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MYSTERY/Enger, Thomas
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Mystery fiction
New York : Atria Paperback 2011.
Main Author
Thomas Enger, 1973- (-)
Other Authors
Charlotte Barslund (-)
1st Atria Paperback ed
Item Description
First published in Norwegian as Skinndø.
Physical Description
357 p. ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Two years ago, Henning Juul's six-year-old son died in a house fire, and Henning himself barely survived. Only now returning to work as an investigative reporter in Oslo, Henning is supposed to take it easy, but when a young woman is found buried up to her neck in a hole on the grounds of a university, apparently stoned to death, he can't leave the story alone. His determination to track down what's behind the woman's gruesome death brings Henning into contact with some of the darker sides of Oslo and humanity. Troubled, divorced, and stubborn, Henning may at first seem to be a stereotypical Scandinavian noir character, but he is much more a man traumatized by his son's death and a talented reporter willing to take great risks to uncover the truth. Suspenseful, dark, and gritty, this is a must-read for fans of Liza Marklund's Red Wolf (2011), which stars another dedicated reporter. And, of course, let's not forget that other crusading Scandinavian journalist, Mikail Blomkvist, in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2008).--Moyer, Jessica Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Enger's plodding crime thriller debut, investigative reporter Henning Juul returns to work two years after an unexplained fire killed his six-year-old son and left him with facial scars and an obsession with smoke detectors. When Henning looks into the murder of 23-year-old Henriette Hagerup, who was discovered half-buried and stoned to death with her hand chopped off inside a tent in an Oslo park, he learns the victim was scouting locations for a student film. Suspicion quickly falls on Henriette's Pakistan-born boyfriend, Mahmoud Marhoni, particularly after text messages from her are found on his phone that suggest she was seeing someone else. But the more Henning digs into Henriette's life and her work as a film student, the less he believes the case is an honor killing related to sharia, the Muslim code of conduct. While Henning's tortured psyche intrigues, it's by no means unique in this genre, and he makes a tepid hero at best. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Henning Juul has eight smoke alarms in his Oslo apartment, along with scars on his face and psyche following a fire that killed his six-year-old son. Two years later, he tentatively returns to work as an investigative reporter for an Internet newspaper, assigned to an apparent sharia killing. A beautiful Norwegian student who had been working on a film about honor killing is found ritually stoned to death, and her Pakistani boyfriend is arrested. When the boyfriend's brother is assassinated, the killer comes after Juul as a witness. Enger himself worked for a Norwegian online newspaper for nine years and also is a composer and filmmaker. This is the first of a projected six books featuring Juul (two more have been published in Norwegian). Verdict Although the writing (or the translation?) is a bit stiff, the plot twists are compelling. Racial and social elements of contemporary Norway figure prominently, but it is close character observation that finally leads Juul to the manipulative person responsible for complex and tragic violence. This promises to be a crime fiction series worth watching.-Roland C. Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

1 June 2009 Her blond curls are soaked in blood. The ground has opened up and tried to swallow her. Only her head and torso are visible. Her rigid body is propped up by the damp earth; she looks like a single long-stemmed red rose. Blood has trickled down her back in thin, elongated lines, like tears on a melancholic cheek. Her naked back resembles an abstract painting. He takes hesitant steps inside the tent, glancing from side to side. Turn around, he tells himself. This has nothing to do with you. Just turn around, go back outside, go home, and forget what you've seen. But he can't. How can he? "H-hallo?" Only the swishing branches of the trees reply. He takes a few more steps. The air is suffocating and clammy. The smell reminds him of something. But what? The tent wasn't there yesterday. To someone like him, who walks his dog every day on Ekeberg Common, the sight of the large white tent was irresistible. The strange location. He just had to look inside. If only he could have stopped himself. Her hand isn't attached. It's lying, severed, next to her arm as though it has come undone at her wrist. Her head slumps toward one shoulder. He looks at them again, the blond curls. Random patches of matted red hair make it look like a wig. He edges up to the young woman, but stops abruptly, hyperventilating to the point where his breathing stops. His stomach muscles knot and prepare to expel the coffee and banana he had for breakfast, but he suppresses the reflex. He backs away, carefully, blinking, before he takes another look at her. One eye is dangling from its socket. Her nose is squashed flat and seems to have disappeared into her skull. Her jaw is dented and covered with purple bruises and cuts. Thick black blood has gushed from a hole in her forehead, down into her eyes and across the bridge of what remains of her nose. One tooth hangs from a thread of coagulated blood inside her lower lip. Several teeth are scattered in the grass in front of the woman who once had a face. Not anymore. The last thing ThorbjØrn Skagestad remembers, before staggering out of the tent, is the nail varnish on her fingers. Blood red. Just like the heavy stones lying around her. Henning Juul doesn't know why he sits here. In this particular spot. The crude seating, let into the hillside, is hard. Rough and raw. Painful. And yet he always sits here. In the exact same spot. Deadly nightshade grows between the seating which slopes up toward DÆlenenga Club House. Bumblebees buzz eagerly around the poisonous berries. The planks are damp. He can feel it in his backside. He should probably change his trousers when he gets home, but he knows he won't bother. Henning used to come here to smoke. He no longer smokes. Nothing to do with good health or common sense. His mother has smoker's lungs, but that's not what stops him. He wishes desperately he could smoke. Slim white friends, always happy to see you, though they never stay for long, sadly. But he can't, he just can't. There are people around, but nobody sits next to him. A soccer mum down by the artificial turf looks up at him. She quickly averts her eyes. He is used to people looking at him while pretending they aren't. He knows they wonder who he is, what has happened to him, and why he sits there. But no one ever asks. No one dares. He doesn't blame them. He gets up to leave when the sun starts to go down. He is dragging one leg. The doctors have told him he should try to walk as naturally as possible, but he can't manage it. It hurts too much. Or perhaps it doesn't hurt enough. He knows what pain is. He shuffles to Birkelunden Park, past the recently restored pavilion with its new roof. A gull cries out. There are plenty of gulls in Birkelunden Park. He hates gulls. But he likes the park. Still limping, he passes horizontal lovers, naked midriffs, foaming cans of beer, and wafts of smoke from barbecues burning themselves out. An old man frowns in concentration before throwing a metal ball toward a cluster of other metal balls on the gravel where, for once, children have left the bronze statue of a horse alone. The man misses. He only ever misses. You and I, Henning thinks, we've a lot in common. The first drop of rain falls as he turns into Seilduksgate. A few steps later, he leaves behind the bustle of GrÜnerlØkka. He doesn't like noise. He doesn't like Chelsea Football Club or traffic wardens, either, but there is not a lot he can do about it. There are plenty of traffic wardens in Seilduksgate. He doesn't know if any of them support Chelsea. But Seilduksgate is his street. He likes Seilduksgate. With the rain spitting on his head, he walks west toward the setting sun above the Old Sail Loft, from which the street takes its name. He lets the drops fall on him and squints to make out the contours of an object in front. A gigantic yellow crane soars toward the sky. It has been there for ever. The clouds behind him are still gray. Henning approaches the junction where Markvei has priority from the right, and he thinks that everything might be different tomorrow. He doesn't know if it's an original thought or whether someone has planted it inside his head. Possibly nothing will change. Perhaps only voices and sounds will be different. Someone might shout. Someone might whisper. Perhaps everything will be different. Or nothing. And within that tension is a world turned upside down. Do I still belong in it, he wonders? Is there room for me? Am I strong enough to unlock the words, the memories, and the thoughts which I know are buried deep inside me? He doesn't know. There is a lot he doesn't know. He lets himself into the flat after climbing three long flights of stairs where the dust floats above the ingrained dirt in the woodwork. An appropriate transition to his home. He lives in a dump. He prefers it that way. He doesn't think he deserves a large hallway, closets the size of shopping centers, a kitchen whose cupboards and drawers look like a freshly watered ice rink, self-cleaning white goods, delicate floors inviting you to slow dance, walls covered with classics and reference books; nor does he deserve a designer clock, a Lilia block candleholder from Georg Jensen, or a bedspread made from the foreskins of hummingbirds. All he needs is a single mattress, a fridge, and somewhere to sit down when the darkness creeps in. Because inevitably it does. Every time he closes the front door behind him, he gets the feeling that something is amiss. His breathing quickens, he feels hot all over, his palms grow sweaty. There is a stepladder to the right, just inside the hall. He takes the stepladder, climbs it, and locates the Clas Ohlson bag on the old green hat rack. He takes out a box of batteries, reaches for the smoke alarm, eases out the battery, and replaces it with a fresh one. He tests it to make sure it works. When his breathing has returned to normal, he climbs down. He has learned to like smoke alarms. He likes them so much that he has eight. © 2010 Gyldendal Norsk Forlag Excerpted from Burned: A Novel by Thomas Enger, Charlotte Barslund All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.