Over the next couple of days I will be posting some mini-reviews of books that I read the last few weeks. Today’s catch are two really good mysteries.
The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
This is the second/third book in a nordic noir series that I recently discovered. This is technically the third book, but for some reason the US publisher skipped book two so this is the second book translated and published here. I enjoyed this one just as much as the first and for the most part didn’t feel like anything was missing, except we find out that Anette, one of the detectives, had a baby since book one. That was a bit of a shocker and it kept her out of some of what was going on, but she was still the one who ended up solving most of the issues with the case.
As with the first book there were a lot of characters and a lot going on with the murders. So many suspects, and they were a bit hard to keep track of too. I had it narrowed down to two people by the end and one of them did turn out to be the killer, so I was happy with that. I really like Annette and Jeppe. They work well together even though they have very different styles of working on a case. Their banter is delightful as well, often coming off as an old married couple that bickers a lot, but you can tell that the love is still there.
The pacing was a little bit slow with this one, but it was a complicated plot, so it might have been a bit on me taking my time to really understand what was going on. There was one storyline that I struggled with that has to do with two characters who were involved with the murder in the first book. Their story just didn’t seem to really matter to what was going on with the murders, so I couldn’t quite figure out what they were doing in this book? But I liked the characters so was happy to see them again and see what had happened to them after the first book.
If you like nordic noir than this is a series you should take a chance on. They are very complex to, so if you like that in your mysteries than I highly recommend you pick this one up.
Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd
Inspector Ian Rutledge #16
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
I know I keep saying this, but if you love mysteries you really should give this series a try. They are just so well done. With this one Rutledge is up against a very clever murderer who almost gets away with it.
At first it does appear that the two murders have nothing to do with each other, but through determination and quite a bit of interviewing many people, Rutledge finally makes the connection between the two victims. This one does have a lot of characters to keep track of and because the murders take place in two different villages, it was a bit hard to keep track of all the moving pieces. But if you can be patient with that than you are in for a surprise by the time you get to the end. I always love that I can never quite guess who the killer is until just before the big reveal. In this one I was close, but this killer was cleverly disguised.
It has been a little tough reading these out of order, mostly because of the development of Ian’s character and some of the things that have been happening in his personal life. I think I might go back to the beginning after the next book. Why wait you ask? Well the next book takes place before the war and it seems like that might be a better place to start over.
I do also recommend the audiobooks for this series. Simon Prebble does a wonderful job of conveying the character’s emotions and difficulties with life and with his job. He also does a good job of changing his voice for the many different characters.
I hope you enjoyed today’s mini-confessions. Tomorrow I will review two science fiction stories that have some similarities.