Reviewed by Patty Friedrichs
Scandinavian crime thrillers are the new black. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and the television series The Killing are huge hits all over the world. At its heart, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is nothing more or less than a locked-room mystery, and The Killing is a classic whodunnit. What sets them apart, however, is a combination of excellent writing, an oppressive atmosphere and notable characters.
Hour of The Wolf is conspicuous for having none of these qualities. It is neither memorable or interesting; the writing is bland and staccato; the characters you have seen a thousand times before. This is crime writing at its worst. Nesser is in dire need of a decent editor to sort out the dull similes and incomplete sentences. Or maybe a better translator? Perhaps the words flow better in Swedish. In English they are abrupt and difficult to read. I appreciate that the language is deliberately matter of fact and cold to convey the detachment between the killer’s thoughts and the crimes he commits, but it simply does not work. In the second part of the book, the narrative switches to third person omniscient and the language is still boring and impenetrable.
I cannot stress enough that this book is a challenge for even the biggest fan of crime novels. It not only paints by numbers, but does so astoundingly badly. Avoid.
You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.
If you’d like to join in and get free books and ABC gift vouchers, see the original post for more details.