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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 (38)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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 listened to this and there's a lot to like. It is set in a snowbound hotel to which the passengers of a train are transferred after a crash in a storm on the Oslo-Bergen trainline. Which makes it certainly unusual, if nothing else. It also turns out to be the 8th in a series, of which this is the first I've read, but I certainly didn't feel I'd missed anything not having read the earlier books. The central character is Hanna Willemsen, and she narrates this. She's an ex police officer who was shot in the back and is now paralysed from the waist down. She's also rather grumpy, anti social, and has a lesbian muslim lover. Which, again, is somewhat unusual. She's also quite aware that she's grumpy, antisocial and inclined to be brusk, rude and less than communicative, which at least gives her an air of humanity that the is more appealing than the veneers she presents to the world is. The cast of characters is equally varied, with some religious people, some divisive characters, a runaway, families, a murderer, the works, really. There is also an additional carriage with police escort and lots of speculation. It's inventive, varied, neatly done and I really liked the way each chapter is prefaced with the description of the Beaufort scale, from calm to hurricane. It's an effective mystery and it works really well. ( )
  Helenliz | Oct 6, 2015 |
Quite enjoyable. Unusual central character. Was it meant to be Osama Bin Laden at the end? Interesting read but won't rush to read anymore. ( )
  infjsarah | Sep 5, 2015 |
Retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is on the train riding to see a specialist about the paralysis that keeps her wheelchair bound when the train derails. One thousand two hundred and twenty two meters above sea level the survivors are evacuated to nearby, centuries old hotel. Despite the ever-increasing blizzard outside the passengers have shelter, warmth and an abundance of food. Everything one could ask for under the circumstances. Until, the next morning, one of them is discovered dead. With the help of a height challenged doctor Hanne reluctantly starts an investigation into the murder. Soon enough another body is found, as is the existence of a mysterious traveler residing on the top floor of the hotel, surrounded by armed guards. The book has been called a locked room mystery and Hanne herself compares her situation to “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie although quickly dismissing the thought since Ms. Christie’s novel “doesn’t exactly have a happy ending”.

I liked Hanne Wilhelmsen. She is an unusual character. She is smart, resourceful, anti-social, sharp tongued and stubborn. I also enjoyed the book, and found the comparisons to Ms. Christie, if they were intended as compliments, to be well deserved. It was fun to read a crime story that is solved through resourcefulness, intelligence, observation and deduction. If you decide to read this book – read carefully! Clues are dropped constantly and this reader missed the significance of them all. Despite the fact that I greatly enjoyed this book, it is #8 in a series (there was absolutely no problem in keeping up with characters and story), so I have not decided if I will be picking up another.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Okay, let me begin at the beginning. I picked up this book because so many folks were raving about this 'Scandinavian Phenomena'. I had huge expectations.

This book reads like a whodunit play: a little Agatha Christie, a little Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a little Murder She Wrote. We find our protagonist, Hanne, wheelchair bound on a train. Within the opening pages, the train suffers and accident, and the occupants are forced to spend a protracted period of time snowbound in a hotel in the middle of nowhere.

As time elapses, two murders, as well as a strange death, occur. That's the plot in a nutshell.

Here's what I liked: I got to see things through a Scandinavian's eyes, including what others think of America from an unbiased point of view.. I learned something about their culture and phonetics. It wasn't terrible. Magnus, the little-person physician was keen.

Here's what I didn't care for: Hanne is a friggin' bitchy ice queen who makes Martha Stewart look like Mother Teresa. The story was hard to follow. I'm sure there were some 'red herring' moments, but I couldn't parse the damn things out to save my life. I felt like the plot was beyond loose, and I felt unfulfilled with the ending, especially with the 'reveal' of the 'secret' that had been rumored throughout the book.

For my money? I don't get the draw. I can't really recommend this one, but I will try another of her works, since I have a first English printing/edition of "What is Mine" in the hoard, somewhere. Perhaps that one will bring me into the fold. Perhaps... ( )
  HeathDAlberts | Sep 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (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 editionsconfirmed
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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