Today it is my absolute pleasure to be joining the blog tour for Unhinged, the brand new Blix and Ramm thriller from Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger. I have loved this series from the start and, if it is possible, this addition really kicks the action up a notch, taking the series to a whole other level. My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books who gave me an early sneak peek at the book and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
When a police investigator is killed execution-style and Blix’s own daughter is targeted by the killer, he makes a dangerous decision, which could cost him everything. Blix & Ramm are back in a breathless, emotive thriller by two of Norway’s finest crime writers…
When police investigator Sofia Kovic uncovers a startling connection between several Oslo murder cases, she attempts to contact her closest superior, Alexander Blix before involving anyone else in the department. But before Blix has time to return her call, Kovic is shot and killed in her own home – execution style. And in the apartment below, Blix’s daughter Iselin narrowly escapes becoming the killer’s next victim.
Four days later, Blix and online crime journalist Emma Ramm are locked inside an interrogation room, facing the National Criminal Investigation Service. Blix has shot and killed a man, and Ramm saw it all happen.
As Iselin’s life hangs in the balance, under-fire Blix no longer knows who he can trust … and he’s not even certain that he’s killed the right man…
Two of Nordic Noir’s most brilliant writers return with the explosive, staggeringly accomplished, emotive third instalment in the international, bestselling Blix & Ramm series … and it will take your breath away.
You know when you read a book and you are just drawn right into the heart of the story, completely hooked from the start and wondering just how cruel the authors can possibly be to their characters this time around? Well, if you thought the twists that faced Emma Ramm and Alexander Blix in the previous instalment in the series, Death Deserved were pretty intense, you have seen nothing yet. Fraught with tension, packed with nerve wracking moments that keep you completely on edge, Unhinged had one of those jaw dropping, ‘what did you just do’ kind of conclusions that will leave fans of the series reeling. I don’t even know where to begin. The blurb tells you all you need to know about the story and also gives you a fair indication about what a rollercoaster ride you are about to be taken on. And we’re not talking the nice and safe kiddy Caterpillar kind. Although the book seems to open in unassuming style, do not get too comfortable as it takes a single call (well several missed calls to be fair) to change everything and suddenly Blix is plunged into a whole world of drama and what could well be the darkest period of his life.
I love the way. In which the authors have carefully structured and developed this story, keeping the suspects and motives just out of sight, and drip-feeding little clues to use as the investigation moves on. There is no sense behind what has happened, just brutality, and a whole host of regrets, particularly for Blix, which seep out of every page. It’s a melancholic read, difficult to comprehend, especially given the victim in this particular case, and yet it is utterly compelling. I was completely invested, needed to know the truth, intrigued by the mystery and suspicious of everyone, even those working on the case. Were my suspicions founded? Well, I didn’t quite see that ending coming, not at all, although there are plenty of clues to point towards a common suspect, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing …
I do love the development of character in this series. Blix and Emma are two really fascinating people who I have enjoyed getting to know over the course of the three books. Both are haunted in their own ways, both struggling with what they have faced in the past. This book was far more focused on the emotion of Alexander Blix, his intent and focus on resolving this most personal of cases, whatever the cost. I love his dedication, understand why he acts as he does and have full sympathy for his plight. It is hard not to feel his emotion, and the authors have really brought it to the fore, the heady combination of anger, fear and grief almost visceral in its portrayal. Emma may play a lesser part, but is no less intrinsic to the plot, her own guilt and uncertainty ringing out of every scene.
This is a story that may well shock you. It didn’t go in the direction I expected at all. I kept hoping for something different, that what seemed sadly inevitable would not come to pass. But the authors have definitely taken the bold approach, shying away from the easy and taken us all down a much darker path. The truth at the heart of the matter is a very intriguing concept, an exploration of human nature that I definitely hadn’t foreseen. With flawless translation that brings the story to life in such vivid tones, it’s a book that really left a mark, and one that will take some time to forget.
I don’t know what is next, if anything, for these wonderful characters but I love the writing partnership of Enger and Horst. Even the acknowledgments made me smile. All that is left to say is ‘more please’.
And it definitely warrants one of these:
About the Authors
Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense. Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer.
About the Translator
Megan Turney is originally from the West Midlands, and after having spent several years working back and forth between the UK and the Hardanger region of Norway, she is now based in Edinburgh, working as a commercial and literary translator and editor. She was the recipient of the National Centre for Writing’s 2019 Emerging Translator Mentorship in Norwegian, and is a published science fiction critic. She holds an MA (Hons) in Scandinavian Studies and English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, as well as an MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the University of Manchester.
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