The Very Pink Notebook is thrilled to be part of Thomas Enger's, CURSED, blog tour this week. With much thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for involving me in the tour and for a copy of the book.
Published by : Orenda Books
1 March 2017
Translated by Kari Dickson
Translated by Kari Dickson
Copy : Paperback received from publisher
What secret would you kill to protect? When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests. Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.
The Very Pink Notebook Review
This is the first 'Henning Juul' novel I have read and now I understand why everyone wanted to get their hands on a copy of this book. It is utterly brilliant. The plot is so intricate it is almost mind boggling, but the author sets it out within such a superb structure I did not get lost once or have to re-read a single thing.
Through two main protagonists, ex husband and wife, Henning and Nora we are taken on a complex journey to discover two different mysteries; What happened to Hedda Hellberg and who set fire to Henning Juul's apartment causing the death of Nora and Henning's son Jonas. With the plot criss-crossing and twisting and turning all the time it really is a rollercoaster ride for the reader and believe me, you will not be able to put this book down.
Enger has written in third person narrative, but has an amazing ability to really keep the psychic distance close and powerful, making for a compelling and nail-biting read. By swapping between Henning and Nora as narrators the pace is non-stop and not one chapter is superfluous to the plot. As well as being gripping it is gritty without being horrifying, as it could so easily have been when dark underworlds are explored by novelists.
The novel is not one of those who only teases with snippets of information throughout only to have a weak and disappointing ending. You are constantly discovering meaty pieces of the plot which the author spends the last quarter of the book seamlessly weaving together to produce a clever and well thought out ending, which I did not see coming, I also suspect that Henning Juul is far from done investigating either...
All of the characters in this book seemed very real, there were no pantomime good or bad ones. They are complex and I felt the author has a very deep understanding of them, which is obviously why the novel made for such good reading - the passion of plot and exemplary writing was never going to provide anything less.
I can not recommend this book highly enough. Cursed receives a Very Pink Notebook rating of :
About the Author
Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo's underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music and he lives in Oslo.
T : @EngerThomas
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