I am delighted to share my review today for The Night Man by Jørn Lier Horst. I was fortunate to win a hardback copy of this book over on Twitter from the publisher Penguin Michael Joseph just before Christmas.
It is only as I write up this post that I have noticed that it is also a TV series on BBC4 so I will be having a look at that at some point.
WILLIAM WISTING IS IN A RACE AGAINST TIME
When a severed head is found on a stake in the quiet town of Larvik, Police Inspector William Wisting is called in to investigate. The only clue? The killer is trying to send a message.
ALL ROADS LEAD BACK TO THE NIGHT MAN
As the media closes in on the biggest story of the year, Wisting’s journalist daughter Line receives a tip. Soon, it becomes clear that there is more to this case than anyone thought. A criminal network has lodged itself deep into the roots of the city, and it’s up to Wisting to take down the elusive and dangerous Night Man.
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING
But hunting down The Night Man will take everything Wisting has, and it’s all too easy for the hunter to become the prey . . .
This was a brilliantly atmospheric and tense crime thriller and the first book I have read in this series. The main character is Larvik Wisting, who is tested to his limits in his latest case. He also gets to work alongside his daughter who has returned home to delve into the subject for her newspaper.
It is only now as I write this review that I had a glance at the author’s bio, after reading the book I am not surprised that he has a police background. He is a Senior Investigating officer in the Norweigian Police Force, I do think his experience shows in his writing.
The story was gripping from the outset and I did find it easy to get to grips with the characters given that this is not the first in the series. There are some mentions of backstories that I assume have been dealt with in previous books, and while it is always great to read in order this one works well as a standalone.
As the synopsis suggests this is a case that has a brutal start, a head placed on a spike is discovered. Wisting’s daughter also has leads but neither one realises how far this case will go and what it will eventually involve. There is far more to this story than the synopsis lets on so I have to be super careful not to let anything slip. The cases are linked but how and for what ends is something that becomes a brilliant journey for the reader.
I did like the character of Wisting, he is a detective that is willing to ask for help and listens to others. This is something that needs to happen given the route this author takes with this story. While this is based mainly in Norway, there are clues that lead further afield. As for who the Night Man is, well, I am keeping quiet about that one but it wasn’t what I thought it would be.
I really enjoyed this book and it was great to discover a new series I look forward to reading more from this author. This is a book that fans of crime thrillers and police procedurals will adore, a twisted and unexpected storyline and one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jorn Lier Horst (born in Bamble, Telemark 1970) is a former Senior Investigating Officer at the Norwegian police force. He made his literary debut as a crime writer in 2004 and is considered one of the foremost Nordic crime writers.
His series of mystery novels starring chief inspector William Wisting provides a detailed and authentic insight into how criminal cases are investigated and how it affects those involved, whether private or professional. The books represent a simple and accurate picture of the modern Nordic societies and is characterized by political and social commentary subtext.