I’m thrilled to be sharing an extract today from Killed by Thomas Enger. This really sounds like a fantastic book and I’m really looking forward to having some time to read it soon.
‘Delivers a knock-out punch. An explosive finale, in every way worthy of the deeply human series that Enger has crafted’ Crime by the Book
Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning… Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose … except his own life. Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?
‘Destined to become a Nordic Noir classic’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
Had it not been for the snow, it would have been pitch dark. The cars were tightly parked along the edge of the pavement, and the buildings towered into the sky. The street lights had either been turned off or were not working. If she hadn’t lived there for over 50 years, Bodil Svenkerud might have been afraid – a lot went on after dark on the streets of Oslo these days. But not in Eckersbergs gate. She had never been afraid of anything there, and now she just wanted to get home and have a lovely cup of hot tea. It had been a long day. Mrs Svenkerud urged her legs to keep moving on the soft snow. It was a disgrace that the roads and pavements weren’t cleared sooner and more often; she had the feeling they always left her street until last. The slippery, dry powder snow had brought her more or less to a standstill. That was why when she spotted a gap between two parked cars, she went out into the middle of the road – after all, it was her street – having checked both ways first. She saw a car coming slowly towards her, but it was still some distance away. She had time, she reckoned, before the car got close, and even though she could feel there was ice under the snow, it was still easier to walk in the tyre tracks. Mrs Svenkerud pulled her fur coat tighter, looked up at the building that was in front of her on the right, where she had lived for so long. This was where they had had their wedding party in 1957 – they couldn’t afford anything else. This was where they had had their children, and later played with their grandchildren, where life had raced by like a high-speed train. This was where the cancer cells had invaded Olav Sebastian’s body and reduced him to a morose, sick shadow of the great man he’d once been, a man who’d engaged in local politics, who’d run eight kilometres three nights a week, even when he was over 70, and who’d loved going for walks in Frogner Park on Sundays, especially when pushing little Sofus in his pram. This was where he’d said his final goodbye one beautiful late summer day in 1992. There were lights on in some of the windows up on the third floor. So they’d started already, the joiners, but she was not going to let anyone force her out. She most certainly was not! That was what she’d told the young adviser in Oslo Council as well, the one who hadn’t had time for her at first, but then had managed to squeeze in 15 minutes at the end of the day. The beautiful girl with dark hair – what was her name again? – had promised to take up her case as soon as she got to work in the morning. Were there no limits to how shameless people could be these days? Mrs Svenkerud pressed on, and swung her arms to help her move faster. She was getting warm, and a thin layer of condensation had formed on the inside of her spectacles. She could just make out the crossing about 30 metres in front of her. She looked back. The car was much closer now. Mrs Svenkerud tried to walk faster, but the snow was so loose and soft that it was hard to get a firm footing. She almost lost her balance, but fortunately managed to stay on her feet. She looked round again. The car seemed to have speeded up. Surely the driver had seen her, with all the safety reflectors she was wearing? She tried to wave at him, but the driver didn’t slow down; in fact, he did the opposite, and that was when she realised the car was going to knock her down. She made a last-ditch attempt to get out of the way, but the ice was deceptive and slippery under her winter boats, and she didn’t manage to move before the car hit her side-on, throwing her up onto the bonnet. Her back was to the windscreen and she was forced up onto the roof, where she lay still for a brief second before the winter tyres bit into the ice as the wheels locked. She was thrown forward onto the bonnet again, and then rolled down onto the road, where she landed with her face in the soft, cold snow. She couldn’t move, though strangely enough, it didn’t hurt; it was as though her whole body had been numbed. But she was bleeding from a cut on her forehead, and soon the whole side of her face was warm. The impact had also damaged one of the buttons on her hearing aid, and it was whining loudly, piercing her eardrum. Mrs Svenkerud managed to haul herself up onto her knees. She felt the cold and damp seep through her trousers and long johns. She lifted her head and straightened her glasses, turned around and squinted at the car with its engine still running. She hadn’t noticed until now, but in the beam from the headlights, she saw that big white flakes had started to fall again. Why didn’t the driver get out to help her? The car reversed a few metres, then headed for her again. She couldn’t get out of its way; she knew she wouldn’t make it in time, even though the studded tyres were spinning on the ice and snow. Shouting wouldn’t help. She braced herself for the pain, and when it came, it was intense and paralysing. The weight and speed of the car made her skid across the road until she stopped close to the kerb. And there she lay, unable to move while cold, white kisses melted on her burning cheeks. The glass in her spectacles was smashed and she could barely see. Fortunately, the ringing in her ears stopped and was replaced by silence, bringing with it a diamond-like certainty. She knew what this was about. There was no doubt about it. She only hoped that the bright, helpful girl at Oslo Council – what was her name again? – would realise as well. That she would hear about this, and do something. Trine, Mrs Svenkerud remembered as the car headed towards her again. The girl in the council offices was called Trine. Trine Juul.
And if that hasn’t made you eager to read it, here’s what others are saying about Killed.
Praise for Thomas Enger
‘Thomas Enger is one of the finest writers in the Nordic Noir genre, and this is his very best book yet. Outstanding’ Ragnar Jónasson
‘A gripping narrative that begs comparison to Stieg Larsson’ Bookpage
‘An intriguing new voice in crime’ NJ Cooper
‘Slick, compelling and taut, Thomas Enger combines a sophisticated layers of mysteries with an intensely scarred hero embarked on a tragic quest. A dark and suspenseful blast of Nordic exposure’ Chris Ewan
‘The Killing took us by surprise, The Bridge was a good follow-up, but the political drama Borgen knocked spots of both. For readers who enjoy these Scandinavian imports, this novel is a treat…’ Jessica Mann, Literary Review
‘It has real strengths: the careful language, preserved in the fine translation, and its haunted journalist hero … An intriguing series’ Guardian
‘From the gritty tension of the plot, to its underpinning emotional depths, this is a powerfully compulsive page-turner’ LoveReading
‘Superbly compelling … the characters leap right off the page, and the relationship between them is as twisted and complex as the story itself’ Shotsmag
‘Although the narration moves at scary speed, somehow the melancholy lingers and slows it down. If feels as if everything is just about to explode, and eventually it does in the shocking finale of the novel. For those who are yet unfamiliar with the intense presence of Juul I am sure that you will find elements of Jo Nesbø’s fast-paced plots and brutal violence, touches of Karin Fossum’s thoughtful questions on morality, and Jørn Lier Horst‘s portrayal of decent human beings caught in crime – all delivered in a gripping intriguing plot. Enger is an author to be treasured’ Ewa Sherman, Crime Review
‘Unexpected and surprising … like a fire in the middle of a snowfall’ Panorama
‘I am always struck with the control of pace and plot that is a standout feature of his writing … a real feel of storytelling in its purest form’ Raven Crime Reads
‘Satisfyingly tense and dark’ Sunday Times Crime Club
‘It’s clear the Henning Juul series has a large-scale plan and Cursed shows a great momentum, but it is the bombshell dropped in the very last sentence that carries his investigation one jaw-dropping step further and leaves you breathless for more’ Crime Fiction Lover
‘Thomas Enger writes with verve, colour and a pace that builds to a thrilling climax, cleverly and deftly weaving a complex of fictional elements into some uncomfortable details of his country’s history. Highly recommended!’ European Literature Network
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.