twists near the end and enough threads left dangling for a sequel, even after the truth becomes known. It was nice not having everything wrapped up in a tight package. And the author does a good job of touching on the religious aspects without drowning the audience in stereo-typical opinions and lectures.I did find the narrative somewhat abrupt, as if I was reading over someone's shoulder as the story unfolded, rather than being immersed in it. I'm also baffled about a decision made near the end of the book, but perhaps this will be addressed in the sequel?It's a promising start to a series, and what should become a very multi-layered protagonist in Henning Juul. I look forward to the next title and the subsequent growth in the characters and writing of Mr. Enger.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Henning Juul is a crime reporter in Oslo, Norway. He is returning to work after a fire in his flat killed his six-year-old son and left him scarred. It also ended his marriage.Henning is in the image of financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist from Steig Larrsen's Millimium Trilogy. Both men are quiet, determined and total professionals.On his first day at work, a young woman's body is found at a local park. She had marks of a stun gun and was buried up to her head. She had been stoned to death.Authorities consider that this could have been a ritual killing and question her boyfriend who is Pakistani. Henning disagrees. He has that rare investigative journalist talent for seeing when things just don't fit.Through the story, Henning shows his compassion when interviewing friends of the deceased. With his personal history of the loss of his son and the physical and mental scars, the reader has to feel for the man, and yet, he doesn't ask for sympathy.He's a true investigator and finding the reason why someone would kill this girl comsumes him. The title of the novel has many meanings. Not only was Juul's own flat burned but he shows the physical scars from the fire and he has the fire in his heart so much so that the reader catches his passion.The setting is well described as is Henning, who the reader can relate to and wish they could witness his power of deduction and bring the guilty to justice. The author provides some twists and surprises that keep the reader guessing right to the excellent conclusion.
hscherry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two years on, Henning Juul is still traumatised by the death of his son. He returns to work as a journalist and is instantly involved in the murder case of a young woman.. A murder investigation, but also the story of a man struggling to come to terms with personal tragedy.I found it hard to put down and would definitely recommend it. Looking forward to the next one!
esoldra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very good read, one that is especially recommended for a holiday or flight read, as it will wile hours away. I read a lot of crime/mystery and I must admit that I am one of the few who did not get the Millennium trilogy, having seen a previous reference to the Larsson series. This to me exceeds "The Girl With" series, as the characters are real, the protagonist flawed yet endearing, the murder mystery itself has enough turns and twists to keep you guessing to the end. I am a former journalist, the Millennium trilogy to me very much was a view of what the author wished he had been as a journalist with little reality but more a dream state, here there is a true sense of working in journalism. The book is excellently written, it engages you, a mark of a true writer is when you read with as much hunger his descriptions of an office space or a daily routine of one of his characters as you do with the anti-climatic elements to the solving of a murder and this is Enger. And unlike Larsson there is not at least one reference per page of having to buy coffee and make a sandwich.I did read an unedited proof copy and any criticism there is at all in regards to this is that of the translations and nothing at all to do with the author.
Hubert.Smits on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enger carefully builds Henning Juul as the main character in this novel, revealing his background, history and behaviors one part at a time. These characteristics are cunningly woven into the story, making for a detective novel where tweaks and twists in the plot come unexpected and naturally at the same time. The plot has enough twists to keep the book interesting until the very last page, even when the culprit has been unveiled. No artificial moves or jumps in the plot, the story logic is correct and intriguing. I enjoyed reading the book, and would look forward to next publications.
Sabinko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading Burned I could not quite put my finger on why I had trouble with the written until I realized that it was written in the present tense. I am personally not a big fan of book written in present tens but I got used to it half way through the book. Overall I enjoyed the book as I liked the main character. I would have liked to get to know more about Henning Juul though. I never got a feeling for what kind of man he was before the fire. And although the book was not written from Juul's perspective there was a distinct lack of impressions of him from the other characters in the book. I thought the story was interesting and there were enough twist in it to keep me reading. The bit that kept me going and I was hoping to find it was the questions he poses to his anonymous source right at the end though. I think this first book has set the scene for a potentially very good second book where hopefully all my questions will be answered.
SheReadsNovels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Burned is the first in a new series of crime novels by Norwegian author Thomas Enger. This book is set in Oslo and introduces us to Henning Juul, a journalist working for 123news, an internet-based newspaper. When we first meet Henning he is trying to come to terms with the tragic death of his son, Jonas, in a house fire. On his first day back at work after a long absence, he is asked to cover the story of a young woman who has been found brutally murdered in a tent on Ekeberg Common. Henning¿s research leads him from Oslo¿s Muslim community to the world of film-making, but will his investigations make him the killer¿s next target?This series has a lot of potential and I¿m pleased I could be there at the beginning rather than coming in halfway through the series which is what usually seems to happen to me! It made an interesting change to read a crime novel with a journalist as the protagonist rather than a detective or police officer. I enjoyed the descriptions of daily life in an internet newspaper office and the processes involved in researching, writing and publishing news items. I¿ve never worked as a journalist but it all seemed quite realistic to me (which is to be expected as I believe Thomas Enger has experience in journalism himself).There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot which helped to keep me interested, but while plot twists can be an important element of a good crime novel, I thought there were too many towards the end of the book. I wasn¿t quite sure exactly what was supposed to be happening and I started to get slightly confused. The writing doesn¿t always flow very well either, though this could be due to the translation (the book has been translated from the original Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund).Although I didn¿t think it was an outstanding book, I did enjoy Burned and am pleased to have discovered another promising Scandinavian crime writer. With its short chapters and fast-paced plot the book was difficult to put down and despite its length was a quick read. I also really liked Henning Juul and found him an intriguing character. I was left thinking that there must be a lot of aspects of his history and his personality still to explore, and that is why I¿m already looking forward to the publication of the second book in the series.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although the beginning of the novel was so slow I almost quit reading it, I ended up loving it completely. The main character of Burned is a newspaper reporter who knows how to ask all the right questions (and at the right time). But he's also a victim of a fire that destroyed his life, a well as disfigured him. There's just something engrossing about Henning Juul -- not just the mystery of the fire (which will hopefully be explained more in the second novel, whenever we get that one). In a way, he's like my favorite detective, Harry Hole, just without the drinking problem. Though there's not a lot of sex (or even violence) in this series, the librarian in me thinks that fans of Steig Larsson's books (if they can get through the beginning) will really like this book. Juul is a very likable and sympathetic character and while the cops in this book are far less interesting than in other Scandinavian mysteries I've read, once they start interacting with Juul, I like them a whole lot more. I'm really exciting about having a new Norwegian author to read and glad that we're getting to read the first book in English instead of the seventh or something. I can't wait for more.
SmithSJ01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the first in a series of crime novels. The main character is Henning Juul who is a journalist working for 123news, which is an internet based newspaper. He is returning to work after a considerable absence following a house fire which destroyed his life. As a reader I couldn¿t visualise Juul which sometimes made it difficult to become attached to him.Set in Oslo, the narrative centres around a tent found on a common with a young woman half-buried and stoned to death. The plot then unfolds with lots of twists and turns but doesn¿t always deliver. I found the storyline quite complicated to follow at times and I had to keep reminding myself about whom the different characters were and their involvement. At times there was too much additional detail that distracted from a fabulous narrative.Sometimes, reading a book set in a different place leaves you confused over place names and often the character names can be difficult to remember and I felt in this case a character list or something similar at the front would have been helpful. However, I don¿t know if my confusion stems from the translation or simply the fact that I am unfamiliar with Oslo.Enger¿s series of novels is one I¿ll certainly be following as I feel there is scope for exploring Juul in more detail and I look forward to finding out more about the fire. The ending of this novel opens perfectly into the next novel. I think, knowing readers who go to the last few pages first, you¿d spoil it for yourself if you did it with this book. I wish I hadn¿t seen a lot of reviews liking the set up to Steig Larsson as the only similarity I could see is that the main character is a journalist. Having not enjoyed Larsson¿s books it may have put me off.
nikkipierce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have mixed views on this book. I liked the main characters, the plot had a lot of promise, and it had twists and turns a-plenty to keep me reading to the end. However, the main twist, relating to the film the murdered girl was working on, was, frankly, bizarre and just didn't work. It just didn't make sense. So while I enjoyed the book in general, I did feel this let it down. I feel the author was trying to hard to find a killer twist and it just didn't come off.As other reviewers have said, there is nothing particularly 'new' here - damaged hero, scandinavian crime etc. It was ok, it was enjoyable enough and I'd probably read another of his, but it didn't blow me away.
lilywren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thomas Enger is another author set to fill the Scandanavian crime/thiller/mystery genre which have been popping up in abundance much like spring daisies in May! Whilst I felt this story was more lightweight compared to say, Larsson or Nesbo, I do believe there is a lot of potential for the development of Enger's writing and his main character, Henning Juul.I did read an 'uncorrected proof' version so accomodated for the sometimes odd tenses, spelling mistakes and strange translation of text. There are also some rather simplistic dialogues which I felt were not really essential in parts and, whilst there are many twists and turns, essential requirements to make a good thriller, I did start to feel there were one too many turns and that Enger wasn't sure how to end the story towards the last few chapters.That said, I did enjoy it and feel that Henning Juul has a lot of potential as the 'compulsory lead loner with a traumatic background story and maverick way of working' kind of character that is needed for such a series (look towards Harry Hole or Mika Blomkvist). Henning is a journalist who has returned after 2 years out of work due to a traumatic incident, he finds himself in the middle of, not just reporting a murder, but, as is essential to these dramas, being chased, having his life threatened and also having to do much of the investigating as the police seem to miss quite a bit (on a side note - I do worry about the efficiency of the scandanavian police sometimes if these books are anything to go by!) The story moves at a great pace and did keep my attention. I have struggled reading books lately, or at least finishing books, but I had no such problems with 'Burned'.As a previous reviewer says, a promising start to a new series and I would recommend it to those that enjoy this genre. That said, Enger does have a lot to contend with having heavyweight contemporaries such as Jo Nesbo and the Larsson Trilogy....
runner56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I suppose I have been spoilt my Hemming Menkel and have loved his Wallander series so this book had a lot to live up to..which is a lot of ask for a first book by a new author. It was quite enjoyable but did not really set me on fire (little pun :) ) I found the plot became very "plodding" in the middle and was glad when I finished. I think there is promise here of a better book in the future when the main character Henning Juul can be developed, for now I will conclued and say as my old school report would read....Nice try could do better....
teresa1953 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This proved to be a fairly absorbing read. A new Scandinavian crime writer...they seem to be hot property at the moment.I really liked the lead character Henning Juul, a flawed character, which is pleasing. Henning is a journalist, and so the story is told from a different perspective than the usual detective take on things. He is badly disfigured from a fire in his apartment in which his 6 year old son is killed. The story begins when Juul is returning to work after a 2 year absence. He is thrown in to the deep end by a particularly brutal murder, with all the hallmarks of a so called Muslim "honour killing".The story did wane a little in the middle and I did guess who the perpetrator was quite early on. Maybe I watch too many crime dramas!Certainly one to watch. It's no "Wallender", but I shall certainly be interested in the next chapter of Juul's story being released in July 2012.
Fluffyblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very similar in set up to Steig Larsson's Millennium series in that the main character is a journalist, but I suppose there the similarities end. The copy I read was an uncorrected proof, and I have to say that the writing didn't seem to flow, sometimes the tenses where wrong and the book was often disjointed, but I think this is because it was translated from Norweigan into English. Perhaps it just needs looking at again.The story itself was quite good - a journalist goes back to work after a recent trauma, and gets embroiled in what looks like an honour killing. The plot is quite complicated and there a few twists and turns - you often think, well that's that then, and something else happens after that which you weren't expecting. On the whole, a promising start to a new series of books (I think the next one in the series is due out in July 2012).
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even if I didn't know that there are already more books by this author in the works, the end of Burned literally paves the way for a sequel. Hopefully the new entries will be translated and made available to readers as soon as possible, because if this first foray is any indication, the series is going to be a good one.A young woman is found half buried and stoned to death in a tent with one of her hands cut off. It is not long until the police suspect that the details of her death relate to an "honor killing," a draconian form of punishment under Sharia law, implying a connection to Islam. It just so happens that her boyfriend is a Muslim, and it doesn't help that the a) young woman has left two messages for him about another man meaning nothing, asking for forgiveness and b) he is found trying to destroy his computer when the police come to question him. The boyfriend is quickly arrested. The murder coincides with the return of Henning Juul, an investigative journalist for the online news site, 1-2-3 News, "as easy as 1-2-3!" Juul has been away for two years as a result of a tragedy that left him physically scarred on the outside and emotionally scarred within. He's not too excited about returning to work after what's happened, but his feelings begin to change as he becomes involved in covering the case. Sent to cover the press conference on his first day back, Juul hears what the police have to say, and isn't quite sure they've got it right. After he goes to visit the university where the young girl was a student, he is even more convinced that there's much more to this story than meets the eye. Helped by an informant from the police whose identity he does not know, as they converse only via instant messaging, Juul sets out to discover the truth, and as he does so, he puts his own life in danger.There are several reasons to like this novel. First, there's Juul himself, who makes his way back into the world of journalism only to find that it's become more dependent on titillation, sensationalism and celebrities rather than on old-fashioned reporting, and that now it's the sex and gossip columnist that is the "paper's most important news desk", and that the number of website hits is what really determines success. It's interesting to watch Juul slowly changing as the thrill of chasing after the truth starts to help him back to his feet emotionally, but he also carries around a lot of baggage. There's his mother, lost in an alcohol and cigarette haze; his estranged sister, who just happens to be a minister of justice, and his ex-wife, who is now involved with one of Juul's colleagues; all of this on top of dealing with past tragedy, or "That Which He Doesn't Think About," which is unfolded as the novel progresses. The plotting is tight and very well paced, and there's a good, solid mystery at the core. But there's something else as well -- although the plot involves elements of Islam, it never devolves into anything stereotypical or demeaning. On the other side of the fence, I got really tired of the character of Inspector Bjarne Brogeland, a schoolmate of Juul's, and a "Romeo whose ambition was to sleep with as many girls as posssible." He might be a decent cop, but the continuing sleazebaggy, interior monologues about another female officer that run throughout the story got really old after a while. The first of these was just an eyebrow raiser, as in "this guy's such a jerk", but became tedious very quickly. I can only hope that in the next novel the author either develops this bit or shelves it all together. It's pointless, really, adding nothing to the story but contempt for a cop. While a great many of the characters are flawed, as credible characters most often are, Brogeland was just a bit too much to take. And as another issue, I sort of figured out the who before anyone else in the story did -- to me it was a bit obvious.Overall, Burned is intelligent, believable (down to Juul's obsession
moosenoose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well the opening scene of a woman stoned to death in a tent certainly grabs your attention and pulls you straight into the story. The main character Juul is obviously fighting demons from his past whilst trying to move on with his life and get back some kind of normality - not exactly possible with a body in a tent! However, after that first opening scene I found my attention drifting and I just couldn't get into the story all that well. Some parts seemed believable yet others, I just couldn't see happening, which was a bit of a let down. The fact that Juul is a complex and interesting character, quite different to the usual crime solvers, does however make this book more interesting. And the openish ending means that another book is on the way! It will be interesting to see how Juul's character develops over the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Book Title: "Burned" Author: Thomas Enger Published By: Atria Books Age Recommended: 18 + Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard Raven Rating: 5 Review: A mystery of horrific intensity, “Burned” grabs you from the first page and refuses to let go. When a young woman is found buried in the earth from her waist down and has been the victim of a ritualistic stoning, Henning Juul is called in to investigate. The plot continues to thicken as he uncovers what is suspected to be a religious act only to find out it goes much deeper. This novel has it all, from struggles with racism, to the secret truth you’ll be shocked to learn what is really going on and who the ultimate culprit is. I definitely recommend this novel, though a word of warning; it does contain some dark and horrific conscious imagery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago