The hanging A thriller

Lotte Hammer

Book - 2013

"One morning before school, two children find the naked bodies of five men hanging from the gym ceiling. The case leads detective Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad to the school janitor, who may know more about the killings than he is telling. Soon, Simonsen realizes that each of the five murdered men had a dark and terrible secret in common. And when Simonsen's own daughter is targeted, he must race to find the culprit before his whole world is destroyed. Published in twenty countr...ies around the world, with more than 150,000 copies sold in Denmark alone, this book introduces a brother and sister duo who have taken the thriller world by storm. Fast-paced, suspenseful, and brilliantly written, The Hanging is a stunning crime novel from two authors whose international fame is exploding. "--

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Published
New York : Minotaur Books 2013.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Danish
Item Description
"A Thomas Dunne book."
Physical Description
298 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780312656645
0312656645
Main Author
Lotte Hammer (-)
Other Authors
Søren Hammer (-), Ebba Segerberg (translator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Two young children arrive at school early and discover five nude male bodies hanging in the gymnasium. Homicide Detective Konrad Simonsen and his team know instantly that the mutilated corpses will be difficult to identify. So begins what appears to be a Danish procedural, but the Hammers, a brother-and-sister writing team, have more in mind. The murderers are introduced in surreal, nightmarish passages that suggest they are victims of child sexual abuse. As police painstakingly identify the corpses, the murderers launch a media campaign that goes viral, assailing Denmark for its laxity toward pedophiles—like the murdered men. Worldwide reaction to the campaign unnerves the government, and pressure increases on the already overwhelmed Simonsen. The Hanging offers insights into Danish policing and the country's sociocultural foment. It is also filled with quirky characters whose quirks are meticulously described but not always germane to the plot. But the Hammers have struck a chord with European readers, and The Hanging is seen as Denmark's answer to successful Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic crime fiction. U.S. crime lovers will likely want to stick a pin in Denmark on their crime-fiction maps. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Two children who unfortunately arrive a little too early to school discover the naked and dismembered bodies of five men hanging from a podium in the elementary school gymnasium. Called back from his seaside vacation, DI Konrad Simonsen quickly becomes embroiled in a nightmarish investigation in which clues are difficult to decipher, leads suddenly disappear and informants are later found dead, and horrific tales of child sexual abuse begin snowballing through the Danish press and international blogosphere. Were the dead men pedophiles? Were they killed at the hands of vigilantes? Will more men soon be found murdered? As Simonsen and his investigative squad attempt to uncover the truth, the Danish public becomes increasingly and loudly in favor of the tactics employed by the shadowy team of vigilantes, believing the dead—presumed guilty—to be better off that way. VERDICT This debut thriller by two Danish siblings unfolds in chapters that flit back and forth across the perspectives of the detectives and the vigilantes: one chapter is narrated by Simonsen, another by the leader of the killers, another by a reporter, etc. This method, while illuminating detail and motive, adds confusion to the overly long tale, providing constant description rather than clarity. Further, in its central theme of violence against children and societal response to it, this novel attempts to instill an ethical depth that it ultimately cannot deliver. Still, some fans of Scandinavian crime fiction may be interested. [Previewed in Kristi Chadwick's "Following the Digital Clues: Mystery Genre Spotlight," LJ 4/15/13.]—Jennifer Rogers, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, VA [Page 97]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The Hammers, a sister and brother writing team, make their U.S. debut with this outstanding crime thriller, which introduces Danish Det. Insp. Konrad Simonsen. Early one morning in Bagsvaerd, a Copenhagen suburb, a gruesome scene awaits the eyes of two young children, a brother and a sister, in their school gym—the naked corpses of five men hanging from the ceiling, each suspended by a single rope, each with his face mutilated. When word leaks out that the dead men were all child molesters, public opinion shifts in favor of the killer, assumed to have taken revenge on behalf of the victims of abuse. The truth is less straightforward, and the inquiry is complicated by the apparent suicide of a key witness, the school janitor, who told lie after lie in his statements to the police. Everything works in this dark Scandinavian procedural—the intelligent and complex plot, the fallible lead, and the atmospheric prose. Agent: Sofie Voller, Gyldendal (Denmark). (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"One morning before school, two children find the naked bodies of five men hanging from the gym ceiling. The case leads detective Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad to the school janitor, who may know more about the killings than he is telling. Soon, Simonsen realizes that each of the five murdered men had a dark and terrible secret in common. And when Simonsen's own daughter is targeted, he must race to find the culprit before his whole world is destroyed. Published in twenty countries around the world, with more than 150,000 copies sold in Denmark alone, this book introduces a brother and sister duo who have taken the thriller world by storm. Fast-paced, suspenseful, and brilliantly written, The Hanging is a stunning crime novel from two authors whose international fame is exploding. "--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When five murder victims are discovered in a school gym, detective Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad follow clues to the janitor and learn that the victims shared a terrible secret.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"When five murder victims are discovered in a school gym, detective Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad follow clues to the janitor and learn that the victims shared a terrible secret, a case that is further complicated by a threat against Simonsen's daughter."

Review by Publisher Summary 4

One morning before school, two children find the naked bodies of five men hanging from the gym ceiling. The case leads detective Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad to the school janitor, who may know more about the killings than he is telling. Soon, Simonsen realizes that each of the five murdered men had a dark and terrible secret in common. And when Simonsen's own daughter is targeted, he must race to find the culprit before his whole world is destroyed.Published in twenty countries around the world, with more than 150,000 copies sold in Denmark alone, this book introduces a brother and sister duo who have taken the thriller world by storm. Fast-paced, suspenseful, and brilliantly written, The Hanging is a stunning crime novel from Lotte and Soren Hammer, two Danish authors whose international fame is exploding.