From Norway’s bestselling female crime writer, this installment in the Edgar-nominated mystery series featuring the whip-smart detective Hanne Wilhelmsen is “an ideal read-alike for fans of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole and Karin Fossum’s Inspector Sejer” (Booklist).
Chief Public Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud’s wife is found brutally decapitated in front of the fireplace in the family living room. Her husband, who claims he witnessed the grisly murder and is himself covered in blood, immediately falls under suspicion, though he insists his wife’s killer was Ståle Salvesen, a businessman he’d prosecuted years before for insider dealing. Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is called in to lead the investigation with her old colleague, Billy T. Despite the circumstantial evidence, Hanne is unconvinced of Sigurd Halvorsrud’s guilt—that is, until a witness says he saw Ståle Salvesen commit suicide by jumping off a bridge days before the murder took place. Then a journalist at one of Oslo’s largest newspapers is found beheaded. What links these two horrific crimes? The demands of the investigation soon clash with a terrible crisis in Hanne’s personal life: Cecilie, the woman she has lived with for almost twenty years, has fallen seriously ill and doesn’t have much time to live. With a savage killer on the loose, Hanne must ask herself: Is the truth worth chasing at all costs?
The New York Times Book Review declares, “Wherever Hanne shows up next…follow that wheelchair.” Anne Holt’s Hanne Wilhelmsen novels are “fast-paced and involving” (The Wall Street Journal), and Dead Joker is “an immersive tale that packs an emotional punch and offers incisive commentary on the failings of the criminal justice system” (Publishers Weekly).
Anne Holt is Norway’s bestselling female crime writer. She was a journalist and news anchor and spent two years working for the Oslo Police Department before founding her own law firm and serving as Norway’s Minister for Justice in 1996 and 1997. Her first novel was published in 1993 and her books have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold more than 7 million copies. Her novel 1222 was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in Oslo with her family.
"Holt offers readers yet another dandy surprise ending." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"This latest in Holt’s long-running series remains an ideal read-alike for fans of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole and Karin Fossum’s Inspector Sejer." —Booklist
“Nuanced characters and a strong sense of place make for an immersive tale that packs an emotional punch and offers incisive commentary on the failings of the criminal justice system.” —Publishers Weekly
Praise for the Hanne Wilhelmsen series:
"If you aren’t familiar with her Hanne Wilhelmsen novels, it’s okay to dive in with this one—No. 7—but then do yourself a favor and binge-read the first six." —Entertainment Weekly
“Anne Holt is the godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction.” —Jo Nesbo
"Fast-paced and involving.... Holt knows psychology as well as she knows the ins and outs of police-work. She quickly draws the reader into the minds and lives of half a dozen disparate characters—none more interesting than Inspector Wilhelmsen herself... Holt's visions of societal and ethical decay are balanced by glimpses of great poignancy, human consolation and love." —The Wall Street Journal
"This is a series that demands to be read, and the more quickly, the better." —Bookreporter
"Anne Holt is a thriller writer of the highest order." —Liza Marklund, author of Red Wolf
"It's easy to see why Anne Holt, the former minister of justice in Norway and currently its bestselling female crime writer, is rapturously received in the rest of Europe." —The Guardian (UK)