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Death in Oslo (Vik/Stubo) Paperback – 4 Aug 2016
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Anne Holt is the Godmother of Norwegian crime fiction --Jo Nesbo
Lively, unusual and persuasive. Holt writes with the command we have come to expect from the top Scandinavian writers. --The Times
Anne Holt is a thriller writer of the highest order. --Liza Marklund
Step aside, Stieg Larsson, Holt is the queen of Scandinavian crime thrillers.--Red magazine
The gripping third instalment in Anne Holt's Vik/Stubo series. When the first female US president is kidnapped on a state visit to Norway, Johanne Vik and Adam Stubo must race against time to prevent a national security crisis.See all Product description
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published in English.Once more it features the Oslo
detective Adam Stubo and his wife,an FBI trained profiler,
In 2005 .Helen Lardahl Bentley becomes the first woman
president of the USA,four months after her inauguration,on
an official trip to Oslo,she is kidnapped.The Norwegian police
and the FBI uneasily join forces to investigate and try to find her.
The President has a secret in her past,is it this or something else,
that is behind the disappearance?
Perhaps not Anne Holt's best ,but nevertheless this is a well-crafted
enjoyable thriller that relies as much on characterisation as on plot.
"She thought she could get away with it. She was wrong..."
Here we have another in the current and considerable stable of highly original Scandinavian crime writers, courtesy of the translation skills of Don Bartlett, Bernard Scudder, Marlaine Delargy, Kari Dickson, and the husband and wife team Tiina Nunnally and Steven T. Murray.
This book is my first experience of Norwegian Anne Holt's writing, apparently her third, lauded by no less than Val McDermid and Peter Gutteridge. The very mundane title, no doubt a simplification of the original Norwegian one (which is not even mentioned on the title page) does it no service and tends to suggest a cosier fireside mystery, which it certainly isn't. Instead this was a roller coaster ride of a story that swept me away.
Holt weaves her credible and tautly written story from the proposition of a forceful US woman senator succeeding George Bush to the White House - the echoes of Obama's accession will resonate even though this was published in 2006. It is also a classic `locked room' mystery. The new President of the United States, Helen Lardahl Bentley, disappears completely and inexplicably from a locked and super-secure hotel room whilst on an official state visit to her family's `old country' of origin. The Oslo police and the Justice ministries are shocked, highly embarrassed and completely baffled; but squirm with even greater anger and indignation when the FBI and myriad other US authority figures descend on Oslo and bulldoze their way into internal investigations with casual arrogance (one wonders perhaps if this is not too impossible an occurrence?) and with all the tact and diplomacy of a herd of reindeer in a china shop. All too soon it develops that this is a conspiracy, orchestrated internationally with the complicity of several US citizens, reminding us that here are the chilling overtones of one or two entirely real possibilities of different sorts of 'international' terrorism.
One small angle which struck a jarring note was one of the ongoing characters Johanne Vik, a former FBI profiler and PhD, taking time off caring for her two children, one severely handicapped. For me she seemed one of the weakest of the characters despite her considerable professional pedigree. And what really was the purpose of her unusual friend Hanne Wilhelmson beyond her presence in the apartment building?
In the paperback version I read, a Little Brown `Sphere original' publication there was one incomprehensibly careless and glaring mistake in its back cover description - calling President Bentley, Helen `Barclay'.
However, all in all, highly recommended. Five stars.
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