Closed for Winter – Jorn Lier Horst


This is the follow on to Dregs, being a Norwegian set crime novel featuring William Wisting, a wise and experienced detective. This time around, he is asked to look into the strange case of multiple break ins to some holiday cottages in Vestfold, complicated by the unwelcome addition of a murdered, balaclava masked man. Who is he, and what is his connection to the break ins? The discovery starts Wisting’s adventures, as he endeavors to unravel the mystery. At the same time, his journalist daughter Line is experiencing some relationship problems. She decides to take a break in a cottage near the crime scene – against Wisting’s advice – and finds herself on the edge of events.

There’s a decent plot here, and the characterization is not bad at all. However, as with Dregs, the author seems to often break the show don’t tell guideline, and chucks a lot of descriptive information in to the mix in a very direct and unsubtle fashion. I prefer more of the tale to come from dialogue or action or both. Also, the translation went a bit off trail a couple of times; nothing serious, but enough to know that this was not written in English.

The setting is well done, but does not overpower the story telling. Similarly, the Wisting character is no superman, but a believable human being, who does not deflect too much attention from the flow of the tale. The daughter, Line, was an interesting character, and I would liked to have learned more about her. Perhaps she will get her own series in the future.

Not bad, but not great.