I am delighted to be on the blog tour today for Cursed by Thomas Enger, translated by Kari Dickson.
About this book…
What secret would you kill to protect? When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests. Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.
Although this is the fourth book in the Henning Juul series, this is the first I have read and it didn’t feel like I had missed anything (apart from some very gritty and suspenseful writing of course!) as the author makes sure we are aware of plot details that have occurred previously.
The opening sequence in Cursed was a breathtakingly dark and disturbing murder which has a dramatic effect on the reader throwing up many questions. Who was this man, shot in cold blood while out with his dog in a Swedish forest? What possible reason could have lead to his murder? And it does take a while before we realise the connection with the main storyline but what a wonderfully twisted and complex path we are lead down before it’s revealed.
I loved Nora and Henning, their relationship is over by the time me we meet them here, torn apart by events in the past and the tragic loss of their son. Nora becomes involved in the case of missing Hedda due to their past friendship at university. Henning is chasing down possible leads in the threats against his life but it seems the two cases may be entwined as Nora peels away the dirty secrets of a well regarded wealthy family.
This is fantastic series to grab hold of if you are a fan of Nordic Noir. I got the same goosebumps that I experienced the first time I read The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and if you’re a fan of his then you will absolutely adore this series too. It’s gripping from the first page, pulling you in and slowly building the tension whilst unravelling the secrets and lies of a family who seem to be hiding past indiscretions which could have far reaching consequences. The last few chapters were brilliant as it becomes a fast paced race to the final denouement with an unexpected development at the end.
I have only recently become a fan of translated crime novels but the standard now is incredibly high. I am adding Thomas Enger to my list of favourite authors in this genre and can’t wait to read the next instalment now. A tightly controlled plot, which is deeply moving at times, this is highly recommended by me.
Cursed (Henning Juul) is published by Orenda Books on January 21st and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.
Meet the author…
Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndod) in 2009, which became aninternational sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.