The final nail-biting installment in the ten-part, award-winning Hanne Wilhelmsen series—bestselling in Norway and throughout Europe—from Scandinavia’s most celebrated female crime writer, Anne Holt.
Police investigator Kjell Bonsaksen is a contented man in most areas of life, but for one mistake he made years ago that has rankled like a stone in his shoe ever since: in 2001, a two-year-old girl was killed by a speeding car while playing in the road in front of her home. The marriage of the toddler’s grief-stricken parents dissolved in the wake of the accident, and not long thereafter, the girl’s mother died under mysterious circumstances. The girl’s father, Jonas, was convicted of his ex-wife’s murder and sentenced to twelve years in prison. But Kjell Bonsaksen knew he was innocent.
Now it’s 2016, and Kjell is looking forward to his retirement to the French countryside with his wife. An uncomfortable chance encounter with Jonas at a roadside gas station prompts him to dig out Jonas’s case files for Detective Henrik Holme, the resident cold case prodigy. Henrik doesn’t take long to convince his beloved mentor, Hanne Wilhelmsen, that Jonas was wrongly convicted for his ex-wife’s murder. As their investigation evolves, Hanne and Henrik uncover eerie connections to the recent suicide of a right-wing extremist blogger whose fanatic ideologies seem incompatible with a desire to die.
Masterfully plotted, In Dust and Ashes is the outstanding finale to Anne Holt’s award-winning, politically and socially conscious series, confirming Hanne Wilhelmsen as a character who will “get in your head—and stay there” (Entertainment Weekly).
At the start of Holt's elegiac 10th and final novel featuring Oslo chief inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen (after 2017's Odd Numbers), veteran police detective Kjell Bonsaksen, who's about to retire, brings a possible miscarriage of justice to the attention of Hanne's eccentric disciple, Henrik Holme. In 2004, Jonas Abrahamsen, whose marriage fell apart after the death of his three-year-old daughter in a car accident in 2001, was convicted of his ex-wife's murder. Kjell believes that Jonas, who has served 12 years in prison, is innocent. Meanwhile, Hanne, a gifted and unorthodox investigator, suspects that the death of far-right activist Iselin Hav rn is not the suicide it appears. Under Hanne's guidance, Henrik gradually grows into maturity as a genuine humanitarian, while Hanne, despite her physical limitations due to a serious line-of-duty injury, digs into Hav rn's background, shedding light on right-wing European movements with their anti-Muslim "criminal, capitalist conspiracy" theories. For Hanne and Henrik, both convincing complex characters, all suffering comes down to the "good old sins": money, sex, and revenge. Readers will be sorry to see the last of them.