DEATH DESERVED | Thomas Enger & Jorn Lier Horst
(Alexander Blix & Emma Ramm #1)
02.06.2020 | Orenda Books
Rating: 5/5 stars
Police officer Alexander Blix and celebrity blogger Emma Ramm are teaming up to track down a serial killer who is targeting a seemingly unrelated group of famous people starting with former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrom. After Nordstrom misses the launch of her controversial autobiography, Emma Ramm is determined to find out what has happened to her. When Emma finds Nordstrom’s front door unlocked and signs of a struggle she has no choice, but to turn to the police for assistance.
Officer Alexander Blix has been selected to head up Nordstrom’s disappearance. Blix is a long time veteran officer known for a hostage situation that happened nineteen years earlier when he was a rookie. Ramm forces Blix to head outside of his comfort zone and learn to trust those around him to hunt down the carefully calculated clues left behind in the wake of Nordstrom’s disappearance. Things quickly start to look like Nordstrom may not be the only victim caught in the web of a dangerous serial killer.
DEATH DESERVED kicks off a brand new Nordic Noir series by well-known authors, Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst. I’ve had my eye on reading books by these authors for a while now and even shamelessly have a title by each on my shelves. Let me just start this review by telling you all to not make the same mistakes as me. Holy crap! Enger and Horst absolutely blew me away with this story! I am already plotting out where to add all of their individual books into my 2020 TBR.
The pages of this book open with a prologue featuring a hostage situation that occurred nineteen years earlier. The reader isn’t sure what the impact of these events are as we are quickly thrown into the present day in the first chapter. Introductions to the main characters Alexander Blix and Emma Ramm flow seamlessly into the unraveling of Sonja Nordstrom’s disappearance. Enger and Horst write with such fluidity that I felt myself inside the pages of this story. I could feel my heart racing as Ramm opens Nordstrom’s door. I could feel Blix’s reluctance to want to trust anyone. Every emotion and detail felt incredibly realistic.
Whenever a series kicks off the reader is aware that they will be meeting long standing characters, as well as learning their backstories. Enger and Horst elevate this premise by intricately weaving the stories of Blix and Ramm’s past into the present case. There are glimpses into the past, but DEATH DESERVED doesn’t pause from the main story by distracting the reader with large passages of past timelines. Meeting Blix and Ramm and learning their life stories, personalities, and motivations felt as natural as meeting a friend for the first time. It’s obvious from the start that neither of these characters is perfect and it’s their flaws and insecurities that make them relatable and ultimately loveable. Blix and Ramm are characters I hope to read more about for many years to come!
Enger and Horst are names you hear over and over again when researching Nordic Noir authors. DEATH DESERVED embodies the combination of why both of these authors have become so well-known in the genre. They have created an intense, atmospheric, and exhilarating story. There was never a moment I truly wanted to put this book down and I don’t regret a single late night I stayed up binge reading! I was captivated from the opening scene to the very last sentence. If you’re looking for a brand new series to introduce you to a new genre or simply to fuel your already present obsession with Nordic Noir, look no further! Put this book at the very top of your TBR and then join me in reading everything else Enger and Horst have put out!
Please be sure to check out all of the amazing bloggers heading up this tour!
A huge thank you to Orenda Books for sending me a free copy of this book!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.