Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blind Goddess-Anne Holt; Tom Geddes (translator)

Blind Goddess

Anne Holt; Tom Geddes (translator)

Scribner, Jun 5 2012, $15.00

ISBN 9781451634761

In Oslo, thirtyish civil lawyer Karen Borg finds the dead body while walking her dog. At about the same time the cops bring in a dazed man wandering the streets with blood on him; he refuses to speak. Special Branch police attorney Hakon Sand observes while Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen interviews the man and learns he is Han van der Lerch, a student from the Netherlands who confesses to killing the drug dealer. Hakon tells his friend Karen that the Dutch suspect wants her as his lawyer though she has not practiced that form of law since her exams eight years ago and she is a witness having found the corpse.

Two days later, someone kills sleazy attorney Hansa Larsen. Sand and Wilhelmsen find a connection between the two homicides. Drugs cop Billy T informs them that on the Oslo streets is a rumor that drug-dealing lawyers are involved in the trafficking, which explains why van der Lerch demanded the civil attorney to defend him; as her reporting the corpse makes her most likely trustful. As the police continue their inquiry, they begin to unravel a web of corruption that permeates all levels of the Norwegian Danish government.

The first actual Wilhelmsen Norwegians police procedural (second after 1222 published first in America when the heroine is retired and wheelchair bound due to a bullet in her spine) is a fabulous investigative thriller as the inspector and the police attorney follow clues that increasingly include highly affluent individuals. Part of the fun of this whodunit is the insight into the criminals discussing the police investigation. Although the prime villain seems a bit disappointing fans will enjoy this entertaining Norwegian Noir.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: