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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 July 2012
Nineteen years after it's original publishing in Norway (yes 19 YEARS, not months!), we finally have a translation into English. The plot is excellent and we have a very good introduction to the lesbian policewoman Hanne Wilhelmsen.
There have so far been eight titles in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. Below I have listed the original publishing year in Norway, the Norwegian title and then the English equivalent.
- 1993 Blind gudinne (Blind Goddess)
- 1994 Salige er de som tørster (Blessed Are Those Who Thirst)
- 1995 Demonens død (Death of the Demon)
- 1997 Løvens gap (co-authored with Berit Reiss-Andersen) (The Lion's Mouth)
- 1999 Død joker (Dead Joker)
- 2000 Uten ekko (co-authored with Berit Reiss-Andersen) (Without Echo)
- 2003 Sannheten bortenfor (The Truth Beyond)
- 2007 1222
Blind Goddess has also been adapted as a TV series and screened in several countries including Norway, Sweden and Germany in the late 1990's. Let's hope we might get a chance to see that too.

Enjoy Blind Goddess. Don't be put off by some procedures seeming a little dated, but the book is from 1993.
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on 23 July 2012
The Blind Goddess is the first novel in the Detective Inspector
Hanne Wilhelmsen series,and although published in 1993,and only
now translated into English,it is a cracking good read.
When a small-time Oslo drug dealer is beaten to death,a young
Dutchman is arrested,but stays silent under questioning by the
police.Shortly afterwards a lawyer is found murdered.As the
story unfolds Hanne finds a link between the murders and becomes
engulfed in criminality that reaches high levels of society.
The author has worked both as a lawyer and for the police,so it
is not surprising that the police procedural aspects and the
interplay between lawyers are particularly well done.
A first rate thriller.
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on 14 April 2013
I was delighted to have discovered Anne Holt's crime writing: there's a sort of tired, whimsical feel to her characters, who, in this case, are a State Prosecutor, a tax lawyer and high ranking detective. There's no pretence at coolness or any sort of moody Baltic shtick in this tale - it's concerned wth ordinary people and tawdry crimes in an all-too-real Oslo. In spite of the chilly climes, though, there's also a warmth, that comes through from the characters and their interactions: amidst the toughness of the job, they treat one another wth fondness, respect and even love. I found myself wishing I worked with them!
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on 30 October 2012
I received my copy from Atlantic Books through Book Geeks and would rate this book 4.5 stars.

Karen, a corporate lawyer, discovers a body while walking her dog. The man, who will be indentified as a drug dealer, has been battered to death. Hours later a young Dutch man is found wondering through the streets of Oslo, covered in blood. The Dutch student is taken into custody but refuses to speak and will only accept legal representation if it comes from the lawyer who found the body. When five days later a shady criminal lawyer is murdered the two crimes don't seem to be related. But Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen suspects otherwise and her instincts are rarely wrong. When she discovers that the murdered lawyer had defended the murdered drug dealer she has been vindicated and now Hanne and her colleagues have a real case to investigate. But it is a case without any real leads and far more questions than answers. And when another drug dealer is killed while in prison, Hanne is attacked in work and the Dutch student scared into insanity it becomes apparent that the investigators are up against powerful forces. Forces that are willing to do almost anything to keep their network and motives secret.

This is my second encounter with a mystery by Anne Holt and I have to say I am impressed. Like "1222" this is a well plotted and very well written book. The mystery, which appears straightforward enough, gets more complicated as the story proceeds. The reader is given more then enough insight into what is going on to keep up with the investigators and at times has access to a bit more information than the characters in the book. Don't let that fool you into thinking that you know what is going on though, nothing is as clear-cut as it might appear and the author has a few surprises in store for the reader.

I really appreciated how realistic this description of an investigation was. The reader gets completely swept up in how frustrating proper police procedure can be for the investigators. No shortcuts are taken in this book, coincidences and suspicions are not enough to warrant an arrest. The investigators have to dig and dig deeper in order to find the evidence they need to act against those they suspect. And evidence is hard to come by.
There is a very nice balance between the crimes, the investigation and the private lives of the various characters in this book. We learn enough about the characters to take an interest in them and their well-being while those details never interrupt the flow of the story or the unravelling of the mystery.

It is interesting to discover that Anne Holt is a former minister of justice in Norway. Reading this book with that knowledge in the back of your mind does make you wonder what exactly is going on at government level, how much is going on behind the scenes that we, the public, are never supposed to find out about.

It seems that I have managed to find myself another must read mystery author and I'm looking forward to reading the 6 titles between this one and 1222 and get the rest of Hanne's story as well as the undoubtedly excellent mysteries.
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on 15 May 2013
This book, The Blind Goddess by Anne Holt, is a book I wanted to read and a book I wanted to like. Anne Holt has a high reputation as a writer, but that reputation is not in evidence in this book. It starts off well with a body, a murder, a good witness and a blood stained young man. It ends well with a brilliant race to solve the crime. The middle portion was lacklustre and very confused and confusing.

The lead character comes over well and the reader gets a sense of the conflict in her private life. The police lawyer is shown at the beginning to be intellectually inferior to nearly every other character, but is, mysteriously the confident of one and the lover of another. It did not ring true.

There are some interesting ideas in the book and the ending is powerful. Whether they are enough, I have to question. Anne Holt has written some excellent books and I think new readers should start with them.
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on 20 February 2014
I enjoyed this. It was apparently written back in 1989 but doesn't seem so at all as you read it. Her books have just been translated. I will definitely look for more in the series. I did get a little bit bogged down by some of the governmental "stuff" but thankfully it didn't carry on and we got past it. It caused me quite a bit of confusion as a few odd chapters don't tell you who is being referred to. Yes, part of the mystery but also quite confusing as well. Something I wondered about was Karen the lawyer's growing up under surveillance by local intelligence services. I didn't understand that. Another mention was Denmark sinking into the sea. I assumed it meant a suburb of Norway but couldn't find a mention on Google to clarify this.
However, I persisted and I'm pleased I did.I liked Hanne and also a few of the other characters she works with as well and I'm hoping we get to stick with them as a team in the ensuing stories.
And there were also NO MISTAKES which was pretty wonderful for a free download !!
I'll look forward to Hanne's next outing. I have the second book in my Amazon wishlist.
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This is the first book I have read by this author. The story is set in Oslo, Norway and begins with the discovery of a gruesomely murdered body by a lawyer Karen Borg. When the suspect demands that she act as his lawyer, and that he stay in custody at the police cells rather than the central prison, things go from strange to very odd. Police officers Håkon Sand and Hanne Wilhelmsen work to try and find out what links the young Dutchman held in custody had to the murder suspect, and how other events that begin to occur may be linked to events beyond their wildest imaginings.

This was a really well written story; the language is sparse and precise. Descriptions of the locales of each different scene are very clearly written, and the action is well-paced. The characters are `real' and offer a picture of the rather weary, cynical law officers that must be quite common in big cities like Oslo. This is the first in the series of Hanne Wilhelmsen novels. Definitely a good read.
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on 23 May 2014
Anne Holt writes extremely well and her lead characters are likeable and interesting without resorting to alcoholism! It was particularly gratifying to enjoy a crime thriller without the usual misogynistic reduction of female protagonists to brutally murdered corpse or long-suffering girlfriend.
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on 20 January 2016
A fun who done it.
This is a good example of Scandinavian police drama. Set some time ago, (faxes are still used) it has believable cast of characters, an interesting story and a good premise. Good book for a dull journey.
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on 25 June 2014
Having read the Joanne Vic novels, I was tempted by the Kindle Daily deal to read Hanne Wilhelmsson, and I was not disappointed. The combination of sympathetic characters who you quickly care about, a seemingly impossible secret drug syndicate to crack open, and the description of events which constantly leave you guessing who is actually doing what, draw the reader into a well constructed plot with a page-turner of a conclusion. Anne Holt's police and law background keep the narrative authentic and yet not too technical. I read this on holiday and would highly recommend it as excellent holiday reading.
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