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1222 by Anne Holt

1222 (2007)

by Anne Holt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hanne Wilhelmsen (8)

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English (46)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  All (52)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Excellent locked room murder mystery. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jan 24, 2017 |
Locked room mystery suspense-filled all through, until weak and far-fetched ending. ( )
  janerawoof | Jan 22, 2017 |
When the seventh Hanne Wilhelmsen novel left us on a cliff, hanging on for dear life, we could only hope there would be another in the series. The Anne Holt has fulfilled our hopes with 1222, a marvelous mystery that is quite a departure for Hanne and those of us who admire this taciturn, reclusive, and emotionally distant detective.

Hanne has recovered as far as she is able from her wounds inflicted at the end of Beyond the Truth. She is in a wheelchair, losing use of her legs thanks to a bullet in her lower back that severed her spinal cord. No longer a police officer, she works from home as a consultant. Her partner and she have a three year old child and other than lingering pain and difficulty breathing from her spinal injury, she is content and has adapted to her new life. She’s on a train to Bergen to see a specialist about her difficulty breathing when the train is derailed entering a tunnel, just a short distance from a winter resort hotel and railway station 1222 meters above sea level. She’s injured, as are the other 269 people who are evacuated to the hotel and the several cabins that surround it as a hurricane force blizzard descends on them, isolating them from the rest of Norway.

There’s plenty of mystery to pique our interest. First there is the heavily guarded extra coach that was at the end of the train. Some think a member of the royal family might have been on the train, or perhaps a celebrity. Hanne thinks the answer may be more sinister. Then there are the combustible interpersonal dynamics, with a white nationalist propagandist sowing suspicion about the Middle Eastern couple Hanne believes are Kurds–Kurds with weapons.

Then there is the annoying Cato Hammer who wants them all to get along, ostentatiously genial and benign. Obviously, he was the first victim, found the next morning nearly buried in snow, a bullet through his brain. The hotel owner, a mountain man who was a lawyer for his day job, and a littler person who is a doctor join with Hanne to make most of the decisions, including the decision to cover up the murder until the police can arrive, concerned that investigation might induce more murders.

Well, that didn’t work, A colleague of the murdered religious leader tries to tell Hanne who he suspects of the murder, and of course, he is soon murdered before that happens. Now it’s out of the bag and the struggle is to keep the people who are stranded from panicking and resorting to misguided violence and vigilantism while trying to solve the murder without any of the usual assets of investigation.

In addition, the weather itself is an opponent, not just isolating them from the police and officialdom but from people in the other buildings. The constant buffeting of the snow, smashing through windows and even the doors, the freezing and murderous cold, the screaming wind, all contribute to a sense of menace and danger.

Hanne has to rely on “the little grey cells” and solve the case using psychology. Yes! At its core, 1222 is an homage to Agatha Christie. They are cut off, dying one by one as in And Then There Were None. Hanne herself refers to using her little grey cells. In true Christie fashion, the mystery is solved by psychology, clever observation, and a deep understanding and sympathy for human nature.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It is more interior than others in the series. Hanne does not have access to autopsy and crime scene reports. There is no analysis, no questioning of all the witnesses, no canvassing, no series of interviews to learn alibis or test them. There is only observation and conversation and thinking, using those little grey cells to make connections from a word here or there. The observation of small incongruities is vital and they add up to a fair solution, even though 90% of the world would not make those connections. It’s another successful edition in a strong series.

http://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/1222-by-anne-holt/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Dec 31, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (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.

» Add other authors (9 possible)

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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