From Norway’s bestselling female crime writer, this installment in the Edgar-nominated mystery series featuring the whip-smart detective Hanne Wilhelmsen is “an ideal read-alike for fans of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole and Karin Fossum’s Inspector Sejer” (Booklist).
Chief Public Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud’s wife is found brutally decapitated in front of the fireplace in the family living room. Her husband, who claims he witnessed the grisly murder and is himself covered in blood, immediately falls under suspicion, though he insists his wife’s killer was Ståle Salvesen, a businessman he’d prosecuted years before for insider dealing. Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is called in to lead the investigation with her old colleague, Billy T. Despite the circumstantial evidence, Hanne is unconvinced of Sigurd Halvorsrud’s guilt—that is, until a witness says he saw Ståle Salvesen commit suicide by jumping off a bridge days before the murder took place. Then a journalist at one of Oslo’s largest newspapers is found beheaded. What links these two horrific crimes? The demands of the investigation soon clash with a terrible crisis in Hanne’s personal life: Cecilie, the woman she has lived with for almost twenty years, has fallen seriously ill and doesn’t have much time to live. With a savage killer on the loose, Hanne must ask herself: Is the truth worth chasing at all costs?
The New York Times Book Review declares, “Wherever Hanne shows up next…follow that wheelchair.” Anne Holt’s Hanne Wilhelmsen novels are “fast-paced and involving” (The Wall Street Journal), and Dead Joker is “an immersive tale that packs an emotional punch and offers incisive commentary on the failings of the criminal justice system” (Publishers Weekly).
Edgar-finalist Holt's powerful fifth Hanne Wilhelmsen novel (after The Lion's Mouth) finds the Oslo chief inspector investigating the murder of Doris Flo Halvorsrud. The police suspect the culprit is her husband, Chief Public Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud, who claims he was held at gunpoint and forced to watch as St le Salvesen a businessmen he once investigated for insider dealing beheaded his wife. Unfortunately for Sigurd, St le was seen jumping off the Staure Bridge the Monday before the murder. After Sigurd is released from jail, a journalist is decapitated and Sigurd's fingerprints are found at the scene. Meanwhile, Hanne's best friend and colleague, Billy T., faces down marriage and fatherhood, and her long-time live-in partner, Cecilie Vibe, battles cancer. Nuanced characters and a strong sense of place make for an immersive tale that packs an emotional punch and offers incisive commentary on the failings of the criminal justice system. Short chapters and a rapidly shifting perspective keep the pace swift despite a dizzyingly complex plot.