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Thomas Enger Books In Order

Publication Order of Henning Juul Books

Burned (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pierced (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Scarred (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cursed (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Thomas Enger is a mystery and thriller writer from Oslo, Norway. He was born to a father who was a teacher of English and French, and a physiotherapist mother that he likes to describe as a physioterrorist. Growing up with highly educated parents, he learned the importance of education and health very early in life. Keeping in shape and maintaining healthy lifestyles was also important in his family, and hence he spent a lot of time playing soccer, dreaming of one day playing professionally for Manchester United. While he had a lot of ambition for his footballing career, it came to nothing as the highest level he ever reached was playing in the Norwegian third division for Kisa/Ull. He had a great childhood, though he asserts that he may have watched too many girls and watched R rated movies sooner than he should have. During his college years, he would work a variety of summer jobs that included mowing lawns, garbage disposal man at the airport, waiter, and kiosk attendant at a mall in Lorenskog.

Thomas Enger joined the military after he finished his college studies, though he never did much with the experience. He fired a rifle a maximum of three times and spent much of his days listening to rock music at the office. After his soldiering days were over, he moved to Oslo and went to college at Idretthogskolen to study sports. He would move back to his hometown of Jessheim where he was a sports teacher for a year. He first got interested in writing when he was aged 20. His girlfriend had just left him and to deal with the heartbreak, he wrote a story about a New York woman in her forties that discovered that her husband was keeping a set of dark secrets from her. The novel did not amount to anything and seeking to reinvigorate his fledgling writing career, he moved to Stavenger where he studied journalism. Going back to Oslo, he landed a job as a chief sports editor at Nettavisen where he worked for 6 years while still pursuing a professional writing career. After trying for fifteen years and getting far too many of his manuscripts rejected, he finally got his first novel “Burned” published in 2010 by Gyldendal. The novel made the shortlist for the English eDunnit award for best novel published in e-book and hardback format. The novel has proved so popular that it has been bought by 4, a Norwegian production company that intends to adapt it into a TV series in conjunction with Dreamworks.

Enger has been a writer ever since he was 18 when he used to write letters about his escapades to his friend while he was in the military. He cites Henning Mankell as one of the most influential writers that got him hooked into crime fiction, way before he started reading other Scandinavian authors such as Jo Nesbo. He also names, contemporary author Harlan Coben, who combines fantastic humor with thrilling plots as another of his favorite authors. Unlike many of his contemporaries, his writing is not informed by a need to address certain issues in society, but rather to create something that is fun and entertaining. The writing is typically informed by an “if” question that typically needs an answer. His inspiration can come from anything from watching a TV movie to a dream. For instance, the idea for Burned came from a dream he had of a sharia law killing in Oslo to which he asked, What if that were to happen in real life Oslo?

“Burned”, the first novel in the series is a gritty novel exposing tangled emotions, racial conflicts, and class divisions. The lead protagonist in the Henning Juul series of novels is Henning Juul a man who lost his son to a freak fire accident that burned down his house two years earlier. He has never forgiven himself for the death of his child even as he carries both emotional and physical scars. What keeps him going is a feeling that he has that the fire must have been set by someone, and was not an accident as the investigators declared. He goes back to his work as a journalist as a way to try to resolve the mystery of the fatal fire. But on the same day he goes back to work, he reads that a girl had been found brutally killed in a field on the Oslo suburbs. The body that was found in a large tent has injury marks eerily similar to what would be a classic Sharia killing. His first case back on the job is to work on the strange murder that he soon discovers has more to it than meets the eye. Even as the victim’s Pakistani boyfriend is taken in as the main suspect, Henning believes this is not a simple Middle Eastern honor killing.

“Pierced” is a spectacular novel told in a gritty and suspenseful style as Enger expertly leads the protagonist into even darker mazes. Henning Juul Oslo’s top investigative reporter is now working to bust an international crime syndicate that may have had something to do with his child’s death. Meanwhile, Juul is still haunted by the tragic accident that took the life of his son. Seeing his scars in the mirror every morning is a reminder of the horrible fire and the dark thoughts he just cannot banish. So when he gets a message from Tore Pulli who tells him that he may have information on who set up the fire, he cannot help but follow up. But there is a catch – Tore Pulli believes he is innocent and needs the investigative reporter to find the person that set him up in exchange for the information. Juul being the brilliant investigator that he is knows that the murders Pulli has been accused of are highly unlikely to have been committed by him. Things get even more complicated when Tore turns up dead in his cell, in what is declared a suicide. Not believing that Pulli could have taken his own life, he partners up with a colleague with whom they soon rush headlong into a shadowy underworld of gangland power plays. Will they survive the search for and the possible fury of money hungry men that would do anything for power, in the quest to find just who killed his son?

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