Saturday, April 16, 2016

What is Mine: Anne Holt

This novel, set in Norway, follows two investigations. The primary plot line is the abduction of several young children. Inspector Adam Stubo wants Johanne Vik, a former FBI profiler, to work with him on the case. Johanne is currently doing legal research, and she rejects his requests for her assistance. Stubo feels strongly that Johanne's investigative gifts will make the difference in the investigation, and he continues to pester her regarding his case.

The secondary plot is Johanne's investigation of a man's conviction for the rape of a young girl over forty years ago. Aksel  Seier may have been wrongly convicted; he was later released from prison with no explanation. He moved to the US after he was released and purchased a house in Harwich Port, Cape Cod. Johanne travels to the US to interview him.

I liked that the story was told from multiple points of view and moved to different locations. The multiple story lines and points of view can get confusing, but I think it was this style that pulled me into the story. And the very interesting characters.

Although the police investigation of the child abduction case is important, this is not a standard police procedural. It focuses more on the main investigators and their relationship, working and personal. Both are individualists, not great at working in a team environment. Their idiosyncrasies and family relationships add to the richness of the story.

The only complaint I would have is that the final resolution involves too many unrealistic and convenient coincidences. That is somewhat typical for a thriller but I felt that this novel was more than that. However, I liked the novel overall and I will be coming back to this series.

What is Mine was the English language debut of Anne Holt, a Norwegian author, and the first book in the Vik and Stubo series. The title in Norway was Det som er mitt; in the UK it was published as Punishment. Several novels in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series were published prior to this one in Norway, and most of the books in both series have now been translated into English and published in the US and the UK.

Also check out Bernadette's review at Reactions to Reading and Rebecca's review at Ms. Wordopolis Reads.

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Publisher:   Warner Books, 2006 (orig. pub. 2001)
Translator:  Kari Dickson
Length:       391 pages
Format:       Hardcover
Setting:       Norway
Genre:        Mystery
Source:       I purchased this book.

14 comments:

  1. I'm glad you found things to like about the novel, Tracy. I think you have a point about thrillers and credibility. Still, I do like this series, and you've reminded me I still haven't done a spotlight on any of these novels. I must do that!

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    1. I do hope you spotlight a book in this series, Margot. I am looking forward to reading more. The 2nd novel has been ordered and is on its ways to me.

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  2. Tracy, this sounds like a fairly complex story though I admit to a preference for single plot lines.

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    1. It was complex, Prashant, although more complex to recount than to read.

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  3. I think I read one of the late ones, 1222, which was a sort of Agatha Christie homage that didn't quite work for me really, This sounds better though - thanks Tracy.

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    1. Sergio, I plan to read that one after I have read some more of the earlier ones in that series. I have read that there is variety in how each book is formatted or its focus, even within a series.

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  4. TracyK: I am working my way through 1222 right now. It is slow going. It is not a bad book but so far it does not have me racing to turn the pages.

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    1. Bill, I did buy a copy of 1222 at a very inexpensive price, but I will be reading after I read a few more in the same series.

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  5. Thanks for the link, Tracy. Hope you like some of the other books in the series more. They blur together in my mind because I read a big batch of them at once :)

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    1. I did like this one a lot, Rebecca, regardless of the coincidences. I just purchased the 2nd in this series and I am eager to read it.

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  6. I may check this out, having kin in Norway and a fascination for the country. The author's name seems familiar, Tracy, but I've not read anything by her--yet.

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    1. I have read the first book from both series, and so far I like this one best, Mathew. But there is also the Hanne Wilhelmsen series and it seems to be the more popular (of the two).

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  7. I read a couple of the other Anne Holt series, and quite liked them - I'll probably continue with them before embarking on a new sleuth.

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    1. Fortunately neither of these series has a great number of books already, Moira. This series is harder for me to get here, but so far I like it better. The comparison may not be fair though, since the other series was her first.

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