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Ordeal: A William Wisting Mystery    by Jorn Lier Horst order for
by Jorn Lier Horst
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2017 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's a new Scandinavian mystery winner, Ordeal by Jorn Lier Horst. It's a carefully, logically developed police procedural (reminiscent in some ways of Archer Mayor's style).

The star is Chief Inspector William Wisting, in Larvik, southwest Norway. Very much old school in his policing methods, rigor, and thoroughness, he's been working a missing persons case - the disappearance of a taxi driver named Hummel six months before - with no success, leading to criticism from both press and Police Chief. While he deals with all this, Wisting's daughter Line (an investigative reporter) has moved back to town. She's living nearby and expecting a baby very soon.

In fact, it's the fact that she's expecting and they're both new in town, as well as old schoolmates, that brings Line and Sofie Lund together. Sofie has inherited a mansion from her estranged grandfather (whom she thinks of as the Old Man). She moves in with her baby daughter Maja. Line helps Sofie get a safe in the mansion opened. In it they find marked cash (proceeds of a robbery), five black ring binders - and a revolver.

A lead on the Hummel case uncovers a stash of narcotics and a connection to organized crime. Sofie's grandfather, who made his fortune from smuggled spirits, was reputed to be connected. The revolver turns out to have been the weapon used in the New Year Murder that's about to go to trial in Kristiansand. The officer in charge there had made a quick arrest and is dismissive of this new evidence, but a stubborn Wisting keeps digging nevertheless.

As all this comes to a head, Line finds new evidence that puts her life, and her baby's, at risk. But what she has uncovered ends up solving Wisting's case. I very much enjoyed spending time with these admirable characters and hope that more episodes of the series will be translated soon.

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