Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Is Mine - Anne Holt

What Is Mine
Anne Holt
Warner Books

Mystery - Contemporary Norway

In Norway, nine-year-old Emilie disappears on her way home from school. All she leaves behind is her bookbag. The following week, a five-year-old boy is taken out of his own home. The two families are not connected in any way, and the kidnapper makes no ransom demands. Detective Inspector Adam Stubo realizes that he’s not dealing with a garden-variety kidnapper, and asks Johanne Vik to assist on the case. Johanne, a former FBI profiler, is hesitant to get involved in this kind of case. She has her hands full, trying to unravel a decades-old case that contains what appears to be a wrongful murder conviction.

Days later, the kidnapped boy reappears. The boy’s mother finds him in the cellar of the family home, dead. The kidnapper/killer wrapped the child in plastic and placed him there for the parents to find. Attached to the tiny body is a note that reads, “Now you’ve got what you deserved.” As children continue to disappear, and bodies reappear, the police begin an all-out hunt for a child-killer. When Johanna finally agrees to join the investigation, she and Adam determine that this is not a clear-cut case. The killer is working from some twisted, personal script.

Extremely well written, this is a unique and complex novel. Clearly, this is not for those readers who avoid the ‘child in jeopardy’ plots. But for readers who dare, this is one compelling, if disturbing tale. As Johanne and Adam work to unravel the present-day case, the murder case from the past exerts its pull, as well. While this takes place in Norway, the story is universal in what it has to say about the many facets of human nature. I hope to see much more from this author.

Rating: 9
July 2006
Hardcover isbn# 0-446-57802-9

Rating Scale = 1-10


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