Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where Monsters Dwell by Jorgen Brekke

Where Monsters Dwell by Jorgen Brekke is slated as being the most anticipated Norwegian crime fiction debut in years and is now being released in English. I must admit that this novel was quite good and I can see why it is on the short list for lovers of crime novels. 

A brutal murder has taken place in The Edgar Allen Poe museum in Richmond, Virginia. It's not long before that murder is linked to another gruesome murder in Trondheim, Norway in the Gunnerus Library. These murders bring together Felicia Stone of Virginia and Odd Singsaker of Trondheim where they are on the trail of a killer who may be killing because of a sixteenth century palimpsest book. What's most interesting about this book, The Johannes Book, is that it was bound in human skin. Awesome? Yes!

Jorgen Brekke writes the novel from a few different points of view and even throws in some historical scenes that gives this novel a certain depth that causes readers to question what is real and what isn't. Thankfully Brekke includes clarification on what is a figment of his imagination and is actually true to history. Although I liked the historic aspect, it is the main characters Felicia and Odd that really captivated my attention.

Felicia is obviously a good detective or else she wouldn't have been assigned to such a devastating crime. She also holds a past that the author goes into with great depth and detail. The only thing lacking is how she rise above it all. Odd is equally interesting as he's back on the job after recovering from a brain tumor. I liked him very much. I look forward to reading more books featuring Odd. 

Ultimately, I really enjoyed reading Where Monsters Dwell and hope that this won't be the last English translation. What this novel suggests is that we all wear masks and it may be more brave to just take the mask off.  ****

Copy provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley

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