Judith S. (Binghamton, NY)
monsters dwell in the libraries!
The novel "Where Monsters Dwell" is a masterfully written tale. The author skillfully transports the reader back and forth through time and continents while weaving a 'just intricate enough' crime investigation. The historical fiction aspects are immensely interesting without detracting from the quick step pace of the story. Somewhat reminiscent to Steig Larssen's writing style but less raw and more elegant. Look forward to more from Mr. Brekke.
Judy W. (Tucker, GA)
Where Monsters Dwell by Jorgen Brekke
This book is, indeed, a thriller! It is dark and at times, creepy, but also, very readable and will keep the reader engaged throughout the story (actually three mysteries within one book). The historical information was most interesting. Brekke's writing style reminds me of another Norwegian author, Jo Nesbo, whom I recently discovered. The beginning of the story is a little slow moving, but soon begins to captivate the reader. As with many books, the romantic involvement of the two detectives, one from Norway and one from the USA, is rather unrealistic. But authors always have to include romance of sorts to "hook" the majority of readers.
All in all, a first rate mystery thriller--I would rate it better than "The Da Vinci Code".
Mary G. (Purcellville, VA)
Small wonder "Where the Monsters Are" is already an international best seller. It is fascinating, fast-paced, and downright creepy. It is fitting that the book starts with a macabre murder at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum because this book is an homage to Poe.
Author Brekke does a masterful job of maintaining three separate story lines while still managing to give his central characters well-developed back stories and personalities. You would think Brekke would need an 800-page opus to properly develop his story and characters but he manages to wrap everything up quite satisfactorily in under 400 pages.
The pacing was so quick, in fact, that it wasn't until I finished the book that I realized how macabre and tragic it really is. I also did not expect the wealth of fascinating historical information on the controversy surrounding Poe's death as well as on the early practice of autopsies for medical knowledge.
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.
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.
Mary R. (San Jose, CA)
Monsters Dwell Everywhere
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.
Kristine M. (Marion, IL)
Mystery that will appeal to History fans
I really enjoyed reading Where Monster's Dwell. I don't usually read murder mysteries because I prefer Historical Fiction. But Where Monster's Dwell was a good mystery blended with history and travel. I visited Trondheim with my family when I was 10 and could imagine the city with the view of Munkholmen Island. I found the murders pretty gruesome, but the mystery was intriguing and the characters were believable. I got very caught up with the two story lines and suspected all the wrong people – but that's OK because I like to be surprised! While I usually don't recommend murder mysteries as book club books, I think there were multiple topics that could lead to lively discussions.