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The Caveman by Jorn Lier Horst
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524225,591 (3.46)4



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The first book I read in this series was book Ordeal (book 10), so it was quite natural for me to read the previous book in the series since reading in opposite order is my thing apparently. Also, I wanted to know more about Line and her relationship with the FBI agent and more about the house that she had bought in book 10. So, reading this book felt like the right thing while I wait for book 11 to be translated into Swedish.

And, as with the previous book was this book just as entertaining to read (or in this case listening to at work and reading at home). The story is interesting, with the finding of both the dead man in the house and the dead man in a forest clearing. Could these cases have something in common? But, the old man in the house dead a natural death ...or did he? The questions are many, and the book doesn't give away any answer too soon and I enjoyed listening/reading the book as the everything slowly unraveled.

I'm quite fond of this series, despite having only read two books. I especially like that The Caveman doesn't only focus on William Wisting, but also follow his daughter Line as she is writing about the dead man in the house. I like this father & daughter "team".

This book was especially interesting with FBI traveling to Norway since there seems to be an American serial killer loose in Norway. A killer that has been hiding out for decades and who hasn't stopped killing. It felt like a fresh idea, and I quite enjoyed reading about the Norwegian police working with FBI to track down a serial killer.

The Caveman was a good book and I look forward to reading the rest book the books in the series! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
THE CAVEMAN opens with the discovery of Viggo Hansen’s body in his Norwegian home. Although it seems the man died of natural causes, so police involvement is minimal, the fact that the body lay undiscovered for four months troubles Inspector William Wisting who was a neighbour of Hansen’s. The case also fascinates Wisting’s daughter Line, a journalist. She receives permission to be reassigned from the news desk to her publication’s magazine section so she can research and write a human interest story about how a man could be dead in his home for so long with no one noticing. Soon another body is found though in different circumstances. This one seems to have links to a disturbing American case and Wisting and his team are soon joined by their own federal police as well as an American policeman and FBI agents.

For fans of procedural novels THE CAVEMAN is a near-perfect example. Indeed it’s actually two for the price of one as we see a methodical police investigation unfold and in parallel we also see how a piece of investigative journalism comes together. I liked the way the two kinds of investigations were juxtaposed, showing their similarities and differences. Most notably the novel shows that both professions have a lot more dead ends and boring-but-necessary process of elimination type activities than popular TV dramas might suggest.

I have to say though I thought the social commentary in this novel was a bit heavy handed, especially when I compare it to the book’s most recent predecessor, THE HUNTING DOGS which I thought handled an interesting theme with a beautifully light touch. Here the constant repetition of Hansen’s assumed loneliness and people tut-tutting about social breakdown and lack of community started to grate. I got the point right at the start when Line made the story pitch to her boss so was a little bored by the time every neighbour and old school chum had made their feelings on the subject known.

Story-wise the book is solidly entertaining though, for me, a bit more predictable than I like. I won’t give it away, in case you’re not quite as jaded as I am when it comes to crime fiction plotting, but a ‘twist’ towards the end did elicit a “wish I’d had a bet on that happening” kind of groan.

It’s probably unfair of me to compare this book to Horst’s previous novel, which was one of my favourite reads for 2015. Not every book can capture a reader’s heart and even though I don’t think it’s Horst’s best, THE CAVEMAN is still a cut above the average crime novel. The way that Wisting and his profession share centre stage with his daughter and hers adds a unique dimension to the story and I did enjoy the depiction of the Norwegian police dealing with their American counterparts.
  bsquaredinoz | May 18, 2016 |
[Dregs] by Jorn Lier Horst (2010, T 2011)
[Closed for Winter] by Jorn Lier Horst (2011, T 2013)
[The Hunting Dogs] by Jorn Lier Horst (2012, T 2014)
[The Caveman] by Jorn Lier Horst (2013, T 2015)

These are four out of the 8 crime novels translated into English, written by Norwegian author Horst, who himself had become a “Head of Investigations” in the law enforcement field before deciding to write full-time.

Horst writes about William Wisting, Chief Inspector in the Criminal Investigations Department of the Larvik Police. The author also writes about Wisting’s daughter Line, an investigative reporter based in Oslo; and the two story lines reliably connect in each book. Wisting reminds me of Wallander without the melancholy.

Horst’s books are excellent police procedurals---thoughtful, intelligent, detailed cerebral stuff without being beefed up throughout with unnecessary gun-waving and thriller bits. Granted, at least two of these books end with a big action splash, which seems over the top in keeping with the rest of the book, but one can appreciate that the detectives solve it just before (and then it’s a race to get to the villain before he kills again). I would speculate that Horst’s own experience keeps his storytelling firmly planted in a more realistic realm. I'm looking forward to the next translation coming out sometime this year. ( )
  avaland | Jan 5, 2016 |
A man is found dead in front of his tv set. He has been dead 4 months, and no one missed him, even though he lived almost across the street from police inspector Wisting, our protagonist. Inspector Wisting's daughter, a journalist, decides to do a human interest story on the dead man's plight, using him as an example of the alienation and lack of connectiveness suffered by modern man.

Initially it was thought that the man died a natural death. However, as events unfold, and other bodies are discovered, it becomes apparent that a murderer may be on the loose.

I found this to be rather lackluster Scandicrime, despite its interesting premise and initial good start.

2 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Nov 14, 2015 |
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