Colleen T. (Lakewood, CO)
"Where Monsters Dwell", by Jorgen Brekke
"Where Monsters Dwell", by Jorgen Brekke, was an excellent murder-mystery story. I really liked the main characters and the author did a great job of bringing all the characters to life. I was immediately immersed in the story line, that of murders in the US and in Norway and how the murders are connected. The author brought many story points into the novel and was able to bring it all together in a way that had me continually guessing as to "who done it". The ending was satisfying and I encourage everyone to try this author out. However, I could find only this novel translated into English.
Mary H. (Phoenix, AZ)
Current day monsters still exist.
This book is a good mystery in all respects. There is a lot going on trying to juggle two timelines, many characters and some gruesome situations, but as the story progresses you really want to read through to the end. I enjoyed the way the author tied two similar stories together and chose personalities of very different detectives to create a solid story.
This book would be perfect for a book club that likes mysteries. There are more than enough details to discuss concerning each character and the 'whodonnit?' and the why?
Peggy K. (Long Beach, CA)
Mystery Within a Mystery
This was one of the most unsusual mysteries I've read this year. First off you have two murders seemingly committed by the same person in two different countries related to another murder committed hundreds of years ago. Then you have a cast of characters who aren't your ordinary sort of folk. One might say they are all rather odd ones but fascinating to study. Woven throughout all of this is the life and books of Edgar Allan Poe so you have a little bit of something for everyone. All in all it makes for a great read for ages 17 and up and for anyone who loves a true mystery. Book clubs should love it as it will generate discussions about characterization, bookmaking and the life and times of Edgar Allan Poe.
Diane P. (Deer Park, WA)
Where Monsters Dwell
Where Monsters Dwell is a strong debut novel from Norwegian author Jorgen Brekke.
Alternating between the sixteenth and present day. Berrke weaves a story of the practice of medieval anatomy with the present day fascination with a rare book The Book of Johannes, which appears to be written by a medieval serial murder.
In the present two murders occurs, one at the Edgar Allan Poe museum and one at a famous library in Trondheim, Norway. A connection between the two murders is made and American homicide detective Felicia Stone travels to Trondheim where she meets police inspector Odd Singsaker.
Together, Stone and Singsaker follow the clues to find a serial murderer, who is using The Book of Johannes as a guide murder his victims.
What I liked about this book was everyone is a suspect. Brekke presents well defined characters and a gripping but rather slow paced tale of both serial murderers. For me there was a sense of suspense that kept me reading. While the book is gruesome, I found the characters to be more upbeat than in some the other Scandinavian mysteries. If you enjoyed this book you would probably like James Thompson's Inspector Kari Vaara series.
Diana C. (Delray Beach, FL)
Norwegian Murder Mystery
Two murders, one in Virginia and one in Norway, are seemingly connected and two detectives embark on the quest to solve the crimes complete with flashbacks to the 16th century. While I am not a fan of present day murder mysteries, the addition of the 16th century flashbacks intrigued me. The story moves at a good pace keeping the reader interested, but as with some books translated from the author's original language, the dialogue is stilted and forced in parts. I imagine this book will do well on general best-seller lists.
Marcy C. (Minneapolis, MN)
Where Monsters Dwell
I was unimpressed by this book. I found it to be far more macabre than suspenseful. Much of the dialogue was very unnatural and the language was very redundant - words like, laugh or laughter must have been used well over 500 times and the subject was not in the least funny. I didn't care for the characters, especially the females, Felicia, and Silvia - they were not believable characters. And the crime committed against the murder's wife didn't seem possible to execute (literally) based on the logistics of the setting where the crime was committed. Although I thought this was a very mediocre book, it might appeal to those who enjoyed "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - it is not as compelling of a story but it would may be of interest to those who like suspenseful novels. I would not recommend it for my book club to read - it was not that thought provoking.
Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)
Where Monsters Dwell
Quoting directly from this novel, "Many people think that the point is to reveal the murderer, while what's actually important is to reveal the author." Having read this wonderful mystery from Jorgen Brekke, my enjoyment of Scandinavian crime fiction has increased.
Although moving between the 16th and 21st centuries, and from Norway to Richmond, Va this reader enjoyed a suspense-filled journey.
The characters, with all their flaws, were interesting and driven. I was riveted to the story and spent well into the night trying to determine the identity of the serial killer. It perhaps was a bit rushed at the end, but overall was a great read and I look forward to the next Brekke mystery.