Author Spotlight – Anne Holt


Anne Holt

An Author Spotlight by Helen McIver

Anne Holt is a prolific author whose books – especially those shown above – will haunt me for some time to come.  A Norwegian crime writer and lawyer, specializing in murder and mayhem in Norway, Holt has written more than fifteen novels and is well known in Scandanavia and Europe.  In fact, you might have heard of her on NPR and PBS after the bombings in July 2011.

If you like Henning Mankell, Maj Sjowall/Per Wahloo, Karin Fossum , Jo Nesbo, Helene Tursten or  Kerstin Ekman, then these are your next thrillers!

Johanne Vik (researcher, profiler) and Adam Stubo (homicide detective) are the two protagonists in one of her series, each with personal baggage and both  with intricate stories. This psychological series is nasty, but compelling; neither as dark nor drastic as the Dragon Tattoo series, and also more plausible. Or perhaps these thrillers are more familiar to me, for this is like reading British mysteries that are set in a different culture.

Scottish crime writer Val McDermid once commented that Holt “…reveals how truly dark it gets in Scandanavia….” Many of her books seem to have the perfect murder:  there are no clues, but it is the attention to detail and persistence of these characters that makes all the difference. I found the mysteries to be complex, detailed (some might say slow moving) but intellectually challenging and interesting. Holt has done her homework, and has varied experiences which contribute to the realism of the story and the accurate portrayal of everyday life in Norway, where there is a lot of social commentary about the very real problems of socialism, racism, discrimination and violent crime, in Scandinavia and Europe.

Many of Holt’s novels are available through the Rochester Public Library and SELCO.  For more information about this author, visit the Simon and Schuster website dedicated to her works by following this link.

Anne Holt discusses her novel, 1222