Book Review: 1222 – Anne Holt

Title: 1222
Author: Anne Holt
ISBN: 9781451634723
Pages: 352
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Crime Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Hanne Wilhelmsen is a retired police inspector who was paralyzed by a bullet wound. She’s on a train heading north in Norway when the train derails. The passengers are shepherded to a nearby hotel where they have food and lodging, but absolutely no idea when they will be rescued due to a raging storm that could go on for days. When one of the train passengers is murdered, Hanne is forced to get involved to determine what happened to him.

Review:

1222 is a Scandinavian crime fiction novel with an interesting premise: it takes place in a completely closed environment. The train passengers’ basic needs are seen to; they have food, water, shelter, heat, and even beds. As far as accidents in remote locations and bad weather go, they could have done a lot worse. But the fact is, they’re trapped. This makes for some interesting politics. There’s a limited pool of suspects for the murderer, and what’s more, there’s an intense sense of closeness surrounding the book.

Hanne is an interesting character in 1222. Unlike most protagonists in these types of novels, she’s actually very reluctant to get involved. Now that she’s retired, Hanne is used to being left alone, and doesn’t appreciate being dragged into the investigation. She’s very good at what she does, though. She’s incredibly observant and understands people, which is funny considering how difficult she can be. She’s an easy character to like, especially if you like strong characters that have their own distinct personalities.

This is the ninth Hanne Wilhelmsen novel, though it’s very easy to approach 1222 as a standalone. In fact, this is the first book in this series to be translated into English, so unless you’re willing to read these books in their original Norwegian, you don’t have much of a choice in where you start. It’s fine to read this series out of order, as Holt does a wonderful job developing Hanne’s personality quirks for new readers.

If you’re looking for a unique, interesting mystery novel that will keep you hooked from beginning to end, 1222 is a great choice. Holt does a wonderful job throwing in twists and turns, as well as keeping the suspense level high. Though the identity of the murderer isn’t too difficult to guess (though the person’s motives are clever), it’s still a book well worth reading. Here’s hoping more of Anne Holt’s novels are translated into English, as I’d love to get to know Hanne better.

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Comments

  1. I enjoyed this one as well. The first book in the series is also out in engkish translation, and while it is quite different, it was also very good IMHO.

  2. I enjoyed this one as well. The first book in the series is also out in engkish translation, and while it is quite different, it was also very good IMHO.

  3. I have this book waiting for me, and I am unsure about starting it. It’s not my usual genre, and another reviewer told me that she found it difficult to get in to. But your review is heartening, and makes me wonder if I might enjoy this one after all!

  4. I have this book waiting for me, and I am unsure about starting it. It’s not my usual genre, and another reviewer told me that she found it difficult to get in to. But your review is heartening, and makes me wonder if I might enjoy this one after all!

  5. This is totally up my alley, but I had heard that because it right smack in the middle of a series, that you feel plunked down in the middle of things you know nothing about. Weird that they chose not to start at the beginning. Still, it didn’t bother you, so maybe it isn’t so bad.

  6. This is totally up my alley, but I had heard that because it right smack in the middle of a series, that you feel plunked down in the middle of things you know nothing about. Weird that they chose not to start at the beginning. Still, it didn’t bother you, so maybe it isn’t so bad.

  7. I’m glad to see this one got a good rating from you. I liked it a lot. I have since read the first in this series and it was interesting to go from this book to Hanne at an earlier time in her life.

    I liked both of them and will absolutely be watching for more of this series to be translated and released here.

  8. I’m glad to see this one got a good rating from you. I liked it a lot. I have since read the first in this series and it was interesting to go from this book to Hanne at an earlier time in her life.

    I liked both of them and will absolutely be watching for more of this series to be translated and released here.

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