From Norway’s bestselling female crime writer, this installment in the Edgar-nominated mystery series featuring the whip-smart detective Hanne Wilhelmsen is “an ideal read-alike for fans of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole and Karin Fossum’s Inspector Sejer” (Booklist).
Chief Public Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud’s wife is found brutally decapitated in front of the fireplace in the family living room. Her husband, who claims he witnessed the grisly murder and is himself covered in blood, immediately falls under suspicion, though he insists his wife’s killer was Ståle Salvesen, a businessman he’d prosecuted years before for insider dealing. Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is called in to lead the investigation with her old colleague, Billy T. Despite the circumstantial evidence, Hanne is unconvinced of Sigurd Halvorsrud’s guilt—that is, until a witness says he saw Ståle Salvesen commit suicide by jumping off a bridge days before the murder took place. Then a journalist at one of Oslo’s largest newspapers is found beheaded. What links these two horrific crimes? The demands of the investigation soon clash with a terrible crisis in Hanne’s personal life: Cecilie, the woman she has lived with for almost twenty years, has fallen seriously ill and doesn’t have much time to live. With a savage killer on the loose, Hanne must ask herself: Is the truth worth chasing at all costs?
The New York Times Book Review declares, “Wherever Hanne shows up next...follow that wheelchair.” Anne Holt’s Hanne Wilhelmsen novels are “fast-paced and involving” (The Wall Street Journal), and Dead Joker is “an immersive tale that packs an emotional punch and offers incisive commentary on the failings of the criminal justice system” (Publishers Weekly).
About the Author
Anne Holt is Norway’s bestselling female crime writer. She was a journalist and news anchor and 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 and 1997. Her first novel was published in 1993 and her books have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold more than 7 million copies. Her novel 1222 was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in Oslo with her family.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Once again, I am starting in the middle of a series and wondering how I never ran across this series since it was first published in the 90s. This is Norwegian crime fiction, starring Hanne Wilhelmsen, Detective Inspector. Chief Public Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud's found covered in blood and his wife decapitated in the next room. He is obvious the primary suspect and he comes up with a fantastic story claiming a man he's never met killed his wife. Yet he knows the man's name and address. Things get real interesting when someone reports that this man committed suicide days before Halvorsrud's wife is murdered ... yet his body cannot be found. And then there is another beheading. Hanne and her colleague, Billy T, are called in to investigate ... quietly. This has a very complicated plot with a lot of complex characters. It's slow moving, but very thorough. Being a translation, some things seem a little off, but if you have patience, the story is quite good. Hanne is not a nice person, at least what she presents to the outside world. Inside, there is some softness, but she's more dedicated to her job than to anything else. The woman she has loved with for many years is critically ill ... yet Hanne misses all the signs. Her best friend, Billy T, is just about to reach the end of his rope dealing with her. I would like to read the beginning of this series, if only to see how these characters have grown and changed over the years. My thanks to the author / Scribner / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.