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Cursed

Published Date: 1st September 2016

Available in

$0

EBook
9781910633656
£5.99
24th December 2016
Paperback
9781910633649
£8.99
15 February 2017

Description

What secret would you kill to protect?

When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests. Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-­‐wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-­‐wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history. Taut, chilling and unputdownable, Cursed is the fourth in the internationally renowned series featuring conflicted, disillusioned by always dogged crime reporter Henning Juul, and marks the return of one of Norway’s finest crime writers.

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‘One of the most unusual and intense talents in the field.’ Barry Forshaw, Independent

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‘Outstanding.’ Ragnar Jonasson

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‘I’ve come to this book the way my daughter watched the ’24’ TV series – backwards. (She on purpose, me by accident.) Now I wish I’d had the sense to start at the beginning, with the first in the series. Because it was stunning. It was patient, beautifully and precisely written, with a killer plot. I loved the little details. I call it ‘stopping to look around.’ The ball. The little asides that put me there. I can learn a lot from the less is more style. The tragedy – and the very real characters – mean it was an emotional book too. And a really classy read.’ Louise Beech

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‘We’re staying in Oslo for another classy Norwegian thriller, in which journalist Henning Juul and his ex-wife (awful backstory) try to find a wealthy woman who disappeared after saying she was travelling to an Italian retreat. The trail leads to some very nasty places in this deep and complex book. Satisfyingly tense and dark.’ Cursed was recommended as a May pick in The Times Crime Club

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‘Spine-chilling and utterly unputdownable. Thomas Enger has created a masterpiece of intrigue, fast-paced action and suspense that is destined to become Nordic Noir classic’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

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‘A gripping narrative that begs comparison to Stieg Larsson’ Bookpage

  

‘An intriguing new voice in crime’ NJ Cooper

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Cursed is visceral and heartfelt – a gripping deep-dive into the secrets that hold families together and tear them apart’ Crime by the Book

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‘Slick, compelling and taut, Thomas Enger combines a sophisticated layers of mysteries with an intensely scarred hero embarked on a tragic quest. A dark and suspenseful blast of Nordic exposure’ Chris Ewan

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The Killing took us by surprise, The Bridge was a good follow-up, but the political drama Borgen knocked spots of both. For readers who enjoy these Scandinavian imports, this novel is a treat … the dialogue is sharp and snappy, and the characters seem to come alive in this sophisticated and suspenseful tale’ Jessica Mann Literary Review

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‘It has real strengths: the careful language, preserved in the fine translation, and its haunted journalist hero … An intriguing series’ Guardian

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‘A powerful new voice and a writer I will follow with great interest’ Raven Crime Reads

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‘Suspenseful, dark and gritty, this is a must-read’ Booklist

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‘This promises to be a crime fiction series worth watching’ Library Journal

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‘The careful revealing of clues, the clever twists, and the development of Henning Juul and the supporting characters make this a very promising start to a new series’ Suspense Magazine

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‘Superbly compelling … the characters leap right off the page, and the relationship between them is as twisted and complex as the story itself’ Shotsmag

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‘Thomas Enger writes a murderous thriller that begs comparison to Jussi Adler-Olsen or Stieg Larsson. With Cursed Enger has proved that he definitely belongs in the top ten of Scandinavian authors’ literaturmarkt.info

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‘Unexpected and surprising … like a fire in the middle of a snowfall’ Panorama

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‘Thomas Enger is like a bottle of very good red wine. With time he just gets better and better. Cursed is a top-class crime thriller from a top-class author’ Mokka

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‘The name is Thomas Enger. Make sure you remember it, because he’s a man about to join the ranks of the best crime novel writers of the Nordic countries … and he has achieved something quite exceptional already with his first novel, Burned … It’s one of the best crime novels this reviewer has read for a long time, in a language that sparkles and gleams in strong images and a tempo that almost makes you forget to draw breath’ Kristeligt Dagblad

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‘Unforgettable … the interweaving stories are simply engrossing. A masterful debut thriller from an author who happens to be Scandinavian’ Misfit Salon

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‘An excellent read…fascinating’ Journey of a Bookseller

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‘An intriguing Norwegian whodunit’ Genre Go Round

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A fascinating addition to the Scandinavian Noir genre. I look forward to the series unfolding’ Crimesquad

Author

Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2009, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

Translator

KARI DICKSON read Scandinavian Studies at UCL and then went on to work in various theatres. While working in the theatre, she was asked to do literal translations of two Ibsen plays, which fuelled her interest and led to an MA in Translation at the University of Surrey.  Having worked initially as a commercial translator, she now concentrates on literary translation, a good deal of which is crime fiction. Her translation of Roslund & Hellström’s Three Seconds won the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) International Dagger in 2011. She is also an occasional tutor in Norwegian language and literature, and translation  at the University of Edinburgh.

Online Reviews

‘This is Nordic Noir at its best. I haven’t read much in this genre since I read Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series which was a few years ago but I’ll definitely be reading more now. Thomas grabs you by the throat with this one and I found the novel impossible to put down. I think my favourite scenes were probably the chapters when he followed Nora’s story as she delves into the Hellberg family unmasking a history of lies and deceit. There is also an added layer to the mystery of the Hellberg family that has haunted the family for decades: the disappearance of Hedda’s aunt. Is it possible that history is about to repeat itself? Can the past finally be put to rest?’ Jacob reviews Books

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 ‘I found myself marvelling at how much depth and character they both possess. Amazing work from Nordic Noir genius Thomas Enger. Layered with darkness and deceit, Cursed will flood your mind with its twisted plot and engrossing narrative and prove impossible to remove. What a book! And the ending!!! Amazing! A masterful depiction of what sits in the murky and sometimes frightening background of family lives.’ Ronnie Turner

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‘Vivid descriptions of Oslo and the surrounding landscapes are mesmerising, I felt that I could conjure clear images from the details given.  The characters are also incredibly detailed, readers cannot help but feel connected to Nora and Henning, there is a powerful bond between these two despite their relationship having been over for some time.  The way in which Thomas Enger writes these characters, especially Henning, makes me desperate to find out more….so book 5 needs to be out pretty soon please!’ The Quiet Knitter

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Thomas discusses the curse of being a writer as part of the blog tour

Chillers, Killers & Thrillers

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Thomas talks about how he writes on a daily basis as part of the blog tour. Blue Book Balloon

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‘A mystery shooting, missing person, troubled relationship between two grief stricken parents, criminal underworld connections and a family feud are just some of the ingredients in this Norwegian thriller. It sometimes takes me a while when reading Scandinavian novels to remember who was who, but not in this case. Gripping throughout and Thomas Enger is definitely a writer to watch out for. Remember the name!’ Mrs Bloggs Books

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‘This is a wonderfully written book from Enger highlights how even the most polished looking families can harbor deep secrets that eventually tear them apart. Each member of the family in question was given their own “15 minutes of fame” so there was no leaning to one character or the other until the end of the book. When the drama comes to a head, the story of how each family member plays their individual part is intricately weaved together like a piece of fine tapestry, it makes you stand book and admire what has been created.’ P Turners Book Blog

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‘The imagery created in this book, the descriptions of Oslo and the Norwegian landscape, the creation of individual character, are all brilliant. I have limited knowledge of this wonderful country outside of what I have seen on TV and yet I could picture it all perfectly, and it has made me interested to learn more, even to visit the country for myself. A wonderfully twisted and family-secret laden 5 stars.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews

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‘I have only recently become a fan of translated crime novels but the standard now is incredibly high. I am adding Thomas Enger to my list of favourite authors in this genre and can’t wait to read the next instalment now. A tightly controlled plot, which is deeply moving at times, this is highly recommended by me.’ My Chestnut Reading Tree

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‘Although Cursed is part of a series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. It’s well written, with some vivid descriptive prose and well-developed characters, and the multi-layered plot is intelligent, tense and gripping. It didn’t take long for me to become immersed in the secrets of the Hellberg family and how they could be linked to the death of an old man in the Swedish forests. For me, this book was all about surprises, from the subtle turns to the final shocking twist. It’s certainly left me intrigued to read more.’ Off the Shelf Books

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Thomas talks about his inspiration as part of the blog tour. Shots Mag

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‘No doubt that Cursed is a very well written (and very well translated) book in the best traditions of Nordic noir. Thomas Enger is up there with the very best.’ Trip Fiction

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Thomas talks about whether writing gets any easier as part of the blog tour. Portobello Book Blog

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Thomas takes part in a guest post as part of the blog tour. Bibliophile Book Club

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‘The pacing here was fantastic, it wasn’t too fast or too slow, it kept me engaged and turning pages like a maniac. The tension kept mounting and mounting until things all came to a head in a spectacular conclusion. Then there was the very end, I’m talking about the last line, oh my God did that throw me for a loop!! I’m frantic for the next book, well done.’ Novel Gossip

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‘A tightly written thriller that had me puzzling the clues throughout as the plot threads were untangled and then woven into place. This is an entertaining and supenseful read.’ Never Imitate

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Cursed is a fabulous example of Nordic Noir – it has a tightly woven plot which slowly (but surely!) builds up the tension as the story begins to unravel. This is a great crime novel written from the perspective of journalists with links into the police investigation. It is a nice perspective to read from as the journalists have a different agenda and therefore evoke a different response from the families/friends than the police would. Cursed is a brilliantly written and seamlessly translated. I will now be catching up with the series and look forward to more translations.’ Have Books Will Read

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‘That said, Cursed is a gripping novel with strong characters and if anything, this complex backstory, rather than put me off, has had me buying Enger’s previous volumes.’ The Crime Novel Reader

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‘The writing and story is gritty and hard hitting. The story not only follows a mystery, but it delves into the seedy underground world of enforcers and fight clubs. Everything is covered really well and how things work is extremely well thought out. I don’t want to say too much about the plot as it has been so expertly woven that I would hate to spoil anything. There were things that shocked me and when I thought I had things figured, everything changed. I thoroughly loved this book and I will definitely be going out to pick up the other Henning Juul books so that I can enjoy more of this brilliant writing and characters. I am also excited about more books following in this series.’ Life of a Nerdish Mum

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‘I’m going to be honest here…my detective skills are nowhere near the level needed to have accurately put together this jigsaw puzzle of a plot and I can’t tell you how happy that made me! Thomas Enger is at the TOP of his storytelling game with this novel. Not since reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series have I felt so riveted by characters and plot…until now. And the ending…utter perfection! Needless to say, I will be anxiously awaiting 2018 and book 5.’ It’s Book Talk

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‘Enger has written a complicated, skilfully-drawn story that rewards your close attention. This translation by Kari Dickson captures all the pared-back Nordic style of The Bridge or The Killing, combined with the most compelling chapter-end hooks I’ve encountered since reading Harry Potter to my children.’ Claire Thinking

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‘Thomas Enger’s series reminds me why I love to read crime books. Its pacing is completely addictive, its characters are endearing and vivid, and it has that special something that makes me just plain happy to be reading. Scandinavian crime readers: Enger simply must be next on your reading list. Readers of any other kind of crime fiction: he should be your next read, too. CURSED might be part of a series, but it’s not necessary to read the previous Henning Juul books before diving into this one—although I can practically guarantee that you’ll want to after you’ve finished CURSED.’ Crime By The Book

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Cursed is a strong genre piece that contains murder, family secrets, remote forest locations and all the Nordic Noir tropes we’ve come to love! Enger’s Norway is less visceral than Jo Nesbo’s but is chilling and dark nonetheless. Middle class family secrets blend naturally with the gangster underworld of Oslo’s rain soaked streets. At times Enger’s fast pace compromises the writing which can be curt and pithy – I’m a sucker for more elegant prose! That said, this is crime filled page turner that doesn’t disappoint.’ Words Shortlist

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Cursed was one of those books I just couldn’t put down. A gripping thriller, plenty of twists and great characters to follow on the adventure. Dark, emotive and wonderfully written to keep this reader on the edge of his seat.’ Grab This Book

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‘I particularly admired how the connexion between Nora and Henning was shown. Their grief is still raw and rooted in their everyday life. Henning is compelled to try to find out the truth about the fire, yet Nora immerses herself in her journalism. Neither of them can really move forward. The plot hinges on key moments between the characters. As the strands of the story gradually come together, you begin to understand the dynamics of the Hellberg family. Thomas Enger keeps you guessing right up to the end.’ Books, Life and Everything

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‘When I think of Nordic Noir, I think of cold climates, moody atmospheres, plots that are in equal measures dark and beautiful, books with the ability to capture, not only my interest but my heart too. After reading this book, in the above sentence, I can easily replace the phrase ‘Nordic Noir’ with ‘Cursed’ as this book encapsulated all that this genre is to me! Without the translation of this book by Kari Dickson, I would not have been able to read it, so thank you!’ Keeper of Pages

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‘This book was suspenseful, thrilling, and I know everyone says it, but I did not want to put it down. I was pulled in from the opening paragraph. Some books can pull you in quick, others have a slow build, and sadly some books just never pull you in. This book was exceptional. I am now adding more of Thomas Enger’s books to my library.’ The Pages In Between

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Thomas talks about how he writes his novels as part of the blog tour. Book Lover Worm Blog

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‘Would I recommend this book?  I would. If you’re anything like me and love to read books where at the centre of the crime you find a wealthy, secretive and controlling family then you will love Cursed.  Fantastic, believable characters…some you will love, some you will loathe.  Beautifully atmospheric, completely gripping and full of intrigue. Orenda Books, you have another gem of a novel on your shelf and I can’t wait for book five.’ Damp Pebbles

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‘Enger likes playing with language almost as much as he loves developing his characters and there are times where he’s clearly enjoying himself, but this never seems self indulgent, indeed we readers are treated to fresh and vivid metaphor. Kari Dickson has done a great job in translation. Overall, this is a rich and immersing novel.’ Café Thinking

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‘What you CAN tell them is that for any fan of Nordic Noir Thomas Enger is a must read. Beautifully atmospheric, really quite addictive and although this is my first taste of this series it certainly won’t be the last – also, you don’t need to worry about not having read the previous novels. The lovely Mr Enger tells you all you need to know without generally spoiling anything.’

Liz Loves Books

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‘That the storylines in Cursed stem from the uncovering of (some long-held) secrets makes it all the more intriguing and Thomas Enger teases the reader all the way along revealing a little more with each chapter. Cursed is a compelling, breathless read and an intricate web of secrets and connections to unravel but well worth the mental gymnastics and raised heartbeat. This whip-smart shot of Nordic noir was riveting and recommended reading. Now to check out the previous three Henning Juul novels…’ Nut Press

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Cursed is a tight, well crafted read and skillfully translated by Kari Dickson.  I enjoyed discovering the differences between the two main characters Nora and Henning whose lives are intertwined through the shared loss of their son and their careers.  I also enjoyed the crimes being investigated in ‘Cursed.’  Most of the book is set in Norway and we get glimpses into the dark underbelly as well as the historical past.  Through this tale Enger highlights beautifully how the echoes of the past are still heard in the present. You can read Cursed as a stand alone and I am sure if you do then you will want to read his other novels too.’

Nordic Noir

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‘Cursed just about has the lot; intrigue from the off,  tightly weaved plots that pull you right in, plenty of twists, gritty and scarred lead characters and enough emotional heft and resonance to floor come the final reveal – all underpinned by a back story and over-riding story arc that ensures the Henning Juul series demands attention. A complex, taught and thoroughly gripping read, Thomas Enger’s Cursed is a first-rate character-driven thriller that doesn’t disappoint.’ Mumbling About

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‘If this is Nordic Noir then I’m definitely a fan. I’ve always been a bit afraid that the unpronounceable Nordic names would put me off or stop the flow of a story and there would be too many scenic descriptions in such a genre but I can’t believe I held it off for so long; my fear was entirely unfounded and these issues were completely irrelevant in this novel. If you’re new to the Nordic Noir genre, this must be the perfect novel to ease into it.’ The Belgian Reviewer

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‘With an oppressive atmosphere full of mystery and secrets, Thomas Enger has created a psychological thriller that will leave you stunned from the beginning till the end. It’s not enough that we don’t know how the relation between Nora and Henning ends, the last chapter is so stunning that I had to read it 3 times to believe it!’ Varietats

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‘I read very little Nordic Noir before I picked up a book published by Orenda Books. Now I am completely and utterly obsessed. Cursed is an engaging read right from the opening chapter. The slow-burning tension soars through the pages in a deliciously addictive fashion. The dark tone to the writing paints a very atmospheric and gritty picture. Cursed also delivers one of my very biggest fictional temptations – a story where the secrets keep on unravelling. Every strand to this novel is intricately weaved together with no link left unfounded. What’s more, the ending was absolutely stunning and left me desperate to read the next book in the series as soon as physically possible. I am dying to get my hands on it.’ Book Drunk

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‘I am never disappointed with the character development in a Nordic Noir novel and this one lived up to my expectations. Each character in this novel was tightly woven and developed.   I loved Henning. I loved Nora. I loved them together.   I will absolutely be going back to read the others in the series so I can see the full development of these characters and their journey. And the end??!! The last few lines? I needed to pick my jaw up off the floor. Please, Thomas Enger. Write quickly. My heart can’t take it!!! I feel like any fan of Nordic Noir, or any reader who enjoys their characters developed and pronounced will love this novel.’ Clues & Reviews

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‘Short chapters lend itself to the ‘just one more chapter’ mentality and this meant I flew through the novel. It wasn’t until half way through that I thought to myself that I was really enjoying it. That’s not to say the first half isn’t good, far from it. It was just that this realisation that I was wrapped up in the story, so much so that I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened, snuck up on me as the story weaved itself into my subconscious. Put simply, the more I read, the more I wanted to read.’

From First Page to Last

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‘Overall I was highly impressed with my first Enger experience. I’ve heard from multiple fans that each book in the series is fantastic and easily devoured in their own way. From the stunning cover, to the atmospheric descriptions, all the way to that final page, I felt engaged and drawn into the story. The translation flowed very well and I did not feel anything was lost from one end to the other. I’ve lately been savoring these dark, emotional nordic noirs and think it’s due to the fact they have all come from the same fabulous publisher!’ The Suspense is Thrilling Me

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‘This is a thrilling crime read that is so multi-layered that at times especially through the first chilling opening pages makes you wonder what really is going on, then it explodes in your hands. It is complex and that is why it really appealed to me. As chilling as a freezing Norwegian winter this will keep guessing as to what really is at the heart of this book. Both Nora and Henning will face real personal danger in their quest to get to the truth. With an ending that will make your jaw drop and is a breath-taking climax. Roll on book five. A powerful new Nordic crime writer.’

 The Last Word Book Review

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‘There is lots going in this plot but it is easy to keep up with, even with the pace of the book, it is fast and furious, the type of book with which one chapter is never quite enough. And oh my god that bloody ending! Flipping amazing!!!! Needless to say I loved it and I absolutely cannot wait for the next instalment!’ Emma the Little Book Worm

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Thomas takes part in a Q & A as part of his blog tour. MM Cheryl

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‘With a captivating storyline, a couple of rather curious protagonists with their tragic history and some sharp and bleak writing, it is easy to whiz through Cursed. It was a surprise to see journalists at the forefront, with a very different perspective on the missing person case. These were investigative journalists, with a keen sense of ferreting out the truth. No one can read this book without getting a profound understanding of the death of a child, for Hennings and Nora. Their relationship had a gorgeous sense of realism, as they still cling onto each other. Their story was as fascinating as finding out the truth about Hedda Heldburg.’ Northern Crime

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Thomas writes a guest post as part of the blog tour. The Very Pink Notebook

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Thomas writes a piece about social comment in Scandicrime as part of the blog tour. Shaz’s Book Blog 

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‘Nora and Henning were very multilayered and fascinating and there’s another story in that couple alone – their background seeps into this present day storyline and weaves a web of its own.What really freaked me out is the missing woman and the trail to find her. Didn’t arrive at the retreat? Didn’t even leave Oslo? Husband concerned? Well I had my own theories but I was happily proven more than wrong and that ending pulled the rug from under me very hard indeed.I may still be battered and bruised from this novel but as I recover, it’s a very satisfying feeling I have now.’ The Book Trail

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‘This is the 4th in the series and CURSED is a welcome addition. I would recommend starting with book 1, but this one serves well as a stand alone. There are some references to the very beginning, but nothing that would blunt reading the very first. The book is craftily written and the translation is near perfect. The characters are fascinating with credible back stories. I can’t wait to see the next book in this series!’ Linda Strong

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‘It ticks all the boxes in terms of action & intrigue but never at the expense of the characters. The author has chosen to make them the heart & soul of the story & I really enjoyed watching the subtle changes in Henning & Nora as they face increasing risks. He’s spent the last 2 years consumed by guilt & needs to know who killed his son if he’s ever going to find a little peace. Nora, too, has been going through the motions but the search for Hedda seems to light a spark that helps her remember who she used to be.’ NetGallery

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‘I didn’t know what to expect but I was hooked from the first page. This is one brilliantly constructed plot with various threads and layers that will keep you gripped right until the end. Thomas Enger has a beautifully descriptive writing style. I’ve never been to Norway but I could visualise it without a problem. The characters are truly realistic and believable, flaws and all. There’s also a reference to events in European history that I knew very little about.’ Novel Delights

Reviews