Book review: Killed by Thomas Enger

Since his six-year-old son was killed in an arson blaze, Norwegian crime reporter Henning Juul has been a man on a mission'¦
Killed by Thomas EngerKilled by Thomas Enger
Killed by Thomas Enger

Driven to find the truth behind the boy’s death – at the risk of his own life – Henning is about to discover that even those he thought he could trust have been hiding devastating secrets.

Welcome to the final, mind-blowing instalment of former journalist Thomas Enger’s brilliant five-book series which has delivered a thrilling vein of emotional intensity to classic Nordic Noir stories of death, darkness and corruption.

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Enger, who also composes music, brings his own brand of melancholic soul to a chilling journey into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly as we peer into the corridors of dirty politics, enter the fast-moving world of 24-hour news, and share the pain of a father haunted by a terrible loss.

An investigative reporter with 123news, Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son Jonas was murdered but it turned out to be just the beginning of an increasingly dangerous quest to track down his killers.

Jonas died when someone deliberately set fire to Henning’s apartment and he has been hampered in his investigations by losing memory of all the stories he had been following in the run-up to the blaze.

Henning’s ex-wife Nora is pregnant to Iver Gundersen, his closet colleague at 123news, and Henning’s estranged sister Trine, a former Secretary of Justice, is implicated after she was photographed outside the apartment on the night of the fire.

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But Henning has unearthed links to Durim Redzepi, a gun-for-hire from Kosovo who fled Brazil following a police probe into Norwegian gang members laundering drug money.

As dark secrets from the past start to emerge, the discovery that even those closest to him are hiding the truth, and with the body count rising all the time, Henning is still determined to ‘follow every lead, to rattle every cage, to put himself at risk’ because he has nothing to lose … except his own life.

Over a remarkable series, Enger has evolved into a master of that irresistible blend of angst and action with readers investing more and more in not just Henning’s tireless quest to seek out justice, but in the emotional wellbeing of this haunted, hunted man.

Each book – immaculately translated by Kari Dickson – has created tense, multi-layered, cleverly controlled and compelling plotlines, packed with twists and turns and high-octane action, but each moving inexorably towards the final powerful punch in Killed.

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We have witnessed betrayal and counter-betrayal and death and darkness, we have shared Henning’s gut-wrenching heartache, marvelled at his resilience and determination… and, most of all, enjoyed travelling with an exciting Norwegian author.

Where to now for the talented Mr Enger?

(Orenda Books, paperback, £8.99)