Loner – Book Review

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Which is worse, trying to catch a cunning killer leaving decapitated women in the woods, or trying to tame an unconventional forensic psychiatrist that seems determined to go his own way? 

The Oslo autumn is creeping in with its cold spells and Homicide Detective Julia Ryland is feeling pretty content with her team of three, but when the FBI behavioural analyst, Alexander Smith, is thrust upon her, the crisp autumn air doesn’t feel as refreshing anymore. A young Icelander is found dead, an arrow piercing his heart and the extensive list of his former lovers suggests that many long nights are ahead. The murdered lothario suddenly becomes the least of their problems as headless corpses start appearing in the woods, positioned in terrifying ways and on their bodies they find messages that don’t seem to have any meaning at all. 

My Favourite Quotes:

“The sodden streets reflect the faint glow of the street lamps, and the wind gently murmurs a steady chant.”

“Sticking out from the side is a white athletic sock, only a few inches away from making the leap for freedom before Alexander spots it and plunges it back into the darkness.”

“Correct, I am the kooky pizza man. No relation to the crazy cat lady.” (His pizza order is: pepperoni, anchovies and bananas!)

“Maybe he has also left by now, she thinks to herself, though the feeling swirling in her stomach doesn’t agree.”

“Before she knows it, she’s powerless, drifting off to dreams in the arms of a man completely bereft of remorse.”

My Thoughts:

This novel was referred to as Nordic Noir which up until the present, I had never heard of before. After a quick google search I followed along to it’s Wiki page to find this defintion:

“Nordic noir, also known as Scandinavian noir or Scandi noir, is a genre of crime fiction written from a police point of view. The language is plain and deliberately avoids metaphor, the settings often have bleak landscapes, and the mood is dark and morally complex. The genre depicts a tension between the apparently still and bland social surface in the Nordic countries, and the murder, misogyny, rape, and racism it depicts as lying underneath. It contrasts with the whodunit style such as the English country house murder mystery. Frequently featuring a female protagonist, the popularity of the genre has extended to film and television, such as The Killing and its American adaptation, Marcella, and The Bridge and its French-British and American adaptations.”

Well all I can say after picking up this novel and not being able to put it down, is that I am A BIG FAN of Nordic Noir and of course the author herself!

Beyond all the elements within the definition, I felt the writing was fresh and I loved how humour was peppered throughout to balance out the bleak nature of the land as well as the crimes being committed.

Usually within a police procedural novel, I find a lack of connection with the characters themselves, but that was not the case with this book. There were some moments especially between two of the characters: Eric and Hercules which literally made me chuckle.

I felt myself completely enveloped within the story and therefore time just flew by as I read the book from beginning to end (even forgetting I had let the dog outside until a bark brought me back from the suspense binding me to the pages)!

I look forward to the next book in the Oslo Mysteries!

I heart Loner this much:


You can find about more about Hildur Sif Thorarensen from her blog, you can check out her Facebook page as well as purchase the book from Amazon!

***Copy received from author in exchange for an honest review***


2 thoughts on “Loner – Book Review

  1. I’ve never actually picked up Nordic Noir, because “bleak” isn’t really what I’m looking for in fiction, but this sounds intriguing. And I *do* like police procedural…hm. I guess if I’m going to tip my toes into the genre this one might be a good pick 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t either. I am from the Prairies in Canada which has weather which in the winter is considered bleak so maybe it just felt more like home to me. I would definitely say give it a go and I look forward to your thoughts!


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