A Brutalised Victim in the Wilds: A solitary tent is found to contain the body of a half-buried woman.
She's been stoned to death. There are lash marks across her back. One of her hands has been cut off. A Lone Voice: Two years earlier internet reporter Henning Juul lost his son, Jonas, in a domestic fire.
As he returns to work, physically and emotionally scarred, Henning struggles to escape this past and to be taken seriously again as a reporter - by his colleagues, his ex-wife and the police.
A Mystery Ignited: Told to cover the story of the woman in the tent, he finds an increasingly dangerous trail and, despite an early arrest, he is convinced that the story is more complex than the police think...
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 07/07/2011
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780571275175
Showing 1 - 5 of 11 reviews.
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Review by moosenoose
Well the opening scene of a woman stoned to death in a tent certainly grabs your attention and pulls you straight into the story. The main character Juul is obviously fighting demons from his past whilst trying to move on with his life and get back some kind of normality - not exactly possible with a body in a tent! However, after that first opening scene I found my attention drifting and I just couldn't get into the story all that well. Some parts seemed believable yet others, I just couldn't see happening, which was a bit of a let down. The fact that Juul is a complex and interesting character, quite different to the usual crime solvers, does however make this book more interesting. And the openish ending means that another book is on the way! It will be interesting to see how Juul's character develops over the series.
Review by teresa1953
This proved to be a fairly absorbing read. A new Scandinavian crime writer...they seem to be hot property at the moment.I really liked the lead character Henning Juul, a flawed character, which is pleasing. Henning is a journalist, and so the story is told from a different perspective than the usual detective take on things. He is badly disfigured from a fire in his apartment in which his 6 year old son is killed. The story begins when Juul is returning to work after a 2 year absence. He is thrown in to the deep end by a particularly brutal murder, with all the hallmarks of a so called Muslim "honour killing".The story did wane a little in the middle and I did guess who the perpetrator was quite early on. Maybe I watch too many crime dramas!Certainly one to watch. It's no "Wallender", but I shall certainly be interested in the next chapter of Juul's story being released in July 2012.
Review by lilywren
Thomas Enger is another author set to fill the Scandanavian crime/thiller/mystery genre which have been popping up in abundance much like spring daisies in May! Whilst I felt this story was more lightweight compared to say, Larsson or Nesbo, I do believe there is a lot of potential for the development of Enger's writing and his main character, Henning Juul.I did read an 'uncorrected proof' version so accomodated for the sometimes odd tenses, spelling mistakes and strange translation of text. There are also some rather simplistic dialogues which I felt were not really essential in parts and, whilst there are many twists and turns, essential requirements to make a good thriller, I did start to feel there were one too many turns and that Enger wasn't sure how to end the story towards the last few chapters.That said, I did enjoy it and feel that Henning Juul has a lot of potential as the 'compulsory lead loner with a traumatic background story and maverick way of working' kind of character that is needed for such a series (look towards Harry Hole or Mika Blomkvist). Henning is a journalist who has returned after 2 years out of work due to a traumatic incident, he finds himself in the middle of, not just reporting a murder, but, as is essential to these dramas, being chased, having his life threatened and also having to do much of the investigating as the police seem to miss quite a bit (on a side note - I do worry about the efficiency of the scandanavian police sometimes if these books are anything to go by!) The story moves at a great pace and did keep my attention. I have struggled reading books lately, or at least finishing books, but I had no such problems with 'Burned'.As a previous reviewer says, a promising start to a new series and I would recommend it to those that enjoy this genre. That said, Enger does have a lot to contend with having heavyweight contemporaries such as Jo Nesbo and the Larsson Trilogy....
Review by Fluffyblue
Very similar in set up to Steig Larsson's Millennium series in that the main character is a journalist, but I suppose there the similarities end. The copy I read was an uncorrected proof, and I have to say that the writing didn't seem to flow, sometimes the tenses where wrong and the book was often disjointed, but I think this is because it was translated from Norweigan into English. Perhaps it just needs looking at again.The story itself was quite good - a journalist goes back to work after a recent trauma, and gets embroiled in what looks like an honour killing. The plot is quite complicated and there a few twists and turns - you often think, well that's that then, and something else happens after that which you weren't expecting. On the whole, a promising start to a new series of books (I think the next one in the series is due out in July 2012).
Review by helen295
Burned is the first in a new series of crime novels by Norwegian author Thomas Enger. This book is set in Oslo and introduces us to Henning Juul, a journalist working for 123news, an internet-based newspaper. When we first meet Henning he is trying to come to terms with the tragic death of his son, Jonas, in a house fire. On his first day back at work after a long absence, he is asked to cover the story of a young woman who has been found brutally murdered in a tent on Ekeberg Common. Henning’s research leads him from Oslo’s Muslim community to the world of film-making, but will his investigations make him the killer’s next target?This series has a lot of potential and I’m pleased I could be there at the beginning rather than coming in halfway through the series which is what usually seems to happen to me! It made an interesting change to read a crime novel with a journalist as the protagonist rather than a detective or police officer. I enjoyed the descriptions of daily life in an internet newspaper office and the processes involved in researching, writing and publishing news items. I’ve never worked as a journalist but it all seemed quite realistic to me (which is to be expected as I believe Thomas Enger has experience in journalism himself).There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot which helped to keep me interested, but while plot twists can be an important element of a good crime novel, I thought there were too many towards the end of the book. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what was supposed to be happening and I started to get slightly confused. The writing doesn’t always flow very well either, though this could be due to the translation (the book has been translated from the original Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund).Although I didn’t think it was an outstanding book, I did enjoy Burned and am pleased to have discovered another promising Scandinavian crime writer. With its short chapters and fast-paced plot the book was difficult to put down and despite its length was a quick read. I also really liked Henning Juul and found him an intriguing character. I was left thinking that there must be a lot of aspects of his history and his personality still to explore, and that is why I’m already looking forward to the publication of the second book in the series.
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