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Mini Reviews: Battle of the Norwegian Mysteries

Blurb from Goodreads:
From the internationally bestselling author of 1222, called the “godmother of modern Norwegian crime” by Jo Nesbø, the next book in the Edgar Award–nominated mystery series: Hanne Wilhelmsen is on the case when someone murders the prime minister of Norway.

Less than six months after taking office, the Norwegian Prime Minister is found dead. She has been shot in the head. But was it a politically motivated assassination or personal revenge?

Hanne Wilhelmsen, Chief Inspector of the Norwegian Police, is on leave in California but when the death shakes the country to its core, she knows she can’t remain on the sidelines of such a crucial investigation. The hunt for the Prime Minister’s killer is complicated, intense, and grueling. When secrets begin to unravel from the Prime Minister’s past, Hanne and her partner, Billy T., must piece together the crime before a private tragedy becomes a public outcry, in what will become the most sensitive case of their career.

Filled with lies, deception, and the truth about government, The Lion’s Mouth questions who truly holds the power in Norway, and how far they will go to keep it.  
My Review:
Something about winter puts me in the mood for Scandinavian mysteries so I read these two back to back!  I didn't even realize that this book is the fourth in a series until I was about 20% in and I had no problem getting the context of the characters so you could definitely read this as a standalone -- that being said, I will probably go and read the first three books in this series because I liked it and it scratches a certain itch for me in the Scandinavian mystery genre.  Although the first half of this was a bit slow paced, it did pick up and get really interesting.  I really liked Hanne, who actually has a smaller role in this book than the other ones (at least that was the context I perceived) and will read more about her.  The ending, however, is abrupt and maybe that is just the nature of this series but as soon as the mystery was (pretty much) solved, the book ended in literally the same paragraph.  Kind of odd but the solving of the mystery was still good and I was still surprised.
Billy T. thought about his youngest son and reflected on how life would never be the same again.  Norway would never be the same.  He sat facing a young girla poor, neglected little scrap of humanitywho apparently held the key to it all.  She could tell him what had actually happened on the evening of April 4, 1997, on the fifteenth floor of the government tower block; she knew the answer, and if he coaxed a little here and cheated a little there, she would share everything she knew with him.  However, Billy T. was not sure if he had the energy to cope with it.

Blurb from Goodreads:
A six-year-old girl is found in the Norwegian countryside, hanging lifeless from a tree with a jump rope around her neck. She is dressed in strange doll's clothes. Around her neck is an airline tag that says "I'm traveling alone." 

A special homicide unit in Oslo re-opens with veteran police investigator Holger Munch at the helm. Holger's first step is to persuade the brilliant but haunted investigator Mia Krüger to come back to the squad--she's been living on an isolated island, overcome by memories of her past. When Mia views a photograph of the crime scene and spots the number "1" carved into the dead girl's fingernail, she knows this is only the beginning. She'll soon discover that six years earlier, an infant girl was abducted from a nearby maternity ward. The baby was never found. Could this new killer have something to do with the missing child, or with the reclusive Christian sect hidden in the nearby woods?

Mia returns to duty to track down a revenge-driven and ruthlessly intelligent killer. But when Munch's own six-year-old granddaughter goes missing, Mia realizes that the killer's sinister game is personal, and I'm Traveling Alone races to an explosive--and shocking--conclusion.
My Review:
I have been really, really craving a juicy mystery and this one hit the spot!  It was intellectually stimulating and not too terribly slow paced.  I also couldn't figure out the connections and really wanted to find out what was going on! The team of Mia and Munch were perfect-- even though they are so different, they work so well together. Fantastic descriptions, story and pacing! There is a bit of a cliffy at the end but nothing that would prevent you from reading this as a standalone, it's just a bit abrupt and you are left wondering what the future will hold.  I definitely want to read more in this series!
Mia Krüger woke up with a feeling that there was someone in her hotel room.  She was unable to open her eyes properly, enveloped in a fog, half asleep, half awake.  She forced open her eyelids enough to establish that she was alone.  There was no one there, just her.  A depressing thought.  Her life was reduced to this? A hotel room and a murder case.  Not that it really mattered.  This was only temporary.
If you are in the mood for Scandinavian mystery, I also highly recommend A Small Indiscretion by Denise Rudberg, the Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbø and, of course, you can never go wrong with the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (the Swedish movies are also fantastic!).

The Lion's Mouth and I'm Traveling Alone both come out this month and they are worth a read!


  1. These look pretty interesting and are new to me. I love crime books and was thinking last night how much I miss my mafia crime books and thinking I would go on a crime boss search in the near future.

  2. Ooh! Mysteries! I need to read more of those so I am jotting these down! Though that first line about the little girl creeps me out! LOL.

  3. I'm Traveling Alone looks really good! I love a good mystery. :)

  4. Ooh, these sound really awesome!! I honestly haven't read any Scandinavian mysteries before! (Except maaaaaybe As Red As Blood might be considered one?) and good on your for keeping on going with The Lion's Mouth even though it was the 4th in a series! And that's pretty awesome it still made sense too. xD

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  5. I love mysteries. I feel like a lot tend to be a bit slower especially in the beginning. Glad the actual mystery part made up for that though. Great reviews!

  6. An abrupt ending can be a shock, and disappointing. I like a little more with my mysteries. I'm a huge fan of epilogues. Seasons can definitely have an influence on preferences. I crave a cozy mystery in the winter! Although, these don't sound cozy they still sound intriguing. Great reviews, Eva! :)


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