Norway · review · Translated

What Never Happens by Anne Holt

what never happensWhat Never Happens by Anne Holt, translated by Kari Dickson
Grand Central Publishing, 2008
Originally published as Det som aldri skjer, 2004, also published as The Final Murder
I borrowed this book from the library
Vik and Stubo book 2

I’m a huge Anne Holt fan, even though I started with a book far into the Hanne Willhelmsen series, 1222. This series runs concurrently with the Willhelmsen series, just outside Oslo, with detective Adam Stubo and his now-wife Johanne Vik, a profiler who just gave birth to their first child. Adam leads the investigation into a series of murders of public figures: a tv talk show host, a politician, and an upcoming television news figure. Vik, on maternity leave, consults unofficially on the case.

First for the positives: Vik and Stubo’s homelife with a newborn is spot on: the exhaustion, the hormones, the craziness induced by the sleeplessness. Also, Holt humanizes almost all of her characters and has much to say about how police investigations, even if you’re not charged, turn your life upside down for no good reason.

But ultimately, the ending felt a little unsatisfying because the murderer seemed too unrealistic. This may be my serial-killer-storyline fatigue talking, or the murderer seemed especially unrealistic because the other elements of the story felt more so. I loved the first two thirds of the book but not the final third.

Other reviews appear in DJ’s Krimiblog, EuroCrime, Crimepieces, and Mysteries and Paradise.

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5 thoughts on “What Never Happens by Anne Holt

  1. As ever, Rebecca, I appreciate your candor. I’m really tired of the serial killer motif too, to be honest. Still, Holt is extremely talented, and I’m going to continue reading her work. Perhaps just not this one…

    1. I like both series, some books more than others, of course. She was a fairly recent find for me as well, and I haven’t seen any upcoming US publication dates, unfortunately.

  2. I still haven’t gotten to this author, although I have a book from this series. Just too many books on my shelves. I often avoid serial killer stories just because I have had bad experiences with them, but I am sure I will get to this book sometime.

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