Wednesday, 18 June 2014

1222 - Hanne Wilhelmsen #8 by Anne Holt translator Marlaine DeLargy

Retired police Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is not an openly warm person who invites confidences.  When she is stranded at an isolated mountain resort due to a train derailment during the worst winter storm in Norway's history, all she wants is to be left alone.  The other 268 survivors just want to get warm and be rescued as soon as possible.  None of them had any suspicion that there was at least one murderer in their midst.   Hanne is quite content to leave the case alone for when the police can arrive, but is spurred to action when a second murder is discovered.

The story is set in a hotel in the remote area of Finse along the route from Oslo to Bergen at an elevation of 1222 metres.  The temperature is so cold and the storm so severe that no one can come in and no one can leave.  It might be a great place to commit a murder, but not to escape from.  Will rescue come before the murderer can strike again.

I liked the way that the Norwegians on the train seemed to take the whole situation in stride.  They just sat back and waited, with the exception of a few who were demanding of attention and intervention.  These people made for interesting events and possibilities.    Even though the majority of the story took place in the lobby/sitting area of the hotel, I never felt confined.  Hanne is such a large and commanding character than I never had the urge to leave her presence.  She seems a cool, indifferent person, but she is drawn to young Adrian and likewise, he is drawn to her.  I do hope that this unlikely relationship continues in a future book.

I totally enjoyed listening to this audio book  I feel that I learned  a bit about Norway, on the surface, stark and cold, but once you look below the surface, all sorts of richness, emotions and depths emerge.

This book was translated from the Norwegian to English by Marlaine Delargy.  She has included some familiar English terms, though they do not deter from the enjoyment or readability of the story,

I listened to the audio book as read by Kate Reading.  Blackstone Audio, unabridged 10 hours 39 minutes.  Ms. Reading brought Hanne to life for me.  I could feel the resignation in her voice, that she was making this trip only because she had to, and would have rather been anywhere but in a hotel in Finse.

While 1222 is the eighth book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone novel. 

Thanks to Blackstone Audio for use of the cover image.

1 comment:

Mystica said...

I read a M C Beaton book which was very similar. A snowbound Christmas and one murder with others to follow. Set in a remote English village. That was very good also.