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In a foster home outside Oslo, a twelve-year-old boy is causing havoc. The institution’s steely director, Agnes Vestavik, sees something chilling in Olav’s eyes: sheer hatred. When Vestavik is found murdered at her desk, stabbed in the back with an Ikea kitchen knife—with Olav nowhere to be found—the case goes to maverick investigator Hanne Wilhelmsen, recently promoted toIn a foster home outside Oslo, a twelve-year-old boy is causing havoc. The institution’s steely director, Agnes Vestavik, sees something chilling in Olav’s eyes: sheer hatred. When Vestavik is found murdered at her desk, stabbed in the back with an Ikea kitchen knife—with Olav nowhere to be found—the case goes to maverick investigator Hanne Wilhelmsen, recently promoted to chief inspector in the Oslo Police.Could the child be a murderer? As police canvass the city for Olav, Hanne, working alongside the foulmouthed detective Billy T., orders an investigation of the home’s employees. But despite her supreme deductive skills, she is hopeless at delegating, hopeless at pooling information, hopeless at sharing responsibilities. Can Hanne learn to trust others before her bullheaded instincts lead her astray—in the workplace and on the home front?...

Title : Death of the Demon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781451634921
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Death of the Demon Reviews

  • Lisa
    2019-04-11 23:16

    This is my 3rd attempt to read scandinavian detective thrillers & again it failed to get me in i don't know if its the writing style or not but the storyline seemed to babble on especially when Hanne Wilhelmsen comes into investigate the murder of Agnes Vestavik. for me the plot was ok the boy Olav was pure evil which got me interested but the rest was just blah. a bit too slow

  • Rachel Hall
    2019-03-24 00:23

    3.5 starsI confess to having a fairly mixed relationship with the writing of Anne Holt and having read several novels from both the Hanne Wilhelmsen and the Vik and Stubo series I find her lack of consistency a source of frustration. Having come to her work only recently I have read the series so far in the order that it was written, unlike many readers who came to her more recent novels firstly through the translation out of order headache. The first Hanne Wilhelmsen novel, Blind Goddess, was penned in 1993 and translated in 2013 and the only sign of it appearing dated was in the technological arena, with the use of golf-ball typewriters and a lack of mobile phones. I thought the second novel is the series, Blessed Are Those Who Thirst, showed a marked improvement on the first instalment and I was similarly hopeful that Hanne might have found her feet, so to speak after finally allowing a glimpse of personality to peek through her buttoned-up exterior. Sadly Death of the Demon, written in 1995, was a return to the form of the first novel and a disappointingly lacklustre affair. Newly promoted to Chief Inspector, thirty-six year old Hanne Wilhelmsen is still growing accustomed to her increasingly administrative duties and finding it somewhat of a challenge to lead others in the investigative arena, being more comfortable with a hands-on role. Prior to her promotion she effortlessly impressed, being acknowledged as a diligent and thorough investigator who kept her head down and never shirked. Sadly there is no escape route from mediation, decisions and controversy in her new role.Death of a Demon sees Billy T. making a return to his former role as a detective, however, he never seems wholeheartedly engaged in doing so and I find him a difficult lead character to connect with. When the director of Spring Sunshine Foster Home in Oslo is discovered stabbed in the back with such force that it pierces the wall of her heart, the frightening brutality shocks Hanne and her colleagues. With a career of twenty-three years in child welfare services, Agnes Vestavik, was charged with the care of the most behaviourally challenged children and those that it has become almost impossible to place with foster families. Run by the Salvation Army and operated by a workforce comprising of students, part-time and night staff, often with slapdash standards, she was known to have staff issues and was in the process of conducting appraisals with every employee. Alongside these issues Agnes was known to have marital problems and the rather sizeable issue of the grossly overweight twelve-year-old new arrival, Olav Håkonsen. Olav has always been different from other children, in terms of his immense size and his lack of impulse control, and consequently his behaviour is often misinterpreted. Having lasted just three-weeks in the foster home, Agnes has already made an enemy of Olav, and when he is discovered missing from his bed in the wake of her murder, his guilt seems a foregone conclusion. What follows is a rather straightforward investigation into the private lives of Agnes and her staff and the operations of the foster home. Needless to say staff infringements and marital strife come to light, not to mention a platonic friendship with a married used-car salesman and the three separate ten-thousand kronor withdrawals from her personal bank account. As Billy T., Erik Henriksen and Tone-Marit Steen drill down, Hanne is frustrated by the slow progress and not a natural as regards man-management. As the search for Olav is made public, the subsequent suicide of one of the main suspects has all the hallmarks of a confession, but Hanne and the team aren't so convinced...Whilst I want to warm to Hanne Wilhelmsen and invest in the character she lacks charisma and her life outside of work seems to follow a regular pattern of bickering with her girlfriend of seventeen-years about coming out to her colleagues and family. The foster home setting this time presents lover and emergency doctor, Cecilie Vibe with the opportunity to rehash her desire for a child. Given the length of their union, surely Hanne and Cecilie would have already made a conscious decision on the 'big' issues and they do nothing for the image of positive same-sex relationships! I was disappointed that Hanne's working relationship with police attorney Håkon Sand, which showed signs of flourishing in the second novel, was not revisited in Death of the Demon, with Holt belatedly informing her readers of his year long paternity leave and the birth of his son. I sorely missed his personality and sadly the overblown and quickly irritating Billy T.'s increased presence brought little to the novel. Although he has known Hanne since police college, his demeanour is ill-suited to being a detective and he was far more credible employed in the drugs intervention unit. Also in his new role his overfamiliarity with his superior was rather grating! Interestingly though, Anne Holt let's her readers in on one secret in the closing pages - namely what exactly the T. in Billy T. stands for!I appreciate Anne Holt's social conscience and there was a number of pertinent observations throughout Death of the Demon as regards social services, from their initial unsatisfactory treatment of Olav Håkonsen and his mother, Birgitte when her plea for support was swiftly followed by her son's removal. With the headline grabbing double murder being the current focus of the majority of the Oslo homicide detectives and its acknowledged priority it is not lost on Hanne that an old-fashioned stabbing of a middle-aged Christian state employee no longer attracts the outrage that it once would have. The short extracts in the voice of Olav's mother, Birgitte Håkonsen, provided another side to the story and illustrated her frustrations with a system which has intervened straightaway with little assessment or offer of other support. Likewise the divergent attitudes of the staff towards the children in their care was a source of consternation, with the benevolent Maren Kalsvik appearing as the only one with a real vocation in the profession.Death of the Demon is a solid but rather routine investigation, lacking in complexities and dark intrigue of much of the Nordic Noir genre. Beyond the initial events very little of pivotal interest occurs and once the police have moved on from assuming that twelve-year-old Olav was the perpetrator the case losses much of its fascination.

  • Harry
    2019-03-29 00:24

    Book Review "I'm the new boy!"With resolute strides he stomped in the middle of the floor, where he remained standing while the snow from his enormous tennis shoes formed little puddles around his feet. His legs wide apart, as though to conceal the knock-kneed cross formed by his legs, he threw out his arms and repeated: "I'm the new boy!" Perhaps Holt's most intricately plotted novel so far, Death of the Demon takes us into Norway's foster care system and provides interested readers a glimpse into the social welfare state's dealings with troubled families. A theme explored by Larsson's magnificent Millennium series featuring the stunning Lisbeth Sanders, foster care systems in social welfare states provide an exquisite garden of plot material for Nordic crime writers, a fact Holt takes equal advantage of in this series instance.Hanna Wilhelmsen, post-promotion, accepts an additional struggle as she comes to terms with her new position within the police department. Unwilling to relinquish her detective skills and when Agnes Vestavik, the head of a foster care home is murdered Hanna is seen involving herself in the investigation, not as chief, but as detective sending hopeless ripplings throughout the police department and investigative officers as conflicting responsibilities overlap and possibly threaten the investigation.Holt continues Hanna's development and uses the foster care system as a means for further introspection by Hanna into her own sexuality and brings to the forefront the question of children within a lesbian relationship. The relationship of Hanna and Billy T. strengthens and lends credibility to the subversive lesbianism Holt introduced in her first two novels of the series.Approaching Nesbo's undisputed skills in handling multiple plots, Holt expertly takes us into multiple story lines focused on the inhabitants of the foster care home in which the initial crime takes place. Creating tangential plot lines that come together in a stunning conclusion, using characterization as the lens that focus the reader's progress is now a hallmark of Anne Holt.Unfortunately, I have to stop reading this series as the remaining novels set between her hugely successful 1222 and this third in the series have not yet been translated into English.Other reviews on mine in this series are:Blind GoddessBlessed Are Those Who Thirst--------------------------------------------------------------------Series ReviewAnne HoltAnne Holt was born November 16, 1958. A Norwegian author and lawyer she has worked for the Oslo Police Department, practiced as a lawyer where she started her own law practice in 1994, served as Minister of Justice in Cabinet Jagland and subsequently resigned from that position for health reasons. Prior to this period, in 1990, she was employed by The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) where she pursued journalism and was for a time anchor woman for the news program Dagsrevyen.In 1993 she made her debut as a novelist with the crime novel Blind Goddess. As with many translated novels Holt was cursed with her series being published out of order. With a hands-off attitude towards her publishers, Anne Holt had to wait until her 8th novel in the series 1222 before reaching an English speaking audience (Amazon actually reported this as #1 in the series!). Blind Goddess was in this case the 2nd novel to be published into English.“Reached via email from the home she shares in Oslo with her partner and daughter, Holt says her publishers made the decision to translate the books out of order.” - Laura DeMarco, The Plain DealerAllying herself more along the lines of Jo Nesbo of whom she says: [He] is far more socially critical, realistic and ‘Scandinavian” in style: than say Stieg Larsson whom Holt considers straying into the fantastical and unbelievable, no matter how compelling as Lisbeth Sanders and the Millennium series may be to Holt. As with many Scandinavian writers Holt does not forget to pay homeage to two other authors:“I don’t think any of the most popular crime writers in Scandinavia today can evade affinity with Sjowall and Wahloo, who wrote their Martin Beck series between 1965 and 1975. That duo in many ways founded what is now often - somewhat imprecisely - called ‘Scandinavian socially realistic and socially critical crime novel.’” Holt prefers to work on three series at a time. This seems fairly straightforward given that the starting point for Holt is always the story idea, which in turn gets populated by characters. Consequently, it doesn’t always follow that a story can be applied, for example, to the character of Anne Wilhelmsen and therefore is more applicable to a character in another series. For this reason, Holt usually has multiple crime series going on at any one time.Having a story to tell is critical to Holt’s writing. The novels take place within a particular class of society: the wealthy, the highly educated who live in a social democratic welfare state. Norway is one of the richest nations in the region and was considered relatively safe until organized crime moved in peddling its inhumane wares and, sadly, when in 2011 terrorists converged on Oslo and brought Norway into the international spotlight killing nearly 100 people. Readers of my previous Scandinavian reviews will have undoubtedly noted references alluding to not only the Nordic crime writers’ predilection towards using the genre to expose social and political issues, but to take these issues and wrap them into a psychological narrative where the crime isn’t so much one of “who-dun-it” but more one of ”why the hell did this happen?”. Holt in particular is no exception.Massacre at the executive government quarter of Norway”Increased globalization and extreme developments in communication bring us all closer, and at an ever-faster pace.” Says Holt. “On the other hand, there is an increased polarization because of this situation, both religiously and politically. The literature of a country will - and should - inevitably reflect this.”Though Holt considers herself a political person she makes it very clear that she is not a political writer. The genre, in her opinion, is not meant to provide political solutions but rather political issues are brought to light because in any crime you cannot truthfully explain it unless one casts a light on the society in which the crime takes place.For Holt, there’s the plot and then comes the characterization and especially when constructing a series things can can get surprisingly complex in that her characters are dynamic (unlike Christie’s Hercule Poirot who never changes). Hanne Wilhelmsen grows and becomes more solid and believable as the series progresses in the same way that Harry Hole becomes more solid in Nesbo’s fabulous series. And the longer the series becomes the more difficult the task for Holt as she is limited by not letting Hanne become “out of character”, this while being caught up in a long evolution towards the later novels (in particular 1222 #8) in which Wilhelmsen emerges as quite compelling, a wholly original heroine. Holt says: “I am convinced that crime fiction’s tremendous popularity in many parts of the world, despite the great diversity and variation in the field, is because it deals in universal themes.”Universal themes are those that bind us all together and it cannot escape a reader’s mind that life and death are the axiomatic commonality that most affect us as human beings. Crime fiction is the perfect home for such universal themes. Holt’s challenge is to provide an insight into the drama of human interaction within a large and complex society and in the case of crime fiction within the darker side of that society. In this sense she again allies herself with the work of Jo Nesbo who encapsulates the very best of Norwegian crime fiction: and again as opposed to say Stieg Larsson whom she considers to be more of an americanized, more romanticized if not sensationalized writer with respect to the Swedish society he describes (though YellowBird Productions may have had a hand in this).

  • Kim Kaso
    2019-04-17 23:28

    Another in the terrific Hanne Wilhelmsen series, this time Hanne is dealing with her duties as a newly promoted chief inspector and is finding delegating difficult. She is a great detective, but only a so-so manager, it seems. There are many false leads and the story takes its time, but it is enjoyable watching the team circle around the solution. 4.5 rounded down to 4, interesting but not as compelling as the first two in the series. Awaiting #4's release for Valentine's week, frustrated with way these books are published/translated out of order.

  • Rachel Hall
    2019-04-17 00:17

    3.5 starsI confess to having a fairly mixed relationship with the writing of Anne Holt and having read several novels from both the Hanne Wilhelmsen and the Vik and Stubo series I find her lack of consistency a source of frustration. Having come to her work only recently I have read the series so far in the order that it was written, unlike many readers who came to her more recent novels firstly through the translation out of order headache. The first Hanne Wilhelmsen novel, Blind Goddess, was penned in 1993 and translated in 2013 and the only sign of it appearing dated was in the technological arena, with the use of golf-ball typewriters and a lack of mobile phones. I thought the second novel is the series, Blessed Are Those Who Thirst, showed a marked improvement on the first instalment and I was similarly hopeful that Hanne might have found her feet, so to speak after finally allowing a glimpse of personality to peek through her buttoned-up exterior. Sadly Death of the Demon, written in 1995, was a return to the form of the first novel and a disappointingly lacklustre affair. Newly promoted to Chief Inspector, thirty-six year old Hanne Wilhelmsen is still growing accustomed to her increasingly administrative duties and finding it somewhat of a challenge to lead others in the investigative arena, being more comfortable with a hands-on role. Prior to her promotion she effortlessly impressed, being acknowledged as a diligent and thorough investigator who kept her head down and never shirked. Sadly there is no escape route from mediation, decisions and controversy in her new role.Death of a Demon sees Billy T. making a return to his former role as a detective, however, he never seems wholeheartedly engaged in doing so and I find him a difficult lead character to connect with. When the director of Spring Sunshine Foster Home in Oslo is discovered stabbed in the back with such force that it pierces the wall of her heart, the frightening brutality shocks Hanne and her colleagues. With a career of twenty-three years in child welfare services, Agnes Vestavik, was charged with the care of the most behaviourally challenged children and those that it has become almost impossible to place with foster families. Run by the Salvation Army and operated by a workforce comprising of students, part-time and night staff, often with slapdash standards, she was known to have staff issues and was in the process of conducting appraisals with every employee. Alongside these issues Agnes was known to have marital problems and the rather sizeable issue of the grossly overweight twelve-year-old new arrival, Olav Håkonsen. Olav has always been different from other children, in terms of his immense size and his lack of impulse control, and consequently his behaviour is often misinterpreted. Having lasted just three-weeks in the foster home, Agnes has already made an enemy of Olav, and when he is discovered missing from his bed in the wake of her murder, his guilt seems a foregone conclusion. What follows is a rather straightforward investigation into the private lives of Agnes and her staff and the operations of the foster home. Needless to say staff infringements and marital strife come to light, not to mention a platonic friendship with a married used-car salesman and the three separate ten-thousand kronor withdrawals from her personal bank account. As Billy T., Erik Henriksen and Tone-Marit Steen drill down, Hanne is frustrated by the slow progress and not a natural as regards man-management. As the search for Olav is made public, the subsequent suicide of one of the main suspects has all the hallmarks of a confession, but Hanne and the team aren't so convinced...Whilst I want to warm to Hanne Wilhelmsen and invest in the character she lacks charisma and her life outside of work seems to follow a regular pattern of bickering with her girlfriend of seventeen-years about coming out to her colleagues and family. The foster home setting this time presents lover and emergency doctor, Cecilie Vibe with the opportunity to rehash her desire for a child. Given the length of their union, surely Hanne and Cecilie would have already made a conscious decision on the 'big' issues and they do nothing for the image of positive same-sex relationships! I was disappointed that Hanne's working relationship with police attorney Håkon Sand, which showed signs of flourishing in the second novel, was not revisited in Death of the Demon, with Holt belatedly informing her readers of his year long paternity leave and the birth of his son. I sorely missed his personality and sadly the overblown and quickly irritating Billy T.'s increased presence brought little to the novel. Although he has known Hanne since police college, his demeanour is ill-suited to being a detective and he was far more credible employed in the drugs intervention unit. Also in his new role his overfamiliarity with his superior was rather grating! Interestingly though, Anne Holt let's her readers in on one secret in the closing pages - namely what exactly the T. in Billy T. stands for!I appreciate Anne Holt's social conscience and there was a number of pertinent observations throughout Death of the Demon as regards social services, from their initial unsatisfactory treatment of Olav Håkonsen and his mother, Birgitte when her plea for support was swiftly followed by her son's removal. With the headline grabbing double murder being the current focus of the majority of the Oslo homicide detectives and its acknowledged priority it is not lost on Hanne that an old-fashioned stabbing of a middle-aged Christian state employee no longer attracts the outrage that it once would have. The short extracts in the voice of Olav's mother, Birgitte Håkonsen, provided another side to the story and illustrated her frustrations with a system which has intervened straightaway with little assessment or offer of other support. Likewise the divergent attitudes of the staff towards the children in their care was a source of consternation, with the benevolent Maren Kalsvik appearing as the only one with a real vocation in the profession.Death of the Demon is a solid but rather routine investigation, lacking in complexities and dark intrigue of much of the Nordic Noir genre. Beyond the initial events very little of pivotal interest occurs and once the police have moved on from assuming that twelve-year-old Olav was the perpetrator the case losses much of its fascination.

  • Luanne Ollivier
    2019-03-26 22:22

    3.5/5 3.5/5 I've gone backwards with Norwegian author Anne Holt. I read the last book featuring Detective Hanne Wilhelmsen first. And then going against my usual inclination, I did decide to read her back list, as I quite enjoyed the character.Death of the Demon is the third in the series and newly released by Scribner. Agnes Vestavik runs a group foster home just outside of Oslo. A new boy named Olav has just moved in. He's a difficult case, hard to like and hard to get along with. He's large and strong and mercurial........and he doesn't want to be there. When Agnes is found stabbed to death at her desk, newly promoted Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmson is called to the case along with lead investigator Billy T. Olav has gone missing. But is he the killer? Has he run away? Or been taken? There are a number of other children at the home also capable of violence. There are a large number of staff as well, each with their own secrets. And what about her husband? Interspersed between Hanne's investigative chapters are the thoughts of Olav's mother. These are quite sad and provide a telling social commentary. Olav's thoughts also trigger an emotional response from the reader. Holt continues to grow the character of Hanne with more details about her private life being revealed and explored. She is struggling in both her personal and professional lives. Hanne is not always likable, but she is a fascinating protagonist. Billy T remains a favourite character with this reader - he's larger than life both in stature and personality. I enjoyed the investigative process, but found one of the crucial deciding clues not as strong as Hanne believed it to be. I could see an alternative explanation. As the investigation marches to the endgame, I was able to suss out the whodunit, but Holt still managed to catch me off guard with an unexpected ending - one I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with. Death of the Demon isn't my favourite Hanne book, (1222 still is) but was still a darn good read.

  • Bonnie Brody
    2019-03-19 20:21

    This novel is the reason I read mysteries, especially Nordic ones. It has everything I love in a good whodunit - twists and turns, good characterization, no red herrings, and an ending that knocked my socks off. It is the first novel I've read by Anne Holt but it is not the last. She may be the best Scandinavian mystery writer I've read, and I've read a lot. I also am impressed with the quality of Anne Bruce's seamless translation. The book had me in its grips throughout and I had a hard time getting to sleep because I didn't want to put it down.The story both simple and complex. The director of a foster home in Oslo, Norway is found with a knife in her heart. Hanne Wilhelmsen, Chief Inspector, and her team are directed to solve the crime. Hanne is new at her job and is settling in but finding it difficult to delegate to others. The main suspects are the usual - the husband who stands to inherit everything, the lover who has been stealing from the dead woman, the employees of the foster home, and even the children who reside there. One child in particular, a twelve year old boy who has run away, is on the police radar.The police very carefully interview all the possible suspects and the motives become more and more difficult to sort out? There are several people who could have benefited from the death but who had the opportunity to commit the crime? Is the solution an easy one or do the investigators need to dig deeper?I found the novel easy to follow despite the number of characters in it. I especially enjoyed how the story of Olav Hakonsen, a twelve year-old boy in the foster home, along with his mother's first person narrative, are interspersed in the mystery. This is a fine example of how a great mystery should be constructed. Kudos to Ms. Holt!

  • Anna
    2019-04-06 20:59

    My favorite Anne Holt (I've read her books, both of this series and individuals, in the purely random order they have happened to run to me) - so far. And I've got curious to try some more books of the series.While still not as noir as I like my crime, there is a delicious mix of characters, and a place that feels like Oslo (and it leaves you wondering if Hanne Wilhelmson and Harry Hole really live in the same city). I love the mix of not black-and-white characters but people who seem good and have a bad side, and vice versa, supplemented with unusual spices; a 12 year old oddball monster, the odd inspector herself, the always present bikers and so on. This also works beautifully as a standalone novel - much easier than trying to find out first which books have even been translated in English at all.

  • Leah
    2019-04-19 19:03

    Knifed in the back...When respectable, middle-aged Agnes Vestavik is found at her desk with a kitchen knife in her back, it seems at first as if no-one could have wanted her dead. But as Hanne Wilhelmsen and her team investigate, they suddenly find themselves with a surfeit of suspects amongst the staff and in Agnes’ personal life, all with strong motives. And then there’s Olav – a 12-year-old newcomer to the foster home that Agnes ran: a boy with serious behavioural problems and a mother who can’t cope. Why did he run away on the night of the murder? Did he witness something? A question they can’t ask him until they find him - but Olav doesn’t intend to be found…This was my first introduction to Hanne and her team and I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read. There’s obviously a back-story and it would probably be better to read the books in order, but I found this worked perfectly well as a standalone. Hanne has just been promoted to Chief Inspector and has persuaded her friend Billy T to transfer to her team. Their interactions are good fun and give the book a lighter side, without in any way detracting from the plot. We also see Hanne’s home-life with her partner Cecilie and get to see why Hanne is reluctant to make their relationship public. The descriptions of the foster-home and the troubled children are very convincing and handled with a welcome light touch. So often such places are rather unfairly portrayed as being all doom and gloom, but Holt brings out much of the humour and genuine care that in reality usually exists in them. We see Olav’s past through his mother’s eyes – a child she loves but can’t control. Both Olav and his mother are very well-drawn characters and Holt manages to make the reader increasingly sympathetic towards them as the book goes on. Overall, a very enjoyable read that will certainly encourage me to read more in the series.NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com

  • Deb
    2019-04-05 21:07

    Not my favorite book of the series. The chapter regarding Hannes's relationship with her partner just didn't fit into the book. I got the impression that Hanne it's not as comfortable with her relationship as she thought she would be. Her flirting with Billy T maybe sending a message to the readers. A 12-year-old boy enters a foster home set up for troubled children. All the employees they are also seem to be trouble in one way or another. Everyone has secrets, the head woman finds some of the secrets out and confronts each of the employees. She is found in her office dead with a knife in her back. The 12-year-old boy runs away and isn't found until the end of the story. The 12-year-old boys mother is a wreck.. Both physically and mentally. There is a twist at the end with a confession by one person and the reality is that the murder was committed by somebody else. A very depressing book all around. I only finished it because I wanted to know who the murderer was and not because it was a page turner.

  • Naomi Blackburn
    2019-04-08 22:19

    Read my full review: http://bit.ly/142rpnGMy opinion: Absolutely my favorite out of the series to date. I have said in previous reviews of this author's works that it had a feeling that her writing was on the cusp of ROCKIN, but quite couldn't get over that threshold. With Death of the Demon, she has accomplished this. I must admit that I was on the edge of my seat with this book trying to figure out what was going on and found myself pausing in reflection at the end of this novel. I love when a book can accomplish this because it is pretty rare when it can. Unlike most Nordic Noir novels, this series isn't as character driven. This book could be read as a stand alone.

  • Katy
    2019-04-19 16:23

    Not the best place to start in the series, but an enjoyable continuation. Hanne has just been promoted, and has to investigate the murder of the director of an orphanage. Great seeing the relationships develop, and well plotted crime. Definitely would recommend the series.

  • Robyn Smith
    2019-03-26 20:01

    i found this book too horrible, so didn't finish it.

  • Ian Nisbet
    2019-04-18 22:23

    3rd book in the series and I'm still not sure what I think of them. The lawyering aspects are much reduced this time and that seems to help the story but none of the characters inspire empathy. Lots of guilt, for everybody, police and suspects.

  • Heidi
    2019-04-03 19:15

    After having been a fan of Scandinavian fiction for some time, I was very surprised that I have never before come across a novel by Anne Holt, who is being described as the “godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction” by none other than Jo Nesbo, one of my favourite Scandinavian crime writers. Perhaps it has been the English sounding name which had thrown me – but now that I have discovered Holt’s work, it won’t be the last time I will pick up one of her novels.The book opens with Olav, a troubled twelve-year-old boy, making his entrance into life in a foster home for problem children just outside Oslo. From the first day it becomes obvious that Olav has behavioural problems – and that he carries a deep-seated anger and hatred belying his young years. After an altercation with the foster home’s director, Anne Vestavik, Olav disappears, and Anne is found dead in her study, stabbed in the back with a kitchen knife. It is Hanne Wilhelmsen recently promoted to chief inspector in the Oslo police department, who is being sent to lead the murder investigation. Despite claims that Olav could have something to do with Anne’s death, Hanne is reluctant to believe those rumours – he is, after all, a young boy, surely not capable of such a heinous and cold-blooded crime. On top of the roadblocks in the investigation, Hanne struggles with her new role, being used to doing the detective work herself rather than delegating and leading her team. With very few leads to go on, this case may be one to challenge Hanne’s usually impeccable instincts ….Death of the Demon has the feel of an old-fashioned whodunit. With a small cast of characters, each one flawed in some way, the story slowly reveals clues and peels back the layers of each character’s personality to reveal a possible motive for murder. I have seen Holt’s work being compared to Agatha Christie’s work in some reviews, and in some ways the comparison fits – the focus lying on interpersonal relationships and good old fashioned detective work. With such a small arena, there are few heart-stopping I-never-saw-this-coming moments, though the red herrings in the investigation manage to keep the reader interested to find out whether the gardener indeed did it or not. As with other Scandinavian fiction of the genre, Holt manages to intersperse crime fiction with a satirical look at modern society, where twelve-year-olds are sent into foster care because of unfit home environments.Whilst enjoying reading a well-plotted whodunit, my overall feelings of Holt’s latest work are divided. Firstly, I found it hard to warm to any of the characters (in fact finding the majority of them downright unlikeable), apart from Billie T, who was like a breath of fresh air in the stiflingly dark atmosphere of the story. And whilst the dark atmosphere of the Scandinavian noir genre is the one thing that usually appeals to me, in this case it weighed me down a little. Well plotted and expertly crafted – tick. Enjoyable – I’m not so sure. There are scenes, such as Olav sitting in a stranger’s house and peeling wallpaper of the wall, which are downright depressing and left some very disturbing images in my mind. However, with the solid foundation of a well-crafted plot, the novel should appeal to Scandinavian crime fiction fans. I am intrigued by Holt’s writing, and will make sure to look up some of her other work.Thank you to the Reading Room and the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Megan
    2019-04-06 20:00

    ReadingDeath of the Demon, it’s easy to get the idea that Holt doesn’t like her main character that much. For one thing—as in the previous books—Hanne Wilhelmsen is only one of a number of characters from whole point of view we see the action. Yes, she is at least marginally the central character, but in having her appearances limited, we do not get to know her as well as we should. What we do know is this: Hanne has recently been promoted to Chief Inspector. But as she rises in rank, she seems to be even more frightened of being outed than before. She and her Partner, Cecilie Vibe, have been together since the two were in college, yet Cecilie has never met Hanne’s family. The only one—outside their inner circle of friends—who knows that they are a couple is Billy T., Hanne’s go-to detective. And oddly, Hanne seems to be more than ordinarily drawn to Billy T. What’s worse, because Hanne is unable to totally accept herself as homosexual, she is adamantly against Cecilie’s wish to have children, and for a reason that is hard not to find homophobic. “If I can’t quite dare to accept myself, then it’s bloody unfair to make life difficult for a child.” Then she adds, “I truly believe that a child should come into being through a mother and a father loving each other.” Well!The plot revolves around the stabbing murder of the director of a foster home. Was it one of her underlings, who has deceived her in some way? Was it one of the children? Or maybe the man she was having an affair with? The plot is a good one, but ironically, Hanne fails to solve it, just as she fails to solve her own problems with Cecilie. As always, Holt’s writing is very good, as is the professional editing from Scribner. But I will have to rate this one lower than the first two—and the 8th. Holt’s meandering point of view becomes annoying, especially since the first 32 pages are taken up with a prologue, much of which comes from the first-person, stream-of-consciousness point of view of the mother of one of the residents of the foster home. In fact, this woman’s narration continues intermittently throughout the book, despite the fact that she is only an incidental character. My suspicion is that she gets so much print because of Holt’s sib-theme of abuse inside foster care facilities. This is an important theme, of course, but it could have been done better and more artistically. I’ll have to give this one a simple 3 rating—no more and not much less. With Holt’s penchant for delving too deeply into other characters, she seems to be writing primarily for a non-lesbian audience. Yet she has another series featuring protagonists that are not lesbian, so I wonder what the point is. Even if there is no point, and that it is simply Holt’s style to involve as many characters as possible in her plot, the book suffers from lack of focus. Again: 3.Note: I read the first printing of the Scribner edition of this book. Another Note: See my full reviews of over 200 other Lesbian Mystery novels at http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...

  • Ellen Keim
    2019-03-20 00:12

    It's funny: I hated the only other Anne Holt book I'd read (1222), but I loved this one. The main character, Hanne Wilhelmsen, had potential as a character in 1222, but she was far too passive (maybe because she spent the whole book in a wheelchair!). But here she is much more fully fleshed out, plus, unlike in 1222, she is working with a team of detectives (she's now a Chief Inspector) and there's some real investigative work going on.I've read books with lesbian main characters in them before, but they often leave me feeling alienated (which may be from a form of prejudice, I don't know). But I could really relate to Hanne and her partner, Cecile. Their relationship seemed much more realistic and complex than those of other fictional lesbian couples I've been introduced to before. I also thought the author did a great job of painting the character of Olav, the 12-year-old boy who is so disturbed that he is taken away from his mother and sent to live in a foster home, and also of his mother and their symbiotic but ambivalent feelings toward each other. Olav is totally unlikable, perhaps even evil, but in the author's hands, you almost understand and even empathize with him by the end of the novel.The book also presents an interesting look into the child welfare system in Norway and makes the foster home Olav is sent to seem like a real place with believable characters (both the children and the staff) and true-to-life interactions among them. (I was surprised that boys and girls were housed together and that the children were of such varying ages, but it did make it seem more like a real family atmosphere than if they had been segregated.)But most of all I liked that the mystery was well-thought out and not immediately solvable. I hate it when I can figure out "whodunit" too early. And in fact I was kept guessing until the very end. Personally I would recommend starting with this book if you want to read Anne Holt. I think I will try her other books now, but I don't know if she can top this one.

  • Stacia
    2019-04-17 20:06

    This, the third book in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series, tells the interlocking stories of the inhabitants of a foster home in Norway. A central figure is Olav, the young and out-of-control boy whose disappearance fuels speculation that he has committed the horrible murder of the foster home’s director. But as Hanne and her detectives investigate further, they discover a web of lies: secret lovers, embezzlement, larceny. With so many suspects, it’s difficult to determine who is guilty of what.Hanne continues to be a brilliant detective but a poor manager, not only of her detectives but of her own life. She remains a closeted lesbian, which causes friction with her partner and with her colleagues—who aren’t quite sure why she’s so secretive about her private life—and which shapes her view of motherhood (itself a central concept in the novel).As always, Holt shifts POV between characters, giving each a unique voice and adding depth to their personalities. Her ability to layer the procedural details of the investigation with the emotional responses of the characters makes this a series to follow.This ARC was provided by Scribner via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Filippo Bossolino
    2019-04-04 20:19

    Giunta al terzo "episodio" con protagonista Hanne Wilhelmsen, Anne Holt abbandona l'azione e i colpi di scena dei lavori precedenti, per addentrarsi maggiormente nei rapporti umani, che coinvolgono la protagonista e la sua compagna, la protagonista e i colleghi di lavoro, la direttrice di una casa famiglia con i ragazzini ospiti, con i colleghi, con la sua famiglia, e non da ultimo il rapporto tra il dodicenne Olav e la madre.In alcuni tratti della lettura consideravo più importante che si appianassero alcune divergenze tra i personaggi, che non la soluzione del caso. Caso comunque dal finale spiazzante, come si conviene alla tradizione noir scandinava

  • Kate
    2019-04-15 00:03

    A decent Scandinavian crime novel. Both main storylines, one the murder of the director of a children's home, the other following a misfit boy who runs away from the home, interconnect, and both are intriguing. Characters are well developed and storylines build well. Little bit to much 'revealing' that characters have discovered things throughout, while leaving audience in the dark, only for it all to be revealed at the end. It felt a bit like artificial suspense. Liked the twist at the end though. Worth a read for crime fans.

  • False
    2019-04-07 20:09

    Not one of the better ones. A social worker is murdered. Is it the child? a co-worker? her husband? her lover? another co-worker? By the time you arrive at the solution you could care less. You're praying to hit the final page. I've yet to hit the book where Hanne Wilhelmsen lands in a wheelchair.

  • Ice Bear
    2019-03-29 18:25

    We continue the complex, almost secretive life of Detective Wilhelmsen with another attempt at a twist in the tale, but I think we saw this one a mile away.

  • Costea Constantin
    2019-04-15 00:25

    Seria: Hanne Wilhelmsen #3by Anne HoltMOARTEA DEMONULUIOriginal: Demonens Død [Death of the Demon] (1995)Traducerea: IVONA BERCEANUAnul apariției: 2016Editura: TREINumăr pagini: 304Prezentare:Într-un orfelinat din Oslo, un băiat în vârstă de doisprezece ani, pe nume Olav, provoacă haos. Agnes Vestavik, directoarea severă a instituției, vede ceva înspăimântator în ochii băiatului: o ură neostoită. Când Vestavik este găsită moartă în biroul său, înjunghiată în spate cu un banal cuțit de bucătărie, iar Olav e de negăsit, cazul ajunge în mâinile rebelei polițiste Hanne Wilhelmsen, recent promovată în funcția de inspector-sef în cadrul Poliției din Oslo. Este Olav un criminal sau doar o victimă? Și, pentru a rezolva acest caz, va putea Hanne să învețe să aibă încredere în ceilalți, nu doar în propriile instincte?„Hanne Wilhelmsen e un Sherlock Holmes modern.” - Booklist„E o serie care cere să fie citită, şi cu cât mai repede, cu atât mai bine.” – Bookreporter„Dacă vreți să vă familiarizați cu genul crime scandinav, romanul lui Anne Holt e ghidul perfect.” - Kirkus Reviews

  • Pan Alchemist
    2019-03-26 22:20

    I have such mixed feelings about this book. 1) The crime aspect was interesting. I appreciated the ending - a lot!However, 2) The writing/translation is just not so good. There are places where I get so confused, especially with one gender pronoun referring to two characters, and I am not sure which one. Also, some descriptions just lose all their power with convoluted and ambiguous wording. Perhaps some things are lost in translation?and 3) The adult characters sometimes behave like kindergarteners. Tantrums and anger outbursts occur quite often - and they seem jarring and a contradiction to the professional character that is portrayed the rest of the time. I have one more of these books to go, and then I am going to call it quits. I don't enjoy analysing incorrect grammar when reading for fun - I have enough of that at work.

  • Cirrus Minor
    2019-04-10 00:19

    Es ist merkwürdig, dass ich immer noch nicht so ganz grün mit den Geschichten um Hanne werde. Ich weiß gar nicht, wie ich es beschreiben soll, aber zwischendurch verwendet die Autorin einfach so merkwürdige Formulierungen, dass ich völlig aus dem Lesefluss komme und mich frage, ob jetzt jemand anderes schreibt. Aber vermutlich ist das nur mein persönliches Empfinden.Inhaltlich hat mich das einzige Kind sehr berührt und teilweise schockiert. Auch die Möglichkeit zum Miträtseln ist gegeben und bietet zwar keinen überraschenden Täter, aber einen überraschenden Ausgang. Außerdem ist es natürlich schön, Hanne, Cecilie und das Team wieder etwas näher kennenzulernen.

  • Rog Harrison
    2019-03-23 19:15

    I am enjoying this series set in Norway though I do find the methods of the Norwegian police puzzling. Some of it goes straight over my head (maybe it's lost in the translation) but what is so funny about being called Billy Torvald?This is a compelling book in which Chief Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen works out who must be the killer of the director of a children's home and when arrested the person pleads guilty. However in a chilling twist the reader discovers that although admitting the crime the person arrested did not do it.There are many bizarre characters (including the police officers!) and the reader has to suspend disbelief but if you go with the flow this is a good read.

  • Collezionedistorie
    2019-04-11 17:58

    Non mi ha soddisfatta completamente. La casa famiglia e i suoi abitanti, in primis il grasso e impulsivo Olav così ben descritto dalla sua terrorizzata madre, mi avevano coinvolta parecchio: sarà che il genere "adolescenti problematici" mi piace sempre. Ciò che non ho apprezzato molto è invece l'indagine, e a dire il vero neanche la conclusione... Per Olav mi aspettavo, dopo tante descrizioni, qualche sviluppo almeno possibile per il futuro; in più la "colpevole" sul finale non mi è sembrata azzeccata. I temi c'erano tutti, ma credo avrebbero potuto essere sviluppati in modo più coinvolgente!

  • Carole Landry
    2019-04-04 22:11

    Her books just get better and better. The first in the series, The Blind Goddess, was interesting enough to make me want to read the second, Blessed are Those Who Thrist, which had me hooked. And now her third, Death to the Demon, was masterful. Mysteries abound in a foster home for young delinquents.

  • Sherry
    2019-04-08 22:28

    Another enjoyable book by this author. A

  • Miki Jacobs
    2019-03-25 17:13

    The third in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. This time she and her team investigate the murder of the director of a children’s foster home. Plenty os twist, turns and red herrings.