The Final Murder is the second in Anne Holt’s crime series starring senior Norwegian police Superintendent Adam Stubo and psychologist Johanne Vik. The two met in the series debut, Punishment which was released in translation earlier this year, and quite apart from working well together they obviously hit it off socially in a big way.
When The Final Murder opens they are now married and Stubo is on paternity leave after the birth of their daughter, Ragnhild. It’s a sad commentary on the marital skills of many factional cops, that he flatly refused, even when ordered, to return to the back in the office due to a particularly high-profile killing of an attractive TV presenter. Stubo is a refreshingly normal character. Humane and caring. Apart from the occasional forbidden cigar and glass of wine to assist contemplation, he’s devoid of the traits that tend to single out the modern crime buster. He’s a good father both to Ragnhild and to the strangely quirky Kristiane, Vik’s daughter by an
Punishment, the latest offering from Anne Holt, dubbed the “godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction” by international Scandi Noir author Jo Nesbo, introduces a new fiction team to her readers. Holt has achieved great acclaim with her Hanne Wilhelmsen series, including the recent Dead Joker and Punishment is the first of the series featuring Superintendent Adam Stubo and psychologist Johanne Vik to be translated into English.
Holt draws on her experience working for the Oslo Police, as a lawyer and during a period as Norway’s Minister for Justice, to provide a compelling authenticity to her books, not just of the police and judiciary but also their often fraught intersection with the political system. Couple that with intriguing often (as in this case) fairly complex plotting, you can understand why she’s so popular.
Anne Holt’s crime credentials are impeccable. After several years with the Oslo Police
department she set up her own law firm then went on to serve as the Norway’s Minister for Justice for two years. She then decided to turn her skills to writing novels. It was a good move.
She has gone on to write six books starring Oslo University psychology professor and ex FBI profiler and DI Adam Stubb, and the series around Chief Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen of the Oslo Police Department. Holt’s now sold more than six million worldwide, scooped up a pocketful of awards and earning the soubriquet of the “Godmother of Norwegian crime. It’s a lot to live up to.
Dead Joker released (in Australia) this week is the latest in the Hanne Wilhelmsen book. Brilliant, irascible, unorthodox, Wilhelmsen is called in