A Question Of Guilt by Jorn Lier Horst

A Question Of Guilt by Jorn Lier Horst
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense//Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

In 1999, seventeen-year-old Tone Vaterland was killed on her way home from work.

Desperate for a conviction the police deemed the investigation an open-and-shut case and sent her spurned boyfriend, Danny Momrak, down for murder.

But twenty years later William Wisting receives a puzzling letter. It suggests the wrong man was convicted for Tone’s death.

And the real murderer is still out there.

Wisting is quickly thrown into a terrifying race against time where he must find the sender, decipher this mysterious letter and catch the real killer – before they strike again . . .

William Wisting is taking a well-earned break, staying home and getting some rest when an envelope arrives in his post. The letter inside only contains a single case-file number, one he has not seen before. Curious, Wisting finds it refers to a murder case back in 1999 of a young woman – one where the guilty party has already served his sentence of 17 years in jail. But then another envelope arrives, one that refers to a 2011 case Wisting himself was responsible for. Are the cases linked, and are they connected somehow to the current case where another woman has gone missing?

This is one of the latest novels in Jorn Lier Horst’s “William Wisting” series which I have enjoyed greatly over the years. A slightly slower paced, methodical police procedural mystery series set in Norway this Scandinavian crime series is quite exceptional. I love how it has a slightly different feel to American or British crime novels, a little more tense and slightly grittier the Scandinavian writing style is a bit of an acquired taste, but I really enjoy them.

Wisting is getting on in years – talking about retiring in a few more years – but what he lacks in youthful energy I really feel is made up for and very well writing with his seasoning and expertise. He can connect the dots faster in a case and since he’s been around the block more than a few times he can often make an intelligent guess where something is leading and show the younger officers how criminals often think and behave.

I thought this story was a good balance between the older cases and the current case being investigated. There is a bit of back-and-forth between the 1999 case and while I’d understand if some people didn’t like the time jumps, I feel they are very clearly explained and outlined and the facts and history explained in the earlier cases really helps show the bigger picture and how the current case is unequivocally tied to the previous cases – ones where innocent people have been sentenced and carried out jail terms. I thought the plotlines very well meshed, and the writing was crisp and gritty enough to really hold my attention.

An atmospheric murder mystery I found this to be an excellent book and a great addition to a series I really enjoy. Recommended.

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