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The Katharina Code: You loved Wallander, now meet Wisting. Paperback – 13 December 2018
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Twenty-six years ago Katharina Haugen went missing. All she left behind was her husband Martin and a mysterious string of numbers written on a piece of paper.
Every year on October 10th Chief Inspector William Wisting takes out the files to the case he was never able to solve. Stares at the code he was never able to crack. And visits the husband he was never able to help.
But now Martin Haugen is missing too.
And the police force is convinced he's involved in another disappearance of a young woman and asks Wisting to close the net around Martin.
But is he playing cat and mouse with a dangerous killer or a grief-stricken husband who cannot lay the past to rest?
Set across the icy streets and dark forests of Norway, The Katharina Code is a heart-stopping story of one man's consuming hope to solve his coldest case.
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A well-crafted, atmospheric, character-driven thriller- I couldn't put it down! ― Alex Dahl, author of The Boy At The Door
Jørn Lier Horst is one of the most brilliantly understated crime novelists writing today -- Joan Smith ― Sunday Times
Up there with the best of the Nordic crime writers -- Marcel Berlin ― The Times
The Katharina Code is the best and most ingenious novel that Jørn Lier Horst has written thus far -- Tvedestrandsposten ― Norway
If you haven't already, introduce yourself to Norway's Chief Inspector William Wisting - you'll warm to him even though his patch can get pretty cold -- Jon Wise ― Sunday Sport
Jørn Lier Horst only gets better and better . . . The Katharina Code is a beautiful crime fiction story -- Stavanger Aftenblad ― Norway
The novel vibrates with anticipation all the way to the finish -- Dagbladet ― Norway
The author has employed literary devices one only rarely finds in a crime novel. And he's succeeded marvelously -- Tvedestrandsposten ― Norway
With The Katharina Code Jørn Lier Horst again delivers an excellent crime novel with a credible plot . . . All that remains is to declare that Jørn Lier Horst impresses again -- Østlands-Posten ― Norway
The untangling [of the mystery], the tactics, and the climax keep the suspense at a solid Horst level -- Trønder Avisa ― Norway
Jørn Lier Horst has truly done it this time . . . Exceptionally well-executed -- Tønsbergs Blad ― Norway
Horst invites the readers to join the investigation in a credible manner that highlights professional practices [in the police] and generates a new kind of suspense -- Bok 365 ― Norway
Pure evil in a solid Wisting crime novel. /..../ Jørn Lier Horst delivers credible crime fiction as always ― Norway
- Publisher : Michael Joseph; 1st edition (13 December 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1405938064
- ISBN-13 : 978-1405938068
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 42,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I found the novel compelling: Wisting is a complex and empathetic character: honourable, wise but very human. The writing is sparse and unemotional in style and you can't fault the plotting. The fishing trip is one of the most suspenseful and tautly written episodes you will ever read (and I'm not a spoiler, so enough said!)
I will definitely be reading more of the Wisting series thanks to the previous reviewers who got me hooked.
The family firm of Wisting and daughter Line have a strange and enigmatic new police detective taking the lead in a cold case. We work our way through the case and another older case that is connected bringing detective Stilled into play.
My review is read it and enjoy a master at work.
The tale does not rise to a heart pounding climax but it does progress smoothly to a satisfying conclusion. If your preference is for a hard thriller, gory details, weapons actions and pursuits this is not for you. This novel is well written and reasoned out and so is very highly recommended.
Top reviews from other countries
Wisting is no doubt semi-autobiographical as the author was formerly a police officer and head of investigations, prior to becoming a writer. That results in a realistic police procedural murder mystery.
There are short, punchy chapters that keep the book moving at a rapid pace - I flew through it in a few nights. It was also well-written with interesting characters. The premise itself - the solving of a cold case in Norway was interesting because it used to be the case that there was a statute of limitations on murder in that country, meaning someone could not be pursued once 25 years had passed since they committed the crime. According to Wikipedia, "The statute of limitations on murder was abolished by a change in law on 1 July 2014, causing any murders committed after 1 July 1989 to have no statute of limitations. This led to the national police force implementing a new investigation group for old cases called the "Cold Case" group." So, the premise of this novel is entirely feasible.
There were a few choices that were made that were unusual in the book - Wisting was sent in to search a house and to follow a suspect with whom he was supposed to be building trust. If he'd been spotted - plan over. I'm also not sure how much this was intended, but I felt extremely sorry for the murderer and felt less sympathetic with the position Wisting took at the end of the novel. I can't say more without giving the end away.
I will certainly be looking for more books by this author.
Chief Inspector William Wisting has kept in touch with Martin Haugen, the husband of Katharina Haugen; one of the missing women, for twenty four years, visiting him every year on the anniversary of her disappearance. When Wisting arrives at Martin’s house for his annual visit, the house is empty. With no answer from Martin’s mobile phone and no sign of him at work, Wisting is on the brink of launching a full blown missing person investigation. Events then take a turn when a senior detective from the cold cases group informs Wisting that Martin Haugen is a person of interest in the kidnapping of Nadia Krogh; a young lady believed to have been kidnapped around the same time that Katharina went missing.
Wisting embarks on a drawn out attempt to elicit a confession from Martin but such a confession could relate to either or both of the missing women. A ransom demand was made for Nadia Krogh but the money was never collected and the kidnapper’s demands stretched only to two letters composed from letters cut from a regional newspaper. Hardly the work of a criminal mastermind it would seem. As for Katharina, she appeared to have lost her ebullient nature shortly before her disappearance but it is the coded note left on her kitchen table that has and continues to intrigue Wisting. If only he could decipher the code, maybe he can solve both cases.
With much of the book focusing on dialogue between Wisting and Martin Haugen, the pace is fairly gentle. Having two missing people works well though as the possible scenarios are necessarily twofold and although nagging doubt says that the cases are linked, proof of this remains elusive.
A well paced story with no real villains rather every day people displaying very human traits and failings.