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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 (42)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (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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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.
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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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