#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2021
Day three of my #bookvent countdown sees me return to a series which made a real impression when I read book one last year, and which returned in literally explosive style earlier this year. Written by a duo, and tapping into their individual areas of expertise, it really is hard to see where one writer ends and the other takes over. I love the central characters, as different as you could possibly imagine, but whose differing perspectives to a story that is packed with emotion and tension. Just increasing my love of fiction in translation, my day three pick is …
Smoke Screen by Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger
When the mother of a missing two-year-old girl is seriously injured in a suspected terrorist attack in Oslo, crime-fighting duo Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the case, and things aren’t adding up … The second instalment in an addictive, atmospheric, award-winning series.
Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion, and the city is put on terrorist alert.
Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Smeplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.
Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…
This book packs quite the powerfully emotional punch, creating drama and intrigue from the opening chapter, and taking readers, and our central characters, Alexander Blix and Emma Ramm, through a myriad emotions are we/they strive to solve a case that is hard hitting and very personal to them, for very different reasons. The toll that this case takes on both of our heroes is clear, the drive behind the search for the truth fully understandable. It leads us into very murky waters and places the city of Oslo on high alert, although no-one could predict quite where those initial, heart stopping scenes would lead. I love the tension, the emotion, that I felt eke out of every scene, and although it was hard seeing one of our characters in such turmoil, it added to the weight and the power of the story overall. There is a really cinematic quality to the writing of this duo in that you feel part of every scene, and can picture everything so clearly. The characters are written brilliantly, individual but authentic, feeding off each other but also leading very different paths as they strive towards a resolution in this most devastating, and surprising, of investigations. Journalist and Detective, their methods may differ, but their characters are so similar, so in tune, that they make for a very compelling duo. There is a melancholy feel to this story that marks it as very different to its predecessor but no less compelling. I devoured the book, found myself engulfed by the story and the emotion and desperate to see where the authors were set to take us. Setting, character, pace, mood – all were absolutely spot on and show how effective this duo’s writing is. This really is a brilliant series and I cannot wait to read the next instalment, although based on the description alone, I think it’s going to be another turbulent ride.
You can read my full review of Smoke Screen right here.
Happy #bookvent reading all