The second book in Edgar-nominated Anne Holt’s internationally best-selling mystery series featuring Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen, last seen in Blind Goddess.
It is only the beginning of May, but in Oslo a brutal heat wave has coincided with an alarming increase in violent crime. In the latest instance, police investigator Hanne Wilhelmsen is sent to a macabre crime scene on the outskirts of town. An abandoned shed is covered in blood. On one wall an eight-digit number is written in blood. There is no body - nor any sign of a victim. Is it a kid’s prank or foul play? Is it even human blood?
As more bloody numbers are found in isolated locations throughout Oslo, Hanne’s colleague Håkon Sand makes a startling discovery: The digits correspond to the filing numbers of foreign immigrants. All are female, all are missing. Is there a serial killer on the loose in Oslo? How does the killer have access to immigrant data?
Meanwhile, as the trail heats up, the victim of a horrific unsolved rape case and her father have each decided to take justice into their own hands. Hanne and Håkon soon discover that they aren’t the only ones on the hunt for the killer.
©1994 J. W. Cappelens Forlag; English translation copyright 2012 Anne Bruce (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Anne Holt is the godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction." (Jo Nesbø, New York Times best-selling author)
“Fast-paced and involving…. Holt knows psychology as well as she knows the ins and outs of police work. She quickly draws the reader into the minds and lives of half a dozen disparate characters - none more interesting than Inspector Wilhelmsen herself.… Holt’s visions of societal and ethical decay are balanced by glimpses of great poignancy, human consolation, and love.” (Wall Street Journal)
“A good old-fashioned mystery.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
The only negatives here are the brevity of this part of the story (series) and its rather weak and implausible resolution of the legal issues. Forgive me but I'm a retired lawyer. The book as a standalone still deserves a four star rating.
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