Today it’s time to pass the baton to Mandie who has a #YearOfOrenda and #EngerWeek review of Cursed, book four in Thomas Enger’s Henning Juul series. I loved this book, it started my love affair with Henning Juul in fact, and you can read my review here. For those of you yet unaware of what the book is about, here’s the all important book bits:
About the Book
What secret would you kill to protect?Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, 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. When their lives are threatened, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.
Chilling, gritty and unputdownable, Cursed marks the return of one of Norway’s finest crime writers.
Cursed is the fourth book in the Henning Juul series but the first that I have read (although I have half listened to book 1 on a road trip with my sister so am not totally oblivious to what the series is about).
With the book beginning with the murder of a man whilst he is out hunting you would be forgiven for thinking that this is what Henning is using his journalistic talents for. What unfolds is something far more complex.
Henning’s ex-wife Nora is investigating the disappearance of her old school friend and the further she digs into her friend’s life the more she realises there was a lot she didn’t know about her. Throughout the book you also learn quite a bit about Nora herself and how her past with Henning is still having ripple effects on her future. As for Henning he has taken leave from his job to try to get to the bottom of who was responsible for the fire that wrecked his life. What he wasn’t expecting was for these investigations to cross with those of his ex-wife or where those investigations would ultimately lead to. Whilst you can understand his need to find out who was responsible this may definitely be a case of be careful what you wish for.
Thomas Enger has created some really fantastic characters that you can’t help but feel for. Both Henning and Nora clearly still have a connection but the events that lead to the death of their son were so immense it ripped their life together apart. The two different investigations are intriguing and keep the reader engaged and wanting to know more. It certainly kept me reading later into the night than I probably should have but I kept telling myself ‘just one more page’ which quickly turned into just one more chapter. As the investigations progressed the tension and the pace increased, and I found I was torn between wanting to discover the answers whilst not wanting the book to end.
What I loved most about this book is that although there is a very strong back story that runs through the series but don’t worry if you have not read the first 3 books as you will still be able to enjoy Cursed without feeling like you can’t follow the storyline. But if you are like me you will probably want to hunt down the other books just so that a) you have the full set and b) go back to the beginning and experience the complete story of Henning Juul. Am now off to go and read the rest of the series. Why don’t you join me, you won’t regret it.
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