You can’t go wrong with a Jørn Lier Horst novel
Christine Foster Meloni
Not only are his novels well written and engaging,but they are also very realistic because of the author’s background. Before becoming a popular crime novelist, Horst was a Senior Investigating Officer in the Vestfold Police District. His police experience is undeniably an asset in his plot construction.
He has written 12 novels in his Chief Inspector William Wisting series. Six have been translated into English and published: Dregs, Closed for Winter, The Hunting Dogs, The Caveman, Ordeal, and When It Grows Dark. They are all worthy of consideration.
For new readers, the last book to be translated, When It Grows Dark, might be a good place to begin because it is a prequel to the series. Wisting’s daughter Line plays a major role in the first five translated books as a journalist who assists him in solving his cases. The prequel begins shortly after she and her twin brother, Thomas, are born.
The novel begins at Christmas time in 1983 in Stavern, Norway. Wisting is a young policeman at the beginning of his career. He is ambitious and eagerly accepts overtime work. He is struggling, however, to find a balance between his career aspirations and his home life with his wife and their demanding twin babies.
He is initially involved in the investigation of a series of violent robberies, but as more experienced officers take over, he finds himself without much to do. He then stumbles upon a curious situation that he believes might involve not only a recent crime but also an unsolved cold case.
He discovers an old car in an abandoned barn. He is surprised to find bullet holes in the car and immediately suspects foul play. His superiors give little credence to his reasoning and do not authorize an investigation. He, therefore, begins to investigate on his own. And, of course, he is right, and the reader becomes involved in a fast-paced and often dangerous pursuit of the truth. His successful career is launched!
Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She values her Norwegian heritage.
This article originally appeared in the March 23, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.