Monday Book: Ann Holt’s Death of the Demon

Ann HoltDeath of the Demon

by Anne Holt


Anne Holt is Norway’s bestselling crime writer and she has been published in 30 languages. Originally a lawyer, she worked with the Oslo Police Department for 2 years before serving as Norway’s Minister for Justice. So she is certainly qualified to explore the murky intersection between crime and justice.

The lesbian detective Hanne Wilhelmsen has risen through the ranks to become Chief Inspector in the previous 8 books in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series that include 1222, Blind Goddess, Blessed Are Those Who Thirst and The Truth Beyond. Keeping her sexuality a secret to all but her closest friend and co-worker Billy T, Wilhelmsen struggles to solve the latest murder and also struggles to keep her personal life together.

The murder is an old-fashioned stabbing of the director of a foster home for difficult children and of course there are plenty of leads that start off promising and go nowhere. Amongst the affairs, misuse of funds and blackmailing there is one interesting child in the foster home, 12 year old Olav, who may have witnessed the killing and has vanished.

Another voice that creeps into the narrative is that of Olav’s mother who explains the vulnerable yet violent child that she loves but can’t handle anymore. Holt is really playing with the readers’ minds as she throws together all the suspects motivations of hatred, contempt, fear and passion and challenges them to solve the crime before Wilhelmsen and her team. If you haven’t explored Norway’s seedier side (evidently there are more actual homicides in Oslo that in their crime novels), then now is time to do so.

Lezly Herbert

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