Romanen er den fjerde norske Inger Johanne Vik og Yngvar Stubø-krimi.
Meget hurtigt bliver vi kastet ud i en hel række forskellige tråde:
Inger Johannes sårbare datter, Kristiane, forvilder sig væk fra det hotel, hvor familien er til bryllup, og hvis det ikke var for den mystiske redningsmand, ville hun være blevet kørt ned af en sporvogn.
Biskop Eva Karin Lysgaard bliver fundet myrdet julenat i Bergen. Hun er en stærkt afholdt biskop, kendt for sit forsøg på at holde sammen på en kirke, som trues af splittelse over spørgsmålet om vielse af homoseksuelle, men samtidig er hun indædt modstander af abort under nogen omstændigheder.
Liget af en 17-årig, kurdisk asylsøger bliver fundet i Oslos havn, stærkt opløst. Den unge mand var trækkerdreng, og snart efter forsvinder en homosexuel kvinde fra sit velfungerende parforhold.
Marcus Koll, velhavende forretningsmand, bor sammen med sin samlever Rolf og sin søn, Lillemarcus. Smukt og trygt på facaden, men Marcus frygter tilsyneladende at blive det næste offer.
Er det gamle familiehemmeligheder, som ligger bag, eller er fællesnævneren homoseksualitet? Inger Johanne, doktor i kriminologi, forsker i hadkriminalitet, og er via sin forskning med til at vise politiet sammenhængen mellem de tilsyneladende isolerede hændelser.
Strukturen med en række tilsyneladende uafhængige forbrydelser som senere viser sig at hænge sammen er brugt før, ofte med stort held, men i Stubø-Vik-serien har Holt en tendens til dels at involvere Inger Johanne Vik og hendes børn i plottet, dels at bevæge sig ud på et internationalt konspirationsspor. Som jeg husker det, var Hanne Wilhelmsen-serien mere varieret.
Anne Holt, Fear Not (2011)
This novel is the fourth in the Norwegian series about Johanne Vik and Adam Stubø.
Very soon we are introduced to several different story threads:
Johanne´s vulnerable daughter, Kristiane, gets lost when the family participates in a wedding in Oslo, and if a mysterious stranger had not saved her, she might have been killed in front of the tram.
Bishop Eva Karin Lysgaard is found murdered on Christmas Eve in Bergen. She is a popular person, well known for her struggle to keep the church united despite the question of marriage of homosexuals.
The body of a seventeen-year-old asylum seeker is found in the harbour of Oslo. The young man was a prostitute, and soon after a homosexual woman disappears from a happy relationship.
Marcus Koll, affluent businessman, lives together with his partner Rolf and his son, Little Marcus. Beautiful and safe on the facade, but apparently Marcus fears he will be the next victim.
Are old family secrets behind all these crimes, or is the common denominator homosexuality? Johanne Vik is engaged in researching hate crime, and via her research she can point out the connection among the seemingly isolated events to the police.
There are many things to like in this series, but it seems to me that Holt is too fond of international conspiracies in this series, and she also has this (trendy?) tendency to involve Johanne and her children in the plot every time. Exciting, perhaps, but not very credible.
As far as I remember, I bought the book myself.
Dorte – Thanks – a fine review. You are reminding me that I haven’t read very much of this series yet, and need to.
Margot: I am afraid it is a bit so-so. I do like Stubø, and to some extent Johanne Vik, but this perpetual fear of conspiracies is not very Scandinavian if you ask me.
I really liked this one – more than you did it seems. Johanne is a woman character who does not seem popular with women readers, pity as she has an intelligent job and a young family, not an easy situation. I like her, anyway!
Maxine: well, I admit that when it comes to Johanne I´m still sitting on the fence. It may be because I am also the mother of an Asperger, and I am not at all sure Johanne´s constant worrying is the best way to handle it. She and Stubø are a good team when they try, however, so there are other aspects of the series I like a lot. But it is difficult for me (and other Scandinavian reviewers) not to compare with her Hanne Wilhelmsen series. The homosexual investigator is strong, stubborn, outgoing and as tough as they come, while the heterosexual mother is a constant worrier who prefers looking after her children rather than catching murderers.
I have only been able to read one Hanne novel, 1222, as that’s the on;y one yhat has bee translated. I did not like that novel, or the character of Hanne much, so it takes all sorts!
Oh, but 1222 is not a REAL Hanne Wilhelmsen. In that one she is a fairly bitter recluse; in the first many volumes she was full of initiative and pluck (whimsical and bad-tempered, but also an inspiring leader of her team).
I haven’t heard of Ann Holt but it’s interesting she writes Scandinavian fiction.
Oh, I would love to read Holt’s earlier books featuring Hanne Wilhelmsen. The only book over here which is remotely possible to get is 1222, which our library lists but does not yet have in the system. So I wait [im]patiently and also wonder if the earlier books will be translated, published and shipped over here. I wish I were young and energetic enough to learn Norwegian…!
Harvee: and she writes *good* Scandinavian fiction 🙂
Kathy: I have no idea if they will go back and translate all the Hanne Wilhelmsen stories. My daughters and I enjoyed them very much, but it seems that publishers regard books as ´dated´ fairly soon so who knows.
Shame that the earlier series is not translated as I can’t read a whole book in the nordic languages. Still I really like Anne Holt and the twists in her plots. It always reminds me how good the Scandi crime writers are when I read something else. There just isn’t the same tone or atmosphere in the writing. This will be one I will add to my evergrowing TBR list. Thanks for the review.