“What secret would you kill to protect? When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests. Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.“
Today I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the Cursed blog tour. Cursed is written by Thomas Enger and is the fourth book in the Henning Juul series (but the first one I have read which should come as no surprise to regular visitors!). I do love nordic noir and have previously indulged in the literary delights of Gunnar Staalesen, Agnes Ravatn and other talented Scandinavian authors. So with this in mind, I was excited to read Cursed.
I wasn’t disappointed. Thomas Enger has created a mesmerising tale which draws you in from the opening pages and keeps you glued to the story throughout; all the way to the thrilling conclusion. And what a way to end a novel! I’m already champing at the bit for book five in the series.
My heart really went out to Henning Juul who I immediately liked. Henning isn’t your usual crime thriller hero as he’s an investigative crime journalist and not a harried detective. It was a refreshing change for me to be reading a novel which wasn’t set in the midst of a major police investigation. The relationship between Henning and his ex-wife, Nora Klemetsen broke my heart at times. And the tragedy suffered by the estranged couple I found a hard read. Henning’s all-consuming desire to discover who was responsible for his young son’s death had me riveted and cheering him on from the comfort of my sofa. Particularly with the introduction of Nora’s new partner, Iver and their earth shattering news.
There are many different threads to the story and it’s hard at times to see how they will all come together. But come together they do in an explosive finale. The pictures painted by the author are so clear that you can’t but help feel you’re there, living the action with them.
I loved the different characters of the Hellberg family. Each one individual and each with their own secrets. But how far are they prepared to go to keep those secrets? Well, you’ll have to read Cursed for yourself and find out!
Would I recommend this book? I would. If you’re anything like me and love to read books where at the centre of the crime you find a wealthy, secretive and controlling family then you will love Cursed. Fantastic, believable characters…some you will love, some you will loathe. Beautifully atmospheric, completely gripping and full of intrigue. Orenda Books, you have another gem of a novel on your shelf and I can’t wait for book five.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an ARC of Cursed. My thanks to Orenda Books for providing me with a copy. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Cursed by Thomas Enger (translated by Kari Dickson) was published in the UK by Orenda Books on 15th February 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook editions | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads | Orenda Books |
Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2009, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called THE EVIL LEGACY, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.