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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

‘The Hunting Dogs’ by Jorn Lier Horst

Published by Sandstone Press,
15 May 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-908737-64-9

Seventeen years ago, William Westing led the investigation into the kidnap and murder of teenager Cecilia Linde.  Now the perpetrator’s lawyer is alleging that the evidence was falsified, and the media are baying for his blood. Meanwhile, his journalist daughter, Line, is investigating an apparently unrelated street murder.

This was a stunner of a good read.  It was wonderfully clear, with complete chapters of narration centred on either William or Line, so that you got a good chunk of each story before catching up on the other one, and you never had to stop to remind yourself who this character was.  The father-daughter relationship was a positive one, and both were likeable characters: Wisting, the experienced, honest cop and Line, the determined journalist.  Wisting’s part of the story gave a real feel of how policing in Norway worked (Horst is a retired senior policeman), and Line could push the boundaries her father couldn’t cross.  The plot was elegantly crafted, with fair clueing to the least-likely suspect in the final unmasking.  Although there were unpleasant aspects to the plot, it was more like a cosy than a Scandi noir, with police procedure and suspect interviews balanced among action sections.

This is the third of the Wisting series to be translated, and although it’s a stand-alone, you might like to start with Dregs (sixth in the series), then Closed for Winter.  Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Jørn Lier Horst was born 27 February 1970, Telematk, Norway. He worked at Larvik from 1995-2013 becoming  a Senior Investigating Officer. He made his debut in 2004 with the crime novel Key Witness, based on a true murder story. The detective character in his novels is William Wisting.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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