March 16

Ordeal – Jorn Lier Horst

OrdealFrank Mandt died after a fall down his basement steps, the same basement that holds a locked safe bolted to the floor. His granddaughter, Sofie Lund, inherits the house but wants nothing to do with his money. She believes the old man let her mother die in jail and is bitterly resentful.

Line Wisting’s journalist instinct leads her into friendship with Sofie, and is with her when the safe is opened. What they discover unlocks another case and leads Chief Inspector William Wisting on a trail of murder and narcotics to an ordeal that will eventually separate the innocent from the damned.


Thanks to Keara at Sandstone Press for my review copy

My introduction to  the books of Jorn Lier Horst and his protagonist, Chief Inspector William Wisting, was made so much easier by the GENIUS inclusion of a 2 page summary of the character and the key players in his life. Can we start a campaign to have this approach adopted in all books where we have recurring characters?  So handy for new readers and likely to be something of a Godsend for forgetful readers (and I include myself in this category).

On reading Jorn Lier Horst’s author biography I learned that he was a former policeman who rose to a head of Investigations role – this explains why Ordeal is one of the best police procedurals I have ever read. Horst has spun an absorbing story around a very methodical and thorough police investigation.  William Wisting is one of the most believable characters I have encountered and Horst pulls us through the story with what appears to be effortless ease. Page after page was turned long into the night as I found I just wanted to keep reading.

Wistling has been investigating the disappearance of Jens Hummel but progress has been slow and after 6 months there have been no sightings of the missing man and no tangible clues as to where he may have gone. Pressure is being applied by the police hierarchy who are unhappy with the lack of progress. Yet at the start of Ordeal a random comment overheard in a bar may just provide Wisting with his first real lead.

Meanwhile Wisting’s daughter (Line Wisting) is into the last few weeks of her pregnancy and has moved back into her hometown, leaving her promising journalistic career behind, and is preparing for the arrival of her baby. She has moved into a new home, the former resident having passed away, and is redecorating and renovating – with a little help from her father. Line encounters an old school friend who has also moved home – a single mum who has also moved into a home where the former occupant passed away.  However, Line’s friend (Sophie) has moved into her grandfather’s house, her inheritance following the old man’s death.

Sophie knows her grandfather died after falling down the stairs into the cellar – she is not comfortable spending any time in this part of the house. However, in the cellar is a large safe which has been securely bolted to the floor. The safe forms part of Sophie’s inheritance but nobody can find the key.  As the safe was too large to remove it has remained in the house (untouched) for Sophie to deal with…should she choose to do so.  With some encouragement from Line, Sophie decides to have a locksmith open the safe – the contents come as something of a shock to the two women and will soon have Wisting becoming involved as there is ‘overlap’ with his missing person investigation.

I am reluctant to share too much more detail about Ordeal as it really is a book that I would encourage you to read for yourself. Beautifully told, engaging and a damn fine crime story which does not need to resort to extreme over-the-top action sequences to keep the reader’s attention.

Before I had even finished Ordeal I had already nipped online to find out if there were any other books available in the series – there were (and purchases took place). Anticipation is already running high for my next journey into the world of Chief Inspector Wisting.


Ordeal was translated into English by Anne Bruce – she has done a phenomenal job, this story just flows with beautiful imagery and is one of the most readable novels I have read for some time. Horst’s ability to paint a world into my imagination made reading Ordeal an absolute joy.

Ordeal Blog Tour twitter [183486]



Ordeal is published on 17 March by Standstone Press and can be ordered here:

Tags: , , ,
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

Posted March 16, 2016 by Gordon in category "Blog Tours