Hello Book Lover,
Don’t you just love it when you cannot get a book in your eyeballs quick enough, ‘Death Deserved’ was that kind of book. It has been a while since I have read a crime thriller/ police procedural, they are usually my go to genre, when I am in a book slump or want something comforting _ before you say it, I know!! I reach for a Nordic/Scandi noir typically this has been Jo Nesbo, but move over Mr Nesbo as Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger may have just snatched your crown.
When ‘Death Deserved’ came onto my radar I jumped at the chance of taking part in the blog tour. I am so glad that I did because what an incredible read it was.
Want to see what the fuss is about, have a read of the synopsis and my review below to see why you need ‘Death Deserved’ on your reading lists –
‘Death Deserved’ Synopsis.
Police officer Alexander Blix and celebrity blogger Emma Ramm join forces to track down a serial killer with a thirst for attention and high-profile murders, in the first episode of a gripping new Nordic Noir series…
Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrom never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrom’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.
Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing-persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrom soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…
Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flair for the dramatic, and thirst for attention. Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…
I find it so difficult to review a book of this genre, and particularly ‘Death Deserved’ as there were so many twists and turns which if I discussed them in too much detail would give the whole game away, so below is my very careful (and a little vague) review of this cracker.
The opening chapter is everything I want from a noir novel, in a flash back scene we are transported nineteen years earlier, where police officer Alexander Brix is called to a domestic incident, a man has killed his wife and taken his daughter hostage, a stand-off between dad and police officer ensues which ends with a single gunshot fired and then……the scene ends!
What?!? Hang on, what happened?!?
Instantly I was hooked, they had me. Fast forward 48 hours I had read it cover to cover and was so invested in the story and in particular the two main characters Brix and Ramm.
From the second chapter we are plunged into the present day, we catch up with Brix who has just met his new partner, Kovic, she is a fast rising police officer who wants to make a name for herself in the department. Brix still works in the police but he has settled for the quiet life, content with carrying out day to day detective work, if not a little aggrieved at his superior Fosse.
When Sonja Nordstrom goes missing, Blix and Kovic are asked to make some enquiries, what starts off as a missing persons investigation soon takes a sinister turn, and before long with Blix has assistance from an unlikely source, celebrity blogger Emma Ramm. The missing person case soon takes on a life of its own and before long the police have a cold, calculated and well organised serial killer with a penchant for numbers on the loose.
Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger explore lots of different themes within ‘Death Deserved’, there is redemption with Blix trying desperately to do the right thing and make amends for something which happened in his past and which haunts him. Ramm, is haunted by trauma which she experienced whilst growing up which has impacted upon her ability to develop relationships, although a celebrity blogger she is keen to be taken seriously as a journalist and the thrill of the serial killer drives her to take risks and as she does she becomes closer to the story than she expected. The depiction of how we engage with celebrity culture and social media, the weigh that we place of those people who are catapulted into the limelight for their fifteen minutes of fame is also discussed, in a really interesting way which makes you think how reliant we have become upon modern technology and how this can have both positive and negative repercussions.
This is the first in what is set to be a series of books featuring Blix and Ramm this is great news as not only do I want more, but I am a sucker for a book series. I must admit, I was a little sceptical as to how this book would work given that it is written by two authors, I thought that it may feel jarring in parts and impact how the story flowed, however I need not of worried as the book flowed incredibly well, these two are definitely a new tour de force of Norwegian Noir whose other works I will definitely be looking up.
The short chapters made it incredibly difficult to put this book down, almost every chapter ended with some kind of cliff hanger, which inevitably meant I had to carry on reading. Chapter 60 was the ultimate one for me, at this point I knew I wouldn’t see sleep and I was going to finish the book regardless the time (it was 2am, in case you were wondering and totally worth it).
A huge thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. Death Deserved is out in paperback now and is published by Orenda Books.