Today I pass the blog baton back to Mandie as she shares her thoughts on one of my favourite reads of 2019, Inborn by Thomas Enger as part of our Year of Orenda. Part murder mystery, part courtroom drama, all thrilling, this book wowed me and many of my fellow readers last year, and if you want to read my thoughts, you can find the review here. But does Mandie feel the same? Let us see:
About the Book
What turns a boy into a killer?Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?
Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community. As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has a relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?
It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him?
A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?
Inborn is only the second book written by Thomas Enger that I have read but with each book I find that I am kicking myself for not getting to them sooner (hangs head in shame). Although initially written as a YA book it was expanded upon (rather brilliantly) to appeal to a wider market when it was translated, and I absolutely loved it.
With the story opening with the murder of a teenager, local celebrity Johannes Eklund, at the school, it is not long before you find out that there was a second victim on the same day. It is the second victim that leads the police to the main character of the book, Even Tollefsen. It is through him that the narration of the story evolves, and you can really feel his desperation as all those around him start to doubt that he was not involved in some way. The lead detective, Chief Inspector Yngve Mork was also not without his own demons. A recent widower he was still struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife, he was determined to bring the killer to justice no matter who it was and often had to push aside his own grief to focus on the case. As his investigations continue secrets are unearthed that give the reader even more suspects.
Throughout the book you experience the testimony of Even in the eventual trial for the murders and at no time are you sure if Even is giving evidence to try to exonerate himself or if in fact he is testifying against the actual perpetrator. The only way you are going to find that out is reading right to the end of the book as if there were any clues to point to the killer, I certainly didn’t spot them.
What I love most is the empathy you can feel coming from the author for Even and his situation making him a character you can’t help but like. With the setting of the book in a small close-knit Norwegian town, you can sense the fear and distrust against the main suspect and his family especially when further deaths occur. With Inborn Thomas Enger has created a book that is a brilliant blend of drama, mystery and police procedural that will have you staying up late into the night to find out exactly what happened. This is definitely a book that you don’t want to miss out on.
About the Author
Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Thomas published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the UPRISEN (the prize for best YA novel). His next YA thriller Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has co-written a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. He also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.
Books by Thomas Enger