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Saturday, 25 November 2017

‘The Caveman’ by Jorn Lier Horst

Translated by Anne Bruce.
Published by Sandstone Press,
19 February.
ISBN: 978-191012404-8

Chief Inspector Wisting rarely sees his reclusive neighbour, Viggo Hansen, but it’s a shock when he discovers that Hansen has been dead for four months, sitting in his chair in front of his TV... then a second body suggests a serial killer’s at work.

One strand of this cleverly-plotted novel is classic PP, as CI Wisting investigates the deaths, along with his team; the other has a journalist protagonist, as Wisting’s daughter  Line becomes unwittingly involved through her investigation of who Viggo Hansen was, and how his death came about. The third-person narrative moves between Wisting and Line in alternate chapters. Wisting is a likeable character, sensitive and determined in pursuing the truth; he’s just returned to work after being suspended, and is recovering from a failed relationship (the novel begins with a handy resume of who’s who and their back stories). He’s protective of his daughter, and professional about his cases, so it’s clear why she doesn’t realise that she’s blundering into a case which expands to include officers from the US. The tensions between the two forces are convincingly drawn, and the clues leading to the climax cunningly woven in. As the novel progresses, the pace hots up, and the reader’s constantly being left on a cliff-hanger for Line as the viewpoint switches to Wisting, and vice versa. The background of country Norway, the south-west area of Vestfold, is enjoyable, and the winter atmosphere shiveringly convincing.

A page-turning blend of PP and journalist investigator, with a duel against a cunning serial killer set against snowy Norway.
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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