Today I am delighted to host the blog tour for the absolutely cracking Death Deserved by Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst, a rather brilliant piece of Nordic Noir translated by Anne Bruce.
First in the international bestselling, award-winning Blix & Ramm series with over 100,000 copies sold in Norway alone, two of the biggest names in Nordic Noir have teamed up to create a dark, hard-boiled and emotive serial-killer thriller with echoes of Criminal Minds … and two unforgettable protagonists
Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.
Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing- persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…
Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flair for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.
Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…
I started reading this on a wet, blustery Sunday morning. The house was quiet after a busy few weeks, each of us content to disappear into our own worlds for a few hours. I started with a cup of tea in bed and was so drawn into the story, consumed by the pace and plot that before I knew it the hours had flown until eventually I heard ‘Are you getting out of bed today mum?’ Let’s just say I emerged some time later only once the last page had been read.
I’m always confident that an Orenda Book is going to be good but I have to say I often feel a certain amount of trepidation with a collaborative novel. Will the voices work together? Can two minds gel enough to keep the voices authentic? Horst and Enger have pulled it off brilliantly. Death Deserved is a gripping read with a cold hearted villain, always just out of reach of the police. The twists and turns are aplenty and I found the protagonists incredibly engaging. Blix is a likeable detective, passionate about his job but also caring and human. He doesn’t give a damn about status and stripes, his desire is only to get to the bottom of the case, catch the killer and make the streets safe. Ramm is a young determined blogger who wants nothing more than to move away from writing about celebrities to hard hitting news stories. However our killer is bringing the two together, immortalising celebrities in death and making them pay for what he/she considers them guilty of. Ramm is suddenly writing the serious pieces she coveted but at what cost? This is one killer that is controlling everything from the get go and has the police chasing their tails in a race against the clock.
Incredibly topical, Death Deserved brings to light the obsession with celebrity and the dangers that go along with it. Lives are lived in the public arena but at which point is the line crossed? Where do we lose the human being behind the persona? The mother, child, lover? Within the realms of the different kinds of media that transmit every area of our lives we all have the opportunity to become judge and jury. Never before have we, as individuals become so opinionated on how others should be leading their lives. Death Deserved shows a much darker side to this and is fascinating in that it looks at how the obsession with celebrity, with them and too become one, can become unhealthy, and, in this case, can lead to murder. This is an absolutely brilliant start to what I hope will be a long and exciting series. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Blix and Ramm.
About the authors
About the publisher
Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four ’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.
Visit their website at www.orendabooks.co.uk
Follow them on Twitter at @OrendaBooks