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1222 by Anne Holt
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1222 (2007)

by Anne Holt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hanne Wilhelmsen (8)

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English (43)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  English (49)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
The plot sounded so good... an accident derailing a train full of passengers high in the mountains of Norway during a snowstorm are forced to take refuge in a hotel as the storm worsens, and then a murder occurs. It sounded like a throwback to an old Agatha Christie isolated English Manor type of murder mystery filled with a cast of unusual characters. In this case the characters include a right-wing TV personality trying to stir things up, priests and a Muslim couple, a goth, a runaway teen boy, some doctors on their way to a conference, including one of small stature, and our sleuth, a former police officer now retired after having been shot in the spine and paralyzed from the waist down. There is also a further mystery of an extra train cloaked in secrecy with armed guards, sparking rumours of Royalty.

I found that Hanne, our sleuth, unlikeable, which was a problem right off the bat for me. I kept hoping that her personality would improve, and while I did see some redeeming things about her by the end, overall she just came across as rude and anti-social to a degree that was unnecessary. People would try to be friendly, stuck as they all were in this isolated hotel, albeit with plenty of food and drink, and yet she would turn her nose up at anyone trying to converse with her. She didn't want to be bothered with anyone or anything, not even the murder, brushing off pleas for help until she seemingly had no choice but to get involved.

The pace was quick, but overall there was little of the enjoyment I would get from reading Christie's Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot. I didn't even find the mystery to be that mysterious or difficult to solve, and the ending was so unsatisfactory that I found myself surprised when there were no more pages to read. It just didn't feel ended despite the solving of the crimes. There were a few parts that were interesting, but overall I was not impressed and I doubt I would bother reading any more of the books in the series, or anything else by this writer. ( )
  LongDogMom | Nov 18, 2016 |
A train derailment in the mountains of Norway. An assembly of guests trapped in a nearby hotel as a blizzard rages. A guest who turns up dead the next morning. And more deaths to follow...

Doesn't this sound exciting? Not if you're Hanne Wilhelmsen, apparently. Wilhelmsen is a retired police officer who is travelling to see a specialist about her spinal injury: she was shot on duty and is now paralyzed below the waist. Her expertise means that some people expect her to solve the murder, but she is reluctant to do so, mainly because it is "too easy", it's a job for the actual police anyway, and besides, she'd have to deal with PEOPLE (ew).

I can understand not wanting to get involved in police work and can certainly understand not wanting to deal with people any more than necessary, but having to live inside Wilhelmsen's cranky head for an entire book would turn the most cynical reader into Pollyanna. It's especially irritating to be subjected to repetitive side remarks reminding the reader of how Wilhelmsen came to be in a wheelchair and how she's retired now and she hates everybody. And if she doesn't care whodunnit, then the reader is hard pressed to muster up the motivation too. I very nearly returned this to the library unfinished, but I ended up finishing. I did not find the solution straightforward, which probably makes me an idiot in Wilhelmsen's book, and I didn't feel it was worth reading to the end for. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Jul 5, 2016 |
A 'cozy' mystery this is not. As a Norwegian winter hurricane howls outside the hotel where the passengers of a derailed train await rescue, the body count goes up...and up. Meanwhile, rumors fly about the extra carriage on the train and it's secretive passengers. Why are they isolated behind armed guards on the top floor of the hotel and is that mystery connected to the unexplained deaths? This installment of the Hanne Wilhelmsen mystery series places the coldly aloof detective right in the eye of the storm, so to speak. Comparisons to Agatha Christy's And Then There Were None come to mind and that title is even referred to in this book.

This review is for the English translation, which lacks flow and misses the mark a number of times. Some instances may have been British spelling and usage differences (sceptical, train driver) unfamiliar to an American reader like me. For example, "I'm used to good, homely food." Another one, "It was hard to believe this shower had just been told that yet another person had been murdered." Was 'party' the word the translator was looking for and since a 'shower' can mean a type of party, that word was used instead? In one flashback Hanne referred to the unnamed American President of 2005 as 'she'. All I can imagine is that it should have been Secretary of State (Rice).

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Passengers on a train (the 1222) traveling from Oslo to Bergen must spend several days in a hotel when their train is brought to a halt in a derailment caused by a blizzard of tremendous proportions. When a man is killed, Hanne Wilhelmsen, a retired and disabled police officer, begins to investigate as it is going to be quite awhile before police can make their way to the scene. Hanne is not the most likable of sleuths. She prefers to be alone, but she has keen observation skills. Since she is confined to a wheelchair, she must rely on others to provide information about other areas of the hotel. She must find persons whom she can trust to provide that information. I listened to the audio version of the book, and the reader's voice fit the quietness of Hanne's personality. Hanne, of course, was the narrator. The pacing of the novel was too slow in places, making the book seem unnecessarily long. A bit of mystery remains at the end as "what Hanne saw" was not completely clarified to the reader/listener. A lot is going on in the novel, and some of the things which seemed important at the beginning ultimately had little to do with the mystery itself. Still it was an interesting novel, but perhaps not the best Norwegian mystery. Readers who enjoy Agatha Christie's "locked room" puzzles will probably want to read this one, although it does have a darker tone, as most Scandinavian mysteries do. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jun 24, 2016 |
I enjoyed this more than I expected, given the blurb and the hype. I liked the trapped in nature of the story, with everyone from a train crash holed up in the hotel while a storm blows out... I have to admit, I didn't understand why it went from 269 to 196 in Hanne's count. And the whole icicle thing seemed a little contrived (partly cos I wanted it to be the knitting lady) ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
It might lack the myriad twists and turns of Christie at her best, but 1222 is a splendidly chilling read this icy December.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Holtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Manninen, SannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is a little bit serious and a lot of fun, Iohanne.
That's why it's my first little book for you.
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As it was only the train driver who died, you couldn't call it a disaster.
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Book description
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.

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Follows the experiences of travelers who are stranded by a blizzard in a decrepit hotel where one of their number begins killing off the rest.

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