Celebrating #Orentober : ‘Death Deserved’ and ‘Smoke Screen’ by Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst (trs Anne Bruce) | @OrendaBooks

As always October has completely snuck up on me and I am woefully unprepared for the Orentober celebrations. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Orentober was created by Kelly and Danielle who will shine a spotlight on their favourite publisher Orenda Books during the entire month of October. Obviously, the more the merrier so if you feel like shouting about Orenda and their awesome selection of books as well, do please join in!

Today I thought I would re-share my reviews for ‘Death Deserved’ and ‘Smoke Screen’. I can think of at least one person who will not be surprised to see my Orentober opening post be about Thomas Enger 😳.

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing-persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flare for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.
Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Holy flying …. kjøttkaker!!!! (that’d be meatballs) I can’t even begin to think about what to say about Death Deserved. Except … I am making space on my shelves for what will undoubtedly become one of my favourite series.

You may remember my sadness when Thomas Enger’s previous series featuring Henning Juul came to an end. That series was my first introduction to Scandi-Noir and a new love affair was born. But now Thomas Enger has embarked on another adventure, alongside Jørn Lier Horst and as I found myself getting introduced to an entirely new premise and a whole new cast of characters, I quickly realised the dark cloud of sadness had lifted. (dramatic much 😳)

A serial killer is targeting celebrities. They have a plan, they are on a mission and they will not be thwarted. The police is in a race against the clock to stop the killer from striking again but this unsub is smart and detectives have very little, if anything, to go on. And the clues they DO find, all seem like they’re calculated, meant to be found when the killer wants them to be. 

And off we go with one of the most gripping crime thrillers EVER! Death Deserved had me hook, line and sinker from the very first page and just did not let go. There are so many things in this story that tick the boxes. Engaging characters, an intricate plot, a well-paced game of cat and mouse and an incredibly intriguing serial killer whose identity I couldn’t even begin to guess at. This extremely thrilling ride kept me glued to the pages until the early hours of the morning and it all led to an explosive ending that left me reeling! 🤯

Just like Alexander and Emma, the driving forces behind them are a (former) investigating officer and a journalist and on top of that, both Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst are incredibly popular Norwegian crime writers. Something told me this collaboration was always going to be successful but I wasn’t at all prepared for exactly how much. If this first instalment is anything to go by, I dare say this will be one of the greatest series out there. As it is, I’m already tempted to say it might be even better than the Henning Juul series and considering how much I loved that one, I wasn’t really expecting that to happen. Or not just yet, anyway.

This serial killer crime thriller meets police procedural equals a pounding heart, clammy hands and a desperate need for more. I can’t wait for book two and I urge you, dear reader, to jump onto this rollercoaster ride right now! This might just be a dream team of crime writers and I firmly believe they are a force to be reckoned with. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that, now would you?

Amazon UK Bookshop UK | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones


| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion, and the city is put on terrorist alert. 

Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Smeplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier and never found.

Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Smoke Screen is book two in the Blix & Ramm series, which is a collaboration between two of Norway’s most popular crime fiction writers. In my review of book one, Death Deserved, I called Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst a dream team of crime writers and a force to be reckoned with. Bold statement but after reading Smoke Screen, my belief in those words has only been cemented even more firmly and the Blix & Ramm series is fast becoming one of the best crime fiction series out there. 

It’s New Year’s Eve in Oslo. Revellers have gathered on the square by City Hall to ring in the new year. But the annual fireworks celebrations are rocked by an explosion and the city is put on high alert. One of the survivors is the mother of Patricia Smeplass, a two year old girl who was kidnapped ten years ago and never found. This renews interest in the case and Blix and Ramm set out to investigate. What happened to Patricia? 

Tensely charged opening chapters pulled me in so hard that I already knew I wouldn’t be putting this book down until I reached the final page. And what a ride it was, yet again. The pace is so extremely spot-on, it felt as if I hadn’t drawn a single breath throughout the entire thing. Smoke Screen is full of surprises and I had many jaw-dropping “wait, what?” moments. Trying to figure things out became a real challenge. One I failed at miserably, in case you wondered. 

A thrill a minute, Smoke Screen is full of suspense and intrigue. With a clever and intricate plot, plenty of twists and turns and a cast of engaging characters, there is a lot to keep you glued to the pages here. The relationship between Blix and Ramm might seem a little odd and it is definitely immensely complicated but it works like a charm. Theirs isn’t the typical investigative partnership. Both come at an investigation in different ways and discover different things. Kovic gets a little shove forward as well and a chance to shine, which I truly enjoyed. 

The writing is just crazy good, you guys. It’s seamless, it flows, it draws you in and I’m completely unable to spot where Enger ends and Horst begins or the other way around. Which is at it should be. On top of that, I can see entire scenes play out right in front of my eyes. This series should be on tv. Netflix, take note!

Death Deserved blew me away. Smoke Screen blew me away even more. There are a lot of crime fiction series out there and it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. I firmly believe Enger and Horst are that something special, even though I can’t put my finger on what that actually is. Like I said, dream team.

Amazon UK | UK Bookshop | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones


And there you go. Have you read these? Are you tempted to pick them up? With only two books in the series so far, it is the perfect time to catch up! Then you can (im)patiently join me for book 3.

  2 comments for “Celebrating #Orentober : ‘Death Deserved’ and ‘Smoke Screen’ by Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst (trs Anne Bruce) | @OrendaBooks

  1. October 5, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you 😘 You’ll be happy to know that book 3 is forthcoming! The official reveal will be online next week. The paperback release is 17 February.

    Liked by 1 person

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