Publication Date: May 2017 from Orenda Books.
Source: Review Copy
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.
Oh I DEVOURED this one. I’ll let you into a little secret, I’m terribly disorganised and only realised at the beginning of this week that I was supposed to be doing this today. Good job its a damned fine bit of storytelling as I read it in 3 hours straight on Monday evening. Sssh don’t tell anyone…
What you CAN tell them is that for any fan of Nordic Noir Thomas Enger is a must read. Beautifully atmospheric, really quite addictive and although this is my first taste of this series it certainly won’t be the last – also, you don’t need to worry about not having read the previous novels. The lovely Mr Enger tells you all you need to know without generally spoiling anything.
Things I loved:
The opening – it just drops you right into things, no holds barred this is not a book that waits to present itself.
Once it HAS Thomas Enger then takes you on a taut, immersive, highly compelling journey towards a brilliantly placed and clever conclusion.
Nora and Henning: Their shared grief over the loss of their son and their still deep feeling relationship is palpable. Clever clever characterisation with many layers that shone through despite me coming into it at book 4.
The sense of place. Terrific terrific and huge kudos to the translator as well as the author. Beautiful writing all the way.
Journalists as main protagonists rather than police officers. Opened up so much, made for a different feeling mystery element, allowed for some intelligent plotting that kept Cursed as addictive as chocolate – the very very best kind of book calories. A good evenings intake.
Big fan. Big big fan. That would be me.
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