When I first picked up Where Monsters Dwell by Jorgen Brekke, I knew nothing about the book, but when I read what Steve Berry wrote about the book….
“History pulses with life and excitement in this chilling and foreboding read. Jorgen Brekke delivers what thriller readers crave, or at least what this reader craves – action, history, secrets, conspiracies, and international settings. Couldn’t ask for anything more.”
and Library Journal wrote’….
“Engrossing… grissly murders investigated by likable detectives. This mystery is perfectly grim without being bleak.”
I thought that this would be a book, right up my alley, and I was right, very right! I loved this book. The main action takes in Trondheim, Norway where the mutilated body of the former head librarian at the Gunnerus Libraryis found in the locked vault that has the rarest books in the library’s collection. While across the Atlantic the director of the Edgar Allen Poe museum is also found murdered with his body similarly mutilated! The two likable detectives, who are assigned to the respective cases, are Norwegian Odd Singsaker and Richmond’s Felicia Stone. Both of the characters have flaws. Singsaker’s flaws come from a brain tumor that has recently been removed. The tumor cost him his family. Stone’s flaws come from a rape that occurred in her senior year of high school, which sent her life in a downward spiral.
As the detectives investigate the murders, it seems, that both murders revolve around the Book of Johannes, a handwritten book bound in human skin that appears to be the journal of a sixteenth-century Norwegian serial killer!! As the investigations progress readers are introduced not only a variety of current suspects, but also the Norwegian monk and a variety of 16th century characters, not only in Norway, but also in Italy. The investigations twist and turn and the American Stone joins Singsaker for the ultimate unraveling of the murder mystery.
Another blurb on the back of the book, from Kirkus Review says that the book is superb and is almost impossible to put down!! Another statement that I totally agree with!! The pages flew by and the pace of the book never slowed down!!
Bottomline: A fine, fine read that left me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series which Mr Brekke already has in the works!!!
Grade: A+ A must read for any fan of Scandinavian mysteries. For me Brekke has joined the ranks of fellow countrymen Jo Nesbo and Karim Fossum!
(Book 31 f0r 2014)