A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel
Anne Holt, a former minister of justice, is one of Norway's most popular crime writers. Although eighth in the series, 1222 is the first Hanne Wilhelmsen mystery to be translated into English and published in the United States.
The Story: When a train crashes in a remote corner of Norway, the passengers hole up in an old hotel near Finse (the title refers to its location 1,222 meters above sea level) to wait out the worst storm in living memory. Hanne Wilhelmsen, a retired police inspector left wheelchair bound after a gunfight, is injured when a ski pole impales her thigh. Despite needing the aid of her fellow passengers, the prickly and antisocial Hanne, a lesbian who lives with her Muslim lover, does all she can to avoid conversing with the 269 other survivors. But when a clergyman is found murdered, Hanne learns she may need their help to unmask a killer who is picking off the passengers, one by one.
Scribner. 336 pages. $25. ISBN: 9781451634716
Daily Mail (UK) "A variation on the classic locked room mystery, Holt has capitalised on old-fashioned suspense to great effect." Carla McKay
Guardian (UK) "It's easy to see why Anne Holt ... is rapturously received in the rest of Europe. ... [T]he buildup of tension is slow but superbly effective. Holt's vivid depiction of claustrophobia, petty squabbles and mob hysteria is just as convincing as her evocation of the storm outside." Laura Wilson
NY Times Book Review "[A] good old-fashioned murder mystery. Wherever Hanne shows up next, my advice is to follow that wheelchair." Marilyn Stasio
Observer (UK) "Wilhelmsen is as enjoyably antisocial as the best detectives always seem to be. ... It might lack the myriad twists and turns of [Agatha] Christie at her best, but 1222 is a splendidly chilling read." Alison Flood
Washington Post "The fun goes on in the lobby, where peculiar people conspire, and just outside the hotel, where people hide corpses, or try to. I really loved this snowbound book." Carolyn See
It's easy to see why Anne Holt is a household name in northern Europe. Critics had nothing but the highest praise for 1222, describing it as old-fashioned, smart, and just plain fun. Reviewers could not get enough of the cantankerous Hanne, who, though not exactly lovable, is nonetheless impossible to resist. They favorably compared the novel to Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None, considered one of the best-selling books of all time. For fans of Scandinavian mysteries and traditional whodunits, 1222 is an obvious choice. Readers will also be pleased to know that plans to publish earlier books in the series are underway.