The second William Wisting mystery to be translated into English, after the successful Dregs. Ove Bakkerud, newly separated and extremely disillusioned, is looking forward to a final quiet weekend at his summer home before closing for winter but, when the tourists leave, less welcome visitors arrive. Bakkerud’s cottage is ransacked by burglars. Next door he discovers the body of a man who has been beaten to death. Police Inspector William Wisting has witnessed grotesque murders before, but the desperation he sees in this latest murder is something new. Against his wishes his daughter Line decides to stay in one of the summer cottages at the mouth of the fjord.
Closed for Winter by Jorn Lier Horst
Publication Date: October 17, 2013 by Sandstone Press Ltd
Horst’s novel is the ultimate definition of the police-procedural type of crime thriller. His writing is succinct and clear, and the descriptions are very methodical in nature. While not my usual cup of crime reads tea, I found Closed for Winter to be refreshing for its directness. Horst’s extensive knowledge of detective work is evident in this novel and that helped to drive the plot forward for me where in similar novels I may have begun to lost interest.
After coming down from a Tana French marathon, I think I was in a better place to enjoy Horst’s greatly different style and voice. While French’s novels are all built upon character development and the psychological aspects of the murder investigation, Horst’s writing focuses more on the actual murder investigation itself. He also does a fantastic job of adding in little bits of geographical history which I appreciated since they added more to understanding why people behave the way they do – nothing is as simple as we want to make it out to be – and that added a nice twist to an otherwise very direct, clearcut plot line.
While I tend to prefer stories that make me think a bit more deeply, Closed for Winter was a fast, fun read and I picked it up at just the right time. I’d be interested in seeing what some of his other books have to offer!