Death in Oslo by Anne Holt

deathinosloDeath in Oslo by Anne Holt, translated by Kari Dickson

Vik and Stubo book 3

Sphere, 2009

Originally published as Presidentens valg, 2006

I bought my copy of the book.

Death in Oslo is kind of a misleading title: this book is about the disappearance of the United States’s first female president during her first state visit of her presidency, which happens to be in Oslo. Holt alternates perspectives in every chapter, and it’s a pretty large cast of characters, including the return of Hanne Wilhelmsen, who still remains my favorite Holt character.

I bought this book because I’m an Anne Holt completist, not necessarily because I was interested in the disappearance of the first female president of the United States in Oslo. I tend to prefer books that aren’t in the broad-government-conspiracy/ international-conspiracy realm, and I liked the character through-lines in the Vik and Stubo and Hanne Wilhelmsen series a lot more than I liked the investigation in this particular book. Holt wrote the book in 2006, imagining a world where George W. Bush was not reelected in 2004. It’s a bit hard to read because the criticisms of the US Patriot Act and government surveillance feel old now (and they haven’t hanged much since this book was written).

Holt knows how to serialize: I get just enough tidbits about Vik and Wilhelmsen to keep me reading these books, as difficult as they can be to find. Ultimately, the conspiracy storyline wasn’t my favorite because the antagonists were sketched pretty broadly, but I liked the pacing and I liked most of the characters. I’m looking forward to The Lion’s Mouth and Dead Joker in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series.

Other reviews appear in Scandinavian Crime Fiction and DJ’s Krimiblog.

One thought on “Death in Oslo by Anne Holt

  1. Every time I read one of your reviews for this author’s books, I say I will read the ones I have (and more) but still I haven’t. You make them sound so good but I have too many books.

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