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Kathleen W. (New Brighton,, MN)
Welcome Jorgen Brekke!
Those of you who wait impatiently in anticipation of the next intricate mystery will want to locate a copy of Brekke's international bestseller, Where Monsters Dwell. This challenging novel asks the reader to 'operate' in two time periods (1528 and 2010) and three locales (Bergen, Norway/Trondheim, Norway/Richmond, Virginia), all in pursuit of solutions to a perplexing set of crimes. I must admit, as a reader, that the first 100 pages prompted me to keep a current listing of character name and locale within easy reach. However, after that point, this story took off like a rocket.
Lesley F. (San Diego, CA)
Where Monsters Dwell by Jorgen Brekke
All in all, the mystery is compelling, the characters are effectively fleshed out and the conclusion, intriguing. Block out some solid time in your reading schedule to try this one on for size. As for me, Brekke joins my lengthening list of solid international mystery writers along with Mankell, Lackberg and Nesbo.
Detectives public or private, murder, and mystery - that's my candy jar. This one is a killer! Not meant to be first of a series, but other stories from this author would be a great thing. Special congratulations to the translator, Steven T. Murray. Easy to read and one that cannot be put aside for mundane chores until complete. Caveat: as is more and more common these days, graphic gore prevails. Drops my rating to a 4. But hubby will no doubt love it!
Sarah B. (Streamwood, IL)
Exciting and enjoyable
This was a slow-building read thriller that is never boring or conventional. The story is full of troubled characters that span centuries. The main character is the Johannes Book, and as we learn about the characters we learn more about the book and its importance.
Juliet F. (Clarendon Hills, IL)
Excellent! Da Vinci Code-esque, but much smarter and darker
I really enjoyed this book! It was very suspenseful and fun to read. The plot lines span Norway in the 1500's to modern-day Norway and Richmond, Virginia. Eventually the lines weave together, revealing an intriguing tale of serial killing in the setting of rare, historical book collecting.
Joe S. (Port Orange, FL)
An exciting and enjoyable read.
I especially liked the cast of characters. It was interesting that as the plot got more twisted and dire, the two main characters experience sort of re-birth out of prior personal traumas. It made for a more uplifting and hopeful tone than I usually expect from a Scandinavian author. Very good book!
As an avid reader of Scandinavian mysteries, I looked forward to reading this book and found it to be an enjoyable read and hard to put down. The book switches from the sixteenth century to the present and back but the changes are well handled and were not at all confusing to me. Historically, the book has been well researched. The characters are interesting and well developed but a little too complex. Every one of them has a troubled past. The The American and Norwegian detectives obviously connect from their first meeting but the intensity of the relationship appears to increase too rapidly for the short time that they are together. Overall, I enjoyed the book and hope to see more from this author.
Wendy E. (Mechanicsville, VA)
Transcending time and space
There are a lot of layers to this mystery that spans centuries and continents. We get to know several characters, both in the present and past. While is seemed that this might be the second in the series, all the pertinent information was slowly revealed about the characters' backstories. In a sense this is a mystery on several levels - the good guys, the bad guys, the history, the old and new murders, and the motives. Once it is all pieced together, the puzzle is a gruesome one!
Colleen L. (Casco, ME)
"Where Monsters Dwell" is an solid debut from Norwegian author Jorgen Brekke. Two gruesome murders occur - one in Richmond, VA and the other in Trondheim, Norway. Both of them are linked; although, it does take a while before investigators tumble to that fact.
Mary R. (San Jose, CA)
Monsters Dwell Everywhere
I really enjoyed the novel. The author does a good job keeping you guessing as to whom the culprit is. What I enjoyed more, however, was the historical information presented pertaining to 15th Century dissections. The author jumps between historical perspectives which makes the story more interesting and enables the reader to gain a clearer perspective of the famous Johannes Book. It did get a bit confusing at times when it jumped back into Felicia's background and then into present which is why I didn't mark the book higher.
All in all, though, this is a book that captures your attention. Once you start reading, it is difficult to stop. You find yourself saying "just one more chapter" as you get closer to finding out who the killer is.
I hope this author continues to write other books as he has an excellent first start.
When you read 'Where Monsters Dwell' plan on blocking out sufficient time to read it in one sitting before you even start it. It is more edgy than Camilla Lackberg's mysteries, and as smart and intellectual as Stieg Larssen's books, but easier to follow. The literature angle is inspired and fascinating in itself, and the ending is incredible – it will have you wondering about how we see ancient artifacts and their meanings forever. And, don't get complacent; the ending is not when you think it is.