I reviewed this book in April, but as it has just been released in Britain, I will briefly remind my readers of Anne Holt´s fine series featuring Adam Stubo and Johanne Vik. I have enjoyed meeting Adam Stubo in all three books, but his wife´s behaviour has annoyed me somewhat because I think it is unlikely that any FBI profiler would be such a wimp. The third book is better in this respect: Johanne Vik finally shows some guts.
The story is also relevant, because a newly-elected American president visits Scandinavia. I sincerely hope President Barack Obama´s visit will be less dramatic, however!
Another amusing detail: Johanne Vik had expected the USA “… would elect an AfroAmerican before they accepted a woman.”
1) Punishment – aka What is Mine (2006)
2) The Final Murder – aka What Never Happens (2007)
3) Death in Oslo (2009)
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Dorte - That quote of Vik's is really interesting! Thanks for sharing this series with us : ). I agree with you, by the way, that if a character doesn't act in believable ways, it's off-putting.
I don't think an FBI profiler would be wimpy, either! It would be hard to ignore that, too.
Mystery Writing is Murder
You pose a problem for me here, Dorte. I once read about 20 pages of a Holt and abruptly abandoned it -- not impressed at all. (A little understatement there.) Now I see a glowing recommendation from you, and I think perhaps I should give her another chance. But then you remind that her protagonist is a profiler, and thus part of what I think to be one of the great myths of modern law enforcement. Worse, an FBI profiler, and so part of perhaps the greatest myth of all. What to do, what to do. A dilemma. I could try The Final Murder, but...
Thanks for this review, Dorte. I am very much looking forward to this book and I hope very much that Professor Christmas will be bringing it on his frog-sleigh this year. I did not think Joanne was so much of a wimp in the previous novels that have been translated because she had just had a baby and I remember how much one's "bravery" component vanishes for a while at that stage of life! Glad to know that she recovers, though. ;-) I remember being a bit frustrated by konwing about all the back-story of her as an FBI profiler but not knowing what it was (eg what her ex-boss did that was so terrible). Maybe the author has not revealed this yet, or maybe it is one of those cases where the books are translated out of order so we monolinguists just have to wait.
All in all though I very much enjoyed the first two of these books and am keen to read the next.
Margot, of course Anne Holt wrote the story during the election campaign, but she couldn´t be certain who would win :D
Elizabeth: as Maxine explains, Johanne Vik had some reason to be unbalanced, but she did annoy me sometimes in the first two. She comes to life in the third, however, and I would like to see more of the couple Vik/Stubo.
Philip: I think it is difficult for me to know what I would have felt about the first Stubo/Vik story if I had not read her older Hanne Wilhelmsen series (a very complex, lesbian protagonist). One of the things I liked about the first one, however, was that Holt plays with the role of the narrator so that it is difficult to know what to believe. Quite refreshing, I think.
Maxine: I don´t remember exactly how much more we are told about Johanne Vik´s past (I read it eight months ago), but her behaviour is more suitable for an intelligent profiler, and more understandable when you consider the fact that Anne Holt is a strong, independent, homosexual feminist and former minister of justice. I have always wondered how she could have a rather weak, female protagonist.
Dorte, I am on Philip camp. The first and only book I have read from Holt in Spanish was Crepúsculo in Oslo, the second one on the Vick-Stubo series. I must admit that I was not impressed at all and found it extremely boring. Besides the problem with the translation which was very poor. From what I am reading it seems to me that I should give it a try to the Wilhelmen series in English. By the way I found the biography of Anne Holt far more interesting that her book.
I think I'd like to try this series, starting with this third book (wimpy characters get on my nerves, too). It looks like I can preorder it here in Canada, so perhaps my library will get a copy of it when it's released here.
Jose: I am sorry you don´t like it, but I can see some of the weaknesses.
Belle: she is annoying, but she could not destroy my pleasure as I liked the plots and have always enjoyed the male protagonist.
I preferred The Final Murder to Punishment though Vik is annoying (to me) in the extreme! I have the new one on my library tbr. I didn't realise it was so recently written.
Karen: I will never understand how a woman like Anne Holt could make up such a wimpy protagonist, but perhaps she thinks heterosexual women are like that ;(
But I remember Death in Oslo as much better in that respect.
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