# Novel《BRAN-NEW ! Top Scandinavian Crime Thriller Fiction : Superbly Story Of Curruption In The Corridors Of Power》ANNE HOLT - BLIND GODDESS : Hanne Wilhelmsen Series # 1
The first book in Edgar-nominated Anne Holt’s international bestselling mystery series featuring detective Hanne Wilhelmsen, last seen in 1222. A small-time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. A young Dutchman, walking aimlessly in central Oslo covered in blood, is taken into custody but refuses to talk. When he is informed that the woman who discovered the body, Karen Borg, is a lawyer, he demands her as his defender, although her specialty is civil, not criminal, law. A couple of days later another lawyer is found shot to death. Soon police officers Håkon Sand and Hanne Wilhelmsen establish a link between the two killings. They also find a coded message hidden in the murdered lawyer’s apartment. Their maverick colleague in the drugs squad, Billy T., reports that a recent rumor in the drug underworld involves drug-dealing lawyers. Now the reason why the young Dutchman insisted on having Karen Borg as a defender slowly dawns on them: since she was the one to find and report the body, she is the only Oslo lawyer that cannot be implicated in the crime. As the officers investigate, they uncover a massive network of corruption leading to the highest levels of government. As their lives are threatened, Hanne and her colleagues must find the killer and, in the process, bring the lies and deception out into the open. THE BLIND GODDESS is the first in an eight-book series about Oslo detective inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen, originally published in 1993 and here published in English for the first time. Despite the fact that the book is nearly 20 years old, it remains fresh and engaging; I highly recommend it. Karen Borg is a rich, successful lawyer who one night stumbles across a body in the woods. She's nauseated by her find, but calls the police. Some hours later, a young man is found sitting in the middle of the road, covered in blood. Hanne and her colleagues, of course, suspect him of the crime, but he won't speak, other than to insist that he's kept in a cell at the police station rather than being transferred to prison. He does, however, ask to see Karen. Despite the fact that she practices commercial law, he wants her to represent him in court. The book is a traditional procedural account of the investigation that follows, as carried out mainly by three characters: Hanne, Karen and police attorney Håkon Sand. As well as working with Hanne to coordinate the investigation, Håkon knows Karen of old as they were students together: compared with her, he's diffident and far less successful career-wise. These three characters are all extremely well-depicted, being vivid and convincing on the page. Hanne is something of an enigma at first, but we get to know this confident woman a little better by the end of the book. The story of Karen and Håkon provides a moving background to the case as it gradually plays out. As well as the good guys, there are of course the bad guys, some of whom are identified to the reader and others are more shadowy. They are all lawyers, bureaucrats or politicians. Through their eyes, we see a little of how the apparently simple crime is in fact the tip of an iceberg. The juxtaposition of the perspectives of the investigation team with that of the criminals provides the book with tension as the police team gradually tries not just to piece together the story (involving some great sequences with Hanne and her friend Billy T from the drug squad), but to create a case that will hold up in court - an apparently formidable task given that concrete evidence is hard to come by and, as the book's title implies, justice is blind. As well as being a well-constructed crime story with some memorable characters, other pluses of this novel are the author's first-hand knowledge of the Norwegian criminal justice system and her refusal to resort to genre stereotypes or plot cliches. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- KIRKUS REVIEW: Politics and drugs make uneasy bedfellows in this first case for Hanne Wilhelmsen, the Oslo police inspector most recently seen on these shores in 1222 (2011). Nobody much cares about Ludvig Sandersen, the dead addict found virtually faceless at the side of the River Aker. But it’s a different matter when attorney Hans E. Olsen is killed. Suddenly, or as close to suddenly as this slow-moving tale allows, Hanne and police attorney Håkon Sand, her old friend, are able to connect the two murders and even develop a plausible theory that links them both to a vast drug-smuggling operation. But their higher-ups don’t find their theory nearly so plausible. Neither do the judges who hear their petitions to lock up used-car salesman Roger Strømsjord and shady lawyer Jørgen Ulf Lavik. And no wonder, since the two suspects the Oslo police have already locked up—drug user Jacob Frøstrup and Dutch student Han van der Kerch—have died while in police custody. Hanne and Håkon are left to ask the same questions over and over: Why was Peter Strup, that ornament of the local bar, so determined to wrest van der Kerch’s defense away from Karen Borg, the civil attorney Sandersen’s confessed killer asked for? How can they crack the coded message Frøstrup found before he died? How high does the chain of corruption and coverups reach? And how can the police prove what they mostly know perfectly well? Fans of Henning Mankell’s majestically lumbering police procedurals will relish every twist in the long road to resolution. Less patient readers should look to Hanne’s later adventures. About the Author Anne Holt, acclaimed author of the Hanne Wilhelmsen mysteries, has worked as a journalist and news anchor and spent two years working for the Oslo Police Department before founding her own law firm and serving as Norway’s Minister for Justice in 1996–1997. She lives in Oslo with her family.
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