Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781451634716, 313pp.
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
From Norway’s bestselling female crime writer comes a suspenseful locked-room mystery set in an isolated hotel in Norway, where guests stranded during a monumental snowstorm start turning up dead.
A TRAIN ON ITS WAY to the northern reaches of Norway derails during a massive blizzard, 1,222 meters above sea level. The passengers abandon the train for a nearby hotel, centuries-old and practically empty, except for the staff. With plenty of food and shelter from the storm, the passengers think they are safe, until one of them is found dead the next morning.
With no sign of rescue, and the storm continuing to rage, retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is asked to investigate. Paralysed by a bullet lodged in her spine, Hanne has no desire to get involved. But she is slowly coaxed back into her old habits as her curiosity and natural talent for observation force her to take an interest in the passengers and their secrets. When another body turns up, Hanne realizes that time is running out, and she must act fast before panic takes over. Complicating things is the presence of a mysterious guest, who had travelled in a private rail car at the end of the train and was evacuated first to the top floor of the hotel. No one knows who the guest is, or why armed guards are needed, but it is making everyone uneasy. Hanne has her suspicions, but she keeps them to herself.
Trapped in her wheelchair, trapped by the storm, and now trapped with a killer, Hanne must fit the pieces of the puzzle together before the killer strikes again.
“Hanne is a fantastic lead, dragged back into the case almost by pure instinct, but relishing the chance to get in the game…Holt makes it all work, and Hanne’s dark attitude makes for several surprisingly witty moments.”— The A.V. Club