Hanne Wilhelmsen Books In Order

Publication Order of Hanne Wilhelmsen Books

Blind Goddess (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
1222 (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death of the Demon (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Hanne Wilhelmsen is a Scandinavian detective who is good at her job, and suffers more from a shoestring budget inside the police force more than any existential problems. Later on in the series, she is crippled by a spine injury that ends her career. She is involved in a committed relationship with another woman, but does not advertise this to the people that she works with. There is a male friend that she has who is a public prosecutor, he kind of acts as a Dr. Watson to her Holmes. She is arrogant, and also rather attractive.

“Blind Goddess” is the first book in the “Hanne Wilhelmsen” series. On the outskirts of Oslo, a small time drug dealer has been found beaten to death. A young Dutchman who was wandering around central Oslo was found covered in blood and is arrested, but is not talking to the police. The police tell him that a civil lawyer Karen Borg is the one who found the dead man, and the young Dutchman demands that she defend him in the case, after he admits to killing the drug dealer. She does not work on criminal cases, however. A few days later, another person is found shot to death, her name is Hansa Larsen. She was a shady lawyer. Two police officers named Hanne Wilhelmsen and Hakon Sand are able to link the two cases together. In the shady lawyer’s apartment, the police find a coded message. There is also a rumor that comes from one of the people in the drug squad, named Billy T., who says that lawyers are dealing drugs. They realize Karen Borg is the only lawyer in all of Oslo who could not be implicated in the crime. They find that the case is a lot more complicated than simply two people murdered. They also find a huge amount of corruption going up to the highest levels of the government. The two cops must bring all of this to light and find the killer.

Fans of the book praise Holt’s ability to write entertaining crime novels. Some found the book did not show its age very much (mostly in a lack of the people not spending a whole lot of time online), even though it had originally been released in 1993. Readers are pulled right on in to the story and the setting. The book is funny and hard boiled; it also features satisfying plot twists, plenty of action, and characters with depth. Some liked the way that readers are able to see insight into the way Norwegian’s live their lives and what they believe. They found the story to have a fast pace and be complex, story wise. The novel shows the ins and outs of how the police solve the crime (it shows every member of the police force and the D.A.’s office’s role in the actual investigating and prosecuting of the crime).

Some found that the book was not good because of the way that it was translated; some claim that the book loses a lot of character development and story telling was like cardboard and was forced, and the characters were able to figure things out, although it felt like the author was making them see these insights rather than having them by themselves. A few readers put the book down after reading two thirds of the book because the book was poorly written.

“Blessed Are Those Who Thirst” is the second book in the “Hanne Wilhelmsen” series. During a heat wave in Oslo at the start of May, crime is on the rise as well. Very violent crime. Hanne Wilhelmsen is sent to investigate one such instance of this in an abandoned shed on the outskirts of town. There is a number eight written in blood on one wall, but no body and no evidence of any victim. She is not sure if there is a crime here or if it’s just some prank or foul play. Or, for that matter, if the blood is even human. There are more incidents of bloody numbers in more isolated places, like the abandoned sheds. Another thing her partner, Hakon Sand, finds; the numbers refer to immigrants. All female, all missing. It leads the pair to ask two questions. How does this person have access to immigrant data? and Is this work of a serial killer? A rape victim and her father decide to find the killer as well; which complicates things for our heroes.

Readers enjoyed the book for the two storylines that run perpendicular to each other, saying that the two are handled with thoughtful introspection and intriguing. She is able to combine good plotting with a lead character in Wilhelmsen that is engaging for readers, as well as social commentary. They also like that the author was able to use her own experience as a lawyer, cop, journalist, and news reporter to write these very believable stories. Unexpected twists in the book hold up to scrutiny, any and all loose ends are tied up. This author leaves the readers wanting more, and some have called her the godmother of Norwegian crime fiction in the modern times.

Some find that the translation from Norwegian into English a little stilted and a little clunky. Some simply did not like the story due to it not be very interesting and the story was not very credible to them and even predictable to some readers. The plot was over complicated and the people reasoned without realism. They also did not like the way so many words were used to describe something obvious.

The series has been nominated for an Edgar award (for the most recent novel in the series “1222”), and is a best selling series. The writer of the series, Anne Holt, is a very successful crime novelists in Norway. The books have been published in over twenty countries worldwide. It’s been said by some that Holt shows just how nasty it can get in Scandinavia.

Like Hanne Wilhelmsen, Anne Holt too is gay, and lives with her partner. Holt uses not just this, but her work as a cop, lawyer, and news anchor/ journalist to tell these stories.

The series has been turned into a television series in 1997.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Hanne Wilhelmsen