Review: Ordeal by Jørn Lier Horst

Title: Ordeal
Author: Jørn Lier Horst
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Minotaur

Rating: 4.5 stars

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Minotaur via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Summary: Sofie Lund has done everything she can to distance herself from her grandfather and his criminal enterprise. Even after he died and left her everything, she initially refused to take possession of anything associated with him. However, now she finds herself a single mother, and wanting to do what she can for her daughter, concedes to her better instincts and moves into his old house.

While getting reacquainted with her old neighborhood, she runs into an old school friend, Line, who is expecting a baby any day now and has also just returned home after a long time away. They hit it off right away, and in no time at all Sofie is confiding in Line. She shows her a safe in her grandfather’s basement for which she has no key, and Line stays while the safe is cracked by a locksmith. What they find inside holds the key to an unsolved disappearance, and so much more. Line unintentionally brings her father, Inspector Wisting, into the mix and things start to come together in the most unexpected ways.

Review: What an enthralling read! From the first chapter, I was sucked in and hard-pressed to put the book down.  It wasn’t intense necessarily, but well-paced and skillfully written. Written from multiple perspectives (an approach I’m finding increasingly appealing), the characters are more fleshed out than is typical of a mystery, giving the story itself a richer feel.

I don’t know what it is about Scandinavian mystery writers, especially given they are translated to English, but there is a certain feel to their work that is both unique and a little bit addictive. If I had the time, I’d go back and read all the previous books in this series that have been translated to English (sadly, it appears only the last few have). I’ve added them to my TBR, and in the meantime, I’m looking forward to the next in series.

Leave a Reply