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1222 Paperback – 1 Dec 2010

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Paperback, 1 Dec 2010

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Export & Airside ed edition (1 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848878109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848878105
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,183,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"* 'Anne Holt is the latest crime writer to reveal how truly dark it gets in Scandinavia' - Val McDermid * 'A pleasure from start to finish... a dazzling and classic crime story and a brilliant thriller' - Bokavisen, Norway * 'A fascinating, extremely modern homage to the classic detective novel' - Der Spiegel, Germany * 'Holt updates the classic locked-room-mystery with such bravado that on the last page the reader can only give a deep sigh of contentment' - Aamulehti, Finland * 'A masterpiece in the genre, a real non-stop read' - Skanska Dagbladet, Sweden"

About the Author

Anne Holt spent two years working for the Oslo Police Department before founding her own law firm and serving as Norway's Minister for Justice in 1996/97. Her first book was published in 1993 and she has subsequently developed two series: the Hanne Wilhelmsen series and the Vik/Stubo series. Both series will be published by Corvus.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
Anne Holt's latest novel is "1222". The numbers refer to the height above sea level of the town where this modern version of the classic crime story takes place. The story starts with a derailment just as the train leaves Finesnut on its journey from Olso to Bergen. Plenty of injuries, but the train driver is the lone casualty. Amongst the 269 passengers who are evacuated to the nearby century-old mountain hotel are self-indulgent teens, German tourists, a church group, a sports team, the unseen occupants of a mysterious extra carriage, a group of doctors (conveniently for those injured) on their way to a conference and retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen. Add some locals and hotel staff, a snowstorm to ensure everyone has to stay put, a murder (or two) and you have the definitive locked room mystery. Hanne is not Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot: there's no rubbing of hands together with glee at the challenge; she doesn't want to get involved. Hanne is paralysed, confined to a wheelchair, limited to the lobby level. Whilst relying on those around her for some pertinent information, her powers of observation and deduction are obviously acute and she has the case solved in time for the classic denouement when the cops finally arrive.
Anne Holt gives us a prickly heroine. She's cynical, perceptive, has a very dry sense of humour and an incisive wit. Hanne's inner monologue is a delight; her other characters and the dialogue are realistic and the action is non-stop. Holt touches on several topical issues and throws in a bit of philosophy. The Beaufort scale chapter headings are a fitting touch. "1222" gives the reader undiluted pleasure throughout: this novel is hard to put down. Marlaine Delargy's excellent translation certainly deserves a mention.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rogue Eyebrow on 15 Jan 2011
Format: Hardcover
Undemandingly enjoyable but rather disappointing in some ways. The central character's situation - being paraplegic - could have been very interesting but was done in a superficial, by-the-numbers sort of way. Indeed, all of the characters were superficial. The situation - 200 people holed up in an isolated hotel whose triple-glazed windows were straining to hold up against an unprecedented and deadly snowstorm while internal dissent threatened violent confrontation - should have been dramatic but never really went anywhere. And (without giving anything away) the clues to the identity of the murderer depended on guessing the mishearing of something in Norwegian that doesn't survive the transposition into English (so people reading this in English don't stand a chance) and a completely improbable description of what someone would have worn outside in conditions of minus 30 degrees (when you get to the ending ask yourself: would you have gone out in that dressed in only your...).

Kept me entertained but more by the setting and the situation than the quality of characterisation, dialogue, description or plot.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Sandro Clementi on 10 July 2011
Format: Paperback
No doubt there's something to be said for the various positive reviews shown here. However, if you were guided by critical plaudits on the cover of 1222 you might well be buying this because you wanted and expected an edge-of-seat thriller, - in which case you'd stand a high chance of being seriously disappointed. The premise outlined on the back is so good that you naturally expect the comparisons with Larsson and Deaver to be accurate; but, on the handful of occasions when I've found myself in Norway over the years and once the awe-inspiring scenery has become familiar, it's struck me as an almost catatonically uneventful country, and this novel seems to reflect that to a yawn-inducing degree. The reviewer who accused it of being slow-moving and repetitive spoke justly. Moreover, in the absence of any other source we have to accept Hanne Wilhelmsen's observation of events and human behaviour as definitive, while still noting that accident and disablement in the line of past police duty have left her at a mildly dysfunctional and misanthropic angle to the rest of society. For me, this results in an oddly gratuitous style of narrative and characterisation whereby, if personality and motive inform action at all, they simply fail to convince. Almost nothing happens; the dramatis personae fail to engage the reader's sympathy, one of the most winning characters drops out of events about two thirds of the way through and then barely reappears, and the menace promised on the cover completely fails to materialise. Most irksomely, there is a damp squib of a non-climax, as incoherent and implausible circumstantially as it is inert and lethargic imaginatively. The very end baffled me, I suspect because it may have been setting up something for a planned sequel and also referring back to an earlier instalment.Read more ›
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sometimes, you read a book at just the right time - whether because it chimes with personal circumstances and feelings, or, more mundanely, because it echoes something that's going on around you. So I enjoyed reading "1222" not only for the plot and characters but as the UK was plunged into an early winter. The story takes place in Norway, no stranger of course to cold weather, but it is a point of the plot that the weather is especially bad, trapping a group of passengers who have survived a train crash in a remote, mountain hotel. What starts out a rather jolly time is darkened by a series of murders and other deaths, and Hanne, an ex policewoman, must become - reluctantly at first - a detective again.

I've seen this book described as a "locked room" mystery. That rather misses the point. A locked room story is where the murderer gets into - or out of - the room (or both) to commit the crime and escape. The entertainment is in teasing out how that happened. Here, we know how the murdered got into the "room", because we came in with them... and nobody's getting out. So it's more like an inside out locked room. We are all locked in. Here, Anne Holt expertly uses the situation - the storm, the murders - to build a sense of claustrophobia (and the English translation must contribute to this too). Each chapter begins with a description of the Beaufort scale for wind strength, building up to hurricane force. We almost feel the presence of the storm outside as something unnatural, unprecedented, trying to get into the hotel where Hanne and her small group of allies confront not only the fact of the murders but the rising panic and scapegoating of the trapped passengers.

Hanne herself is a fascinating, complex character.
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