Medusa – Torkil Damhaug

medusa-cover

This is a murder mystery set in Norway, where the central character is not a policeman. His name is Axel Glenne, and he is a doctor (general practitioner) facing something of a personal crisis. A young medical student, Miriam, is attracted to him, and inveigles her way into his life. In turn, he becomes obsessed with her. You know it is not going to end well.

Further, Axel has a twin brother, Brede; something of a black sheep, Brede lurks on the periphery of Axel’s world, or is it his imagination?

Meantime, it transpires that Axel was the last person to see a murder victim alive. The female victim, apparently slashed by a bear, has also been drugged. Slowly, it dawns on Axel that Brede may be involved. And she is not the last such victim.

The police are doing their best to solve the killing, but not necessarily being at their most effective. They stumble about somewhat, and struggle with this challenging investigation.

The police part was the weakest writing in the book, the characters there being less convincing. Axel is a dark, interesting character, and the scenes with him and Miriam are the most polished and impressive. The plot meanders a bit, but gets there in the end.

Overall, this was not a bad read, being a rough diamond with a lot of promise. I was sufficiently interested to think about getting the others in the series. Incidentally, kudos to the translator, Robert Ferguson, for a good job.