A Twisty Mystery Novel That Makes You Think AND Feel

February 17 2022
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What is it about a well-written detective novel that can make you feel so smart and so clueless at the same time? The thrill of tracking each clue along with the protagonists, making your best guesses at the murderer’s identity, only to discover that you were so wrong, is a distinct and curious pleasure of the genre. And from Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot, Harry Hole to Jane Tennison, Europe offers a host of compelling options to choose from.

Jeppe KØrner and Anette Werner now take their place alongside those famous names; set in Copenhagen, Katrine Engberg’s series is an international phenomenon that’s now breaking out in the U.S. Her latest novel, THE HARBOR, finds the odd-couple detective duo called to investigate the case of a missing teen from a well-to-do family. There are no clues other than a mysterious note with an Oscar Wilde quote . . . and the longer it takes Jeppe and Anette to track the boy down, the more likely their missing person case will turn into a murder investigation.

Immediately we meet a host of possible suspects, but every time you think, “Aha, it’s that guy,” Engberg throws another twist at you. The plot pulls together threads of art, class, and environmentalism in a way that seems almost impossible to unite, and yet comes together in a satisfying conclusion. Perhaps unusual for a suspense novel, Engberg also explores the theme of parenting throughout. There are a host of parent-child connections in this book, each of them challenging in their own way, which layers poignancy under the tension and gives THE HARBOR more “heart” than a typical thriller.

Another charm of Engberg’s series is the way in which Copenhagen itself feels like a character—Jeppe and Anette’s search leads them through all sorts of neighborhoods, from a coastal fortress to the museum district to a supermodern incinerator complex called the CopenHill. (It’s a real thing! They built a park on it and you can actually ski down the roof!) You’ll feel like you’re walking through the streets and dipping into a sauna yourself . . . and you’ll definitely be tempted to put Copenhagen on your travel bucket list.

If you’re looking for a twisty suspense novel to make you think and feel, I recommend THE HARBOR. And don’t miss the previous adventures with Jeppe and Anette, THE TENANT and THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE, for even more of deadly, delightful Denmark . . .

The Harbor
by Katrine Engberg

When fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff disappears in this “masterpiece of Nordic noir” (Booklist, starred review), the police assume he’s simply a runaway—a typically overlooked middle child doing what teenagers do all around the world. But his frantic family is certain that something terrible has happened. After all, what runaway would leave behind a note that reads: He looked around and saw the knife that had stabbed Basil Hallward. He had cleaned it many times, till there was no stain left upon it. It was bright and glistened. As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter’s work, and all that that meant. It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free. It’s not much to go on, but it’s all that detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner have. And with every passing hour, as the odds of finding a missing person grow dimmer, it will have to be enough.

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The Harbor
Katrine Engberg

From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Butterfly House, called “brazen and original” by The Toronto Star, comes a timely, suspenseful, and darkly original new novel about a missing child and the web of lies that has threatened his life—and may prevent him from ever being found.

When fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff disappears, the police assume he’s simply a runaway—a typically overlooked middle child doing what teenagers do all around the world. But his frantic family is certain that something terrible has happened. After all, what runaway would leave behind a note that reads:

He looked around and saw the knife that had stabbed Basil Hallward. He had cleaned it many times, till there was no stain left upon it. It was bright and glistened. As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter’s work, and all that that meant. It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free.

It’s not much to go on but it’s all that detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner have. And with every passing hour, as the odds of finding a missing person grow dimmer, it will have to be enough.

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The Tenant
by Katrine Engberg

An electrifying work of literary suspense from internationally bestselling author Katrine Engberg, The Tenant—heralded as a “stunning debut” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs—follows two Copenhagen police detectives struggling to solve a shocking murder and stop a killer hell-bent on revenge.

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The Tenant
Katrine Engberg

An Indie Next Pick
An O, The Oprah Magazine Titles to Pick Up Now
A People Book Pick
A New York Post Best Book of the Week
A Parade Most Anticipated Books of Early 2020
A Bustle Most Anticipated Books of January 2020
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020
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An electrifying work of literary suspense from internationally bestselling author Katrine Engberg, The Tenant—heralded as a “stunning debut” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs—follows two Copenhagen police detectives struggling to solve a shocking murder and stop a killer hell-bent on revenge.

When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to the case. In short order, they establish a link between the victim, Julie Stender, and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who’s a bit too fond of drink and the host of raucous dinner parties with her artist friends. Esther also turns out to be a budding novelist—and when Julie turns up as a murder victim in the still-unfinished mystery she’s writing, the link between fiction and real life grows both more urgent and more dangerous.

But Esther’s role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit or just another victim, trapped in a twisted game of vengeance? Anette and Jeppe must dig more deeply into the two women’s pasts to discover the identity of the brutal puppet-master pulling the strings.

Evocative and original, The Tenant promises “dark family secrets—and a smorgasbord of surprises” (People).

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The Butterfly House
by Katrine Engberg

Detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner race to solve a series of sordid murders linked to some of the most vulnerable patients in a Danish hospital in this sequel to the #1 international bestseller The Tenant that is “brimming with personality, eccentric characters, and plenty of mystery and intrigue” (Crime by the Book).

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The Butterfly House
Katrine Engberg

“[E]ngaging, inventive…brimming with mystery and intrigue” —Crime by the Book

In this “engrossing piece of Nordic noir” (Booklist, starred review) and sequel to the #1 international bestseller The Tenant, detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner race to solve a series of sordid murders linked to some of the most vulnerable patients in a Danish hospital.

Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing. But in the coronary care unit at one of Copenhagen’s leading medical centers, a nurse fills a syringe with an overdose of heart medication and stealthily enters the room of an older male patient.

Six days earlier, a paperboy on his route in central Copenhagen stumbles upon a macabre find: the naked body of a dead woman, lying in a fountain with arms marked with small incisions. Cause of death? Exsanguination—the draining of all the blood in her body.

Clearly, this is no ordinary murder. Copenhagen investigator Jeppe Kørner, recovering from a painful divorce and in the throes of a new relationship, takes on the case. His partner, Anette Werner, now on maternity leave after an unexpected pregnancy, is restless at home with a demanding newborn and an equally demanding husband. While Jeppe pounds the streets looking for answers, Anette decides to do a little freelance sleuthing. But operating on her own exposes her to dangers she can’t even begin to fathom.

As the investigation ventures into dark corners, it uncovers the ambition and greed that festers beneath the surface of caregiving institutions—all the more shocking for their depravity—and what Jeppe and Anette discover will turn their blood as cold as ice…

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Photo credit: iStock / Premyuda Yospim

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