Sunday, March 31, 2019

What Never Happens: Anne Holt

Anne Holt is a Norwegian author of crime fiction, and this is the second book in her Adam Stubo and Johanne Vik series, set in Oslo. Adam is an inspector in the Criminal Investigation Service and Johanne has worked with the FBI as a profiler.

In the first book in the series, What is Mine, Adam requested Johanne's help in a case of child abduction. She resisted, as she was not currently working in that area and did not want to get involved with such a crime. There were other complications, but eventually they do work together on the case.

In What Never Happens (alternate title is The Final Murder), Adam and Johanne are married; she has recently given birth to their daughter. As the story opens, they are both taking leave from their jobs, but Adam goes back to work shortly because of a big case related to the death of a television personality. Johanne is on extended maternity leave and is dealing with the stresses of a new baby and lack of sleep. Clearly her help as a profiler in the current case would be useful, and when two more well known personalities are killed, she does get involved.

I loved the first book in the series, and this book did not disappoint either. I like the two protagonists and their relationship; there is a big age difference, Adam is a grandfather (from a previous marriage) and Johanne is much younger with a disabled daughter when they meet. The family dynamics and the back story of Adam and Johanne add interest to the story.

The secondary characters are also well developed, both those in the CIS and the suspects. The story shows how the lives of those close to the victims are also disrupted as the result of a crime.

This is a serial killer story, but with a difference. The reveal of the killer was very surprising and effective, and I liked the ending a lot.

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Publisher:   Grand Central Publishing, 2008 (orig. pub. 2004)
Translator:  Kari Dickson
Length:       385 pages
Format:       Hardcover
Series:        Adam Stubo and Johanne Vik, #2
Setting:       Norway
Genre:        Mystery
Source:       I purchased this book.


Rick Robinson said...

Might put it on a "try it" list, but for the most part it doesn't sound like my kind of book. I guess it's the child stuff.

Margot Kinberg said...

I do like Holt's Hanne Wilhelmsen series, Tracy, so I know I like her writing style. I don't usually go for the 'serial killer' motif in my crime fiction; and, like Rick, I'm not usually one for the child thing. But I'm glad you enjoyed this.

TracyK said...

On the basis of subject matter, it is not my type of book either, Rick. But I started the first book without knowing that, and I liked the characters so well I continued the series.

TracyK said...

I have read the first book in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series, Margot, and I liked it too. I will read more books in that series also.

col2910 said...

I have something from her on the pile, but I daren't grab any more. Does sound good though.

TracyK said...

I sympathize, Col, I have bought far too many books since the beginning of the year. I have to restrain myself.

Mathew Paust said...

I've not tried Holt yet, but now I will!

TracyK said...

I really like this series, Matt, but some readers like her other series better.

Clothes In Books said...

I have read a couple by her, and really enjoyed them. Will look out for this one.

TracyK said...

Moira, I think the Vik and Stubo series leans more toward serial killer types of crimes (hence the profiling), and that is not my favorite subject in crime fiction, but the author concentrates more on the investigators than the criminals, which works better for me.