Review - 1222 by Anne Holt

Sunday Jan 29 2012
by Jack

Anne Holt is a Norwegian crime writer who has an interesting background, which includes police work, news anchor, law school, a brief spell as Norway’s minister of justice, and a track record of successful books.  1222 (the number refers to meters above sea level) is her eighth book featuring Hanne Wilhelmsen. How publishers could have let seven previous books go by without translating her into English is completely beyond comprehension, but by the time we Anglophones are allowed to catch up with Hanne, she has a career behind her.  She is middle-aged, in a wheelchair with a bullet lodged in her spine, and more than a bit testy.  Incidentally – the author makes no big deal about it – she is a lesbian.   Hanne’s train crashes because of a storm and avalanche, and she along with several hundred other passengers is evacuated to a resort hotel at 1222 meters.  One of the passengers, a rather nasty clergyman, is murdered at the hotel.  There is also an extra car on the train, rumoured to be transporting members of the Norwegian royal family, but nobody has any hard information on who is actually on board; the passenger(s) from the car are furtively removed to the hotel and secluded from the remaining guests. You take it from there. This book, finally published in December of 2011, has been deservedly nominated for an Edgar. It is quite brilliant.  I won’t compare it to the Millenium Trilogy except to say that if you liked Steig Larsson…you finish the sentence. Enjoy.   

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