As always, I would like to start by saying a huge huge THANK YOU to Karen @ Orenda Books for allowing me an early copy of CURSED. I am extremely grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and my own views.
So first off, we have “the blurb” for the book:
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.
Taut, chilling and unputdownable, Cursed is the fourth in the internationally renowned series featuring conflicted, disillusioned by always dogged crime reporter Henning Juul, and marks the return of one of Norway’s finest crime writers.
So, you want to know what I think?
I’m starting to wonder whether Orenda are capable of releasing “okay” fiction. This is the fourth book of theirs I have read in 2017 and I am not exaggerating or embellishing the truth when I say I have enjoyed every one! CURSED was no exception!
Firstly, CURSED is the fourth installment following our leading character, Henning Juul. Again, I was dubious in starting a series so far down the line – but after some encouragement from Abby over at Crime By The Book (and also with some homework on the characters) I jumped in!.
WOW. Wow. Wow! Those who know me know I reserve my 5 Stars for truly outstanding writing and a book that makes me feel incredibly giddy thinking about it and turns my reviews into waffling nonsense. CURSED. IS. THAT. BOOK! We are only on 15th February. There are 319 days left of 2017 and I’ve already given TWO five star reviews! CURSED deserves this rating wholeheartedly.
CURSED is a prime example of a story that ideally should be enjoyed as part of a series, as you then have that deeper understanding of the characters and what they have been through and how they have ended up in their current situation. However, saying that – CURSED can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel (as I have) as Enger has written this book in a way that gives a new reader enough information to aid the flow of the story.
This is a wonderfully written book from Enger highlights how even the most polished looking families can harbor deep secrets that eventually tear them apart. Each member of the family in question was given their own “15 minutes of fame” so there was no leaning to one character or the other until the end of the book. When the drama comes to a head, the story of how each family member plays their individual part is intricately weaved together like a piece of fine tapestry, it makes you stand book and admire what has been created.
Once again, Orenda are responsible for my ever growing TBR, my lack of sleep, but more importantly introducing me to some exceptional authors.
My aim is to now visit the first novels in this series – start from the beginning and understand more about Henning and Nora’s relationship and how it went so terribly wrong for them.
Do we also need to talk about that ending though?!
About THOMAS ENGER:
Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2009, 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.
CURSED is out now and can be purchased at the following outlets;
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