Posts Tagged ‘Hildur Sif Thorarensen’


** My thanks to the author for my copy of this book **



Which is worse, trying to catch a cunning killer leaving decapitated women in the woods, or trying to tame an unconventional forensic psychiatrist that seems determined to go his own way?

The Oslo autumn is creeping in with its cold spells and Homicide Detective Julia Ryland is feeling pretty content with her team of three, but when the FBI behavioral analyst, Alexander Smith, is thrust upon her, the crisp autumn air doesn’t feel as refreshing anymore. A young Icelander is found dead, an arrow piercing his heart and the extensive list of his former lovers suggests that many long nights are ahead. The murdered lothario suddenly becomes the least of their problems as headless corpses start appearing in the woods, positioned in terrifying ways and on their bodies they find messages that don’t seem to have any meaning at all.

My Thoughts & Review:

I am a fan of Nordic noir, and so when I saw the description of this book I was eager to read this.

Set in Norway, Loner is a dark and chilling tale following a killer abducting and murdering victims, before leaving them staged for the police to discover. These cases are investigated by a detective Julia Ryland and a behavioral analyst from the FBI, but the most interesting thing is that this analyst is a Norwegian, transplanted back to the land of his birth.

Detective Julia Ryland is a serious character, and she contrasts well with the analyst Alexander Smith, and indeed the members of her own team. Smith, is a more open character, prone to giving voice to thoughts as they appear in his head, often not in the most appropriate of settings or times. But through this, we find out more about Smith and his background and his outbursts do make for a slightly humorous read, as does the inclusion of Eric and Hercules, the other members of Ryland’s team.

I did find this to be a tricky read, the characters were not ones that I could take to easily, something about them felt a little lacking in seriousness. This was however made up for with the humour throughout the narrative. Having read a few humorous crime novels lately, I do admit that I find these to be quite an entertaining read.
The plot was interesting and the crimes that occurred felt well thought out, and left me surprised at where the author twisted the narrative.

As with all translated works, there is the worry that something may get lost in translation and I did feel that something was missing here.
This is the first book in a series and I would be keen to see where the author takes her characters next.


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