Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: Where Monsters Dwell

Where Monsters Dwell
Where Monsters Dwell by Jørgen Brekke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of mysteries that are not easily solved, thriller/suspense novels, Scandinavian fiction
Book Available: February 11, 2014 in hardcover and Kindle format
Trigger Warnings: murder, torture, sexual assault, drug abuse, overdose, attempted suicide
Animal Abuse: little boy throws cat into river to test the “cats always land feet down” hypothesis; he did not mean to harm the cat, but the cat was swept away in the current and out to sea, where it presumably drowned; the kid also held the cat by the tail

My Thoughts: This is the first book in the Odd Singsaker series, which is very popular in Norway. Odd is an interesting character. We meet him as he returns to work for the first time since having a tumor removed from his brain. He has lost a lot of his memories as a result. In fact, all the characters are excellent, full of quirks and qualities that make them human and relateable.

This is done so well that it was impossible for me to figure out who the killer was prior to it being revealed. There are just so many twists and turns, red herrings sprinkled in with the clues, that the mystery was kept mysterious right up to the ending.

Many of the characters were quite tragic. Felicia and her sexual assault in high school, Odd and his broken family, Vatten and the loss of his wife and child... This gives additional depth and interest to each character that really helps to fill them out.

This isn't as dark as some Scandinavian fiction I've read, but it is certainly as good quality as any of them. If you enjoy mysteries that are difficult to crack, suspense/thrillers, and Scandinavian fiction, then definitely watch for this one.

Disclosure: I received an ARC from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: A murder at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, bears a close resemblance to one in Trondheim, Norway. The corpse of the museum curator in Virginia is found flayed in his office by the cleaning staff; the corpse of an archivist at the library in Norway, is found inside a locked vault used to store delicate and rare books. Richmond homicide detective Felicia Stone and Trondheim police inspector Odd Singsaker find themselves working on similar murder cases, committed the same way, but half a world away. And both murders are somehow connected to a sixteenth century palimpsest book—The Book of John—which appears to be a journal of a serial murderer back in 1529 Norway, a book bound in human skin. 

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