Norway’s 123news reporter Henning Juul’s continued search for the man he’s convinced set the fire that killed his son, Jonas, two years ago entangles him in a web of more recent crimes.
Once Tore Pulli fixed on rival enforcer Jocke Brolenius as the killer of Tore’s friend, Vidar Fjell, the manager of the Fighting Fit gym, it was only a matter of time before Jocke followed Vidar into the great beyond. Now, Tore is in jail for Jocke’s murder, and he wants to talk to Henning Juul. Not simply to proclaim his innocence—he’s already told that to everyone in Oslo—but to intimate that he’s got new evidence about the fire in Henning’s flat. As the two men play cat and mouse during Henning’s visit to prison, one can’t help thinking of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling. But Enger is already laying the groundwork that will take his story in a dramatically different direction by following TV2 cameraman Thorleif Brenden, who’s suddenly threatened with the deaths of his long-term lover, Elisabeth Haaland, and their two children if he doesn’t do the bidding of an anonymous gangster who looks as if he’s right out of The Sopranos. The eventual collision of these two newsmen is still further complicated by Henning’s reluctant alliance with Iver Gundersen, the 123news reporter who’s now living with Nora Klemetsen, Henning’s ex and Jonas’ mother. The shifting relationships among the nominal heroes leave the obvious suspects—hired killer Ørjan Mjønes and the crew of bodybuilders who hang around the Fighting Fit pumping iron—fighting for attention, and after building to a tense climax, the tale continues with an investigation into still another murder that feels like one too many.
Even so, this dark and resourceful tale is a distinct improvement on Enger’s murky debut (Burned, 2011).