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The Tenant by Katrine Engberg

The Tenant (edition 2020)

by Katrine Engberg (Author)

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3514497,724 (3.66)None
"When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment, with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to the case. In short order, they establish a link between the victim, Julie Stender, and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who's a bit too fond of drink and the host of raucous dinner parties with her artist friends. Esther also turns out to be a budding novelist-and when Julie turns up as a murder victim in the still-unfinished mystery she's writing, the link between fiction and real life grows both more urgent and more dangerous. But Esther's role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit-or just another victim, trapped in a twisted game of vengeance? Anette and Jeppe must dig more deeply into the two women's pasts to discover the identity of the brutal puppet-master pulling the strings in this electrifying literary thriller. Hailed as "inconceivably thrilling" (Fyens Stiftstidende, Denmark), The Tenant is a work of stunning originality that will keep readers on the edge of their seats"--… (more)
Title:The Tenant
Authors:Katrine Engberg (Author)
Info:Gallery/Scout Press (2020), 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Tenant by Katrine Engberg



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This is a Nordic noir novel, so it is characteristically a bit dark. That said, I really liked it. Clever plot, good character development, well written, fast reading; I couldn’t put it down. I look forward to more from this author. ( )
  vkmarco | Jan 19, 2020 |
After having read some not so good police procedurals lately, I was hoping to find one that would blow me away. I really enjoyed the premise of an inspiring author’s, Esther, work in progress encouraging a killer to start on their spree. At first it’s not really apparent to anyone this is what is happening, but when that part of the story kicked in, it got more interesting.

There were lots of suspects and red herrings, and although I knew certain people were playing parts in the murders, Engberg leaves some very easy to spot clues as to this, at first I was thinking it would go in a completely different direction. The way that the wrap up went was also pretty easy to see after about halfway through the book, but Engberg still had me guessing a bit and I didn’t see how all the pieces fit together until the conclusion. Because of that, The Tenant kept me turning the page because I wanted to find out the actual reason for the murders. But at the same time I felt it was a slow read because of the characters.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the two Detectives, Korner and Werner. Korner was depressed for about the first half of the book, and that I can totally see with his situation and having to deal with the scum of the earth, but then he does a complete 360 and is a sex crazed man who starts to turn into a stalker. It was such a harsh difference and I didn’t feel as if it added anything to the story. If the women that he was obsessing over had turned out to be the killer I could have looked past it, but not the way it stands in the book.

As for Det. Werner, she was just extremely passive aggressive and whiney. Neither are traits that I enjoy in a person, but definitely not in what should be one of the strong female leads in a book. And almost the entire detective team seemed to hate each other or were just angry people, which really doesn’t make for an enjoyable read. It is so hard to empathize with characters if they have no redeeming traits or if you don’t see yourself in them, and unfortunately that was the case with The Tenant. If I don’t care about most of the characters, it’s hard for me to care about a book. ( )
  KimHeniadis | Jan 14, 2020 |
A brutal murder in a building owned by an author who is writing a book with a similar story line causes her to be the main suspect.

Julie and her roommate Caroline live in a building owned by Esther de Laurenti, the author. Julie is murdered, and the murder has the entire police force baffled.

Nothing like this has ever happened in her building, and Esther can’t understand it.

The clues all seem to point to Esther, though, and especially since the murder scene and situation are similar to her book, but is it really Esther? There are a number of possible suspects.

The victim and her family had a few secrets of their own, but would someone murder for those secrets? And what all-around, complicated secrets they turned out to be.

The detectives, Anette and Jeppe, are on the case and seem to be relentless in their efforts to solve this crime. This detective team is very likeable and definitely add to the story line.

Many other things happen that will keep you reading every chance you get, and you will be thinking about the characters and the situations even when you aren't reading.

Ms. Engberg’s writing flows nicely and keeps the story line moving and the interest high with all of the what if’s and possibilities.

Be aware that there are some upsetting situations and graphic descriptions.

THE TENANT is a book for those who enjoy being kept on the edge-of-your seat.

I hope to see more of this detective team and Ms. Engberg's books.

Are you a good enough detective to solve this crime? 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  SilversReviews | Jan 13, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this debut novel by Katrine Engberg. The police in it kind of reminded me of The Killing" TV show; which is an adaptation of a Danish TV series. The TV series was created from the book by the same name written by David Hewson.

This book was so good that I did not try to figure out the mystery and who the killer was. Ok, maybe for a brief moment I did. Yet, the storyline was well played out that I could not solve the clues. So, instead I just sat back and enjoyed reading this book.

Ms. Engberg makes a name for herself with The Tenant. I was drawn to this book due to the cast of characters and the well thought out twisted and suspenseful storyline. Warning: Once you start this book you will not want to put it down! ( )
  Cherylk | Jan 12, 2020 |
3.5 stars

This is book #1 in a series set in Copenhagen featuring Danish detectives Jeppe Kørner & Anette Werner. There are 3 more that follow, not yet translated.

It all begins with a body. In this case, a young woman named Julie Stender is found horribly mutilated in the apartment she rents from landlady Esther de Laurenti. Violent murders are rare in this city & the resulting media frenzy doesn’t help Jeppe & Anette as they begin to dismantle Julie’s life in search of their killer.

It’s a very character driven story with a large cast. Fellow tenants, friends, family, co-workers…we meet them all as police investigate everyone with a possible tie to Julie. Of particular interest is her landlady, a retired professor who just happens to be writing a novel with a scene that is disturbingly similar to the murder of her young tenant.

I’m a big fan of Scandinavian mystery/thrillers & this has that distinctive nordic vibe. It’s not a fast paced procedural. Instead, there is a subtle tension that gradually builds as Jeppe & Anette scratch each name off their list of suspects. The story is complex & guessing the killer’s identity will have you swinging from one character to the next.

The 2 MC’s have a comfortable relationship. They support & pick on each other like siblings & it was a pleasant relief not to have the stereotypical romantic angle so often present in the genre. Jeppe is still reeling from his divorce & perhaps a tad too dependent on pain killers. I found his character better developed while Anette remained more of an enigma. She was harder to read & her reactions seemed a bit OTT at times. Her dialogue is riddled with exclamation marks but I’m not sure if this was down to blips in translation or if her character really is that excitable.

I enjoyed this but was left with the feeling it was a better book in its original language. Some of the dialogue felt stilted & unnatural to North American ears & the narrative was abrupt at times. Effectively translating a novel is such a tough job & navigating western idioms & word usage must be a nightmare. So I’m a little jealous of Danish readers because there’s a good story here. The MC’s & the dynamic between them is compelling & I’d like to pick up book #2 to get to know them better. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Jan 11, 2020 |
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