Day two of #EngerWeek on the blog and time to take a look at book two in the Henning Juul series. I love this series and am loving getting to know more about Henning and his life before Orenda Books 😉 Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
A Convicted Killer: Despite always maintaining his innocence, Tori Pulli, once a powerful player on Oslo’s underground crime scene, has been found guilty of murder.Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
A Loose End: Scarred reporter, Henning Juul, is contacted by Pulli, who claims that if Henning can help clear his name he can give him details of who was responsible for the fire which killed his six-year-old son, Jonas.
A Double Threat: Desperate to continue his own search for justice, Henning realises that the information Pulli promises is life threatening, to both of them and to others. As events take a deadly turn, Henning finds himself on the trail of two killers for whom the stakes have never been higher…
I’ve been meaning to fill in the gaps in this series for quite some time and there seemed no better time than now, knowing that I can fit it in with our Year of Orenda too. And I’m so glad I have as from reading Pierced a few of my questions from those last two novels have been answered and, slowly but surely, I can see the bigger picture begin to build.
In Pierced, Henning Juul is approached by a convicted murderer to help him prove his innocence and find out who exactly set him up. A big ask for a journalist who os barely back and work, and a strange request given that Henning has never met Tore Pulli before. But Pulli dangles a very large and very attractive carrot in front of Henning, one that he simply cannot ignore. The chance to find out exactly who set the fire in his flat that ruined his whole life.
This novel sees us being led into a world of organised crime, dangerous gyms and deadly confrontations and is packed with tension and intrigue from start to finish. I really have enjoyed the Henning Juul series and going back to complete it, albeit totally out of order, has actually made me a very happy reader. With Henning Juul Thomas Enger has created a brilliant character, broken and haunted and with the weight of the world on his shoulders, but with an innate instinct when it comes to investigation and a determination that means he will never give up.
This book is full of suspense and tension and both Henning and his colleague, Iver, who also happens to be dating Henning’s ex wife, Nora, find themselves in danger and at risk as they try to determine firstly who might want to frame Pulli but, more importantly, who might also want him dead. There are so many twists and turns in the narrative, so many dubious characters and clear suspects that pretty much everyone apart from Henning, Iver and Nora fall under the spotlight at some stage. and with nobody willing to talk to either journalists or police, it seems like door after door will be shut in their face.
Now this book is pivotal in a way as to events that are to come, and for that reason, as much as I would sing the latter two Orenda titles to the hilt, I would recommend you read the series in order. Now they are all stand alone stories, of a fashion, but the more you read, the more you understand Henning’s story and what is essentially his quest. Without a doubt this book feed directly into what happens in the final book, Killed, and makes things, including the character, so much clearer now.
What I do love about the series, aside from the fact that I really do want to see Henning find whatever semblance of peace that he can, is the way that Thomas Enger is able to create atmosphere within each passage. You can feel the melancholy seep from the page, taste the fear when it comes and feel the fire of the anger. He is able to create both a sympathetic protagonist but also an adversary who oozes with menace and who you want to see them have their comeuppance. He also takes an everyday situation, something that any parent could relate to, and turn it into a kind of nightmare that has no chance of a positive ending and will have you questioning what you would do for your family or those you love.
Henning Juul really is your modern tragic hero. You know there is no chance of a happy ending for him, maybe not ever true closure, but you can’t help rooting for him. I have one book left to read to complete the circle and I am both happy and sad about that fact as it is a series I love and it feels like it will be ending all over again. But if you love a story that has a deep emotional core, that will get your brain ticking over trying to beat the hero to solving all the clues and that has a narrative that is both beautiful and tragic, then I would definitely recommend you pick up this series. It’s a real gem.
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