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Thursday, 1 June 2017

‘Cursed’ by Thomas Engen

Translated by Kari Dickson
Published by Orenda Books,
1 March 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-910633-64-9 (PBO)

Present-day Norway. Hedda Hellberg told her husband she was having a three-week retreat in Italy. When she didn’t return, he contacted her journalist friend, Nora, who soon discovered that Hedda never even booked a flight ...

This journalist investigation thriller follows Nora and her estranged husband, Henning Juul. Both are characters you want to get to know. Their lives have been defined by the loss of their son, Jonas, in an arson attack. Nora is trying to rebuild her life, while Henning is determined to track down the person responsible for the fire, at any cost to himself. Their separate investigations gradually focus on the late Tore Pulli, an enforcer who once worked for the Hellberg family. The plot is intricate, with several twists, the motive unusual and convincing, and the final scenes page-turning. Nordic Noir fans will enjoy the setting, which moves from Oslo to the countryside. The novel ends with a new lead in Henning’s quest.

A cleverly-plotted Nordic Noir family who-dunnit, with sympathetic protagonists. Recommended.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Thomas Enger born 1973 is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndod) in 2009, which became aninternational sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 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 26 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). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.
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.

A review of her recent book Ghosts of the Vikings can be read here.

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