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SHORT & SWEET REVIEW: THE LION’S MOUTH BY ANNE HOLT

Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet). 

The Lion's Mouth

I’ve been a fan of Anne Holt since I read 1222, several books into the detective Hanne Wilhelmsen series. The Lion’s Mouth is the fourth book in the series, and the Hanne Wilhelmsen of this book is very different to who she is by 1222. Her part in this book is really quite minimal – she’s currently not working for the police and arrives partway through in the capacity of friend/sounding board for Billy T, one of the investigating officers. Here’s the blurb:

Less than six months after taking office, the Norwegian Prime Minister is found dead. She has been shot in the head. But was it a politically motivated assassination or personal revenge? The death shakes the country to its core. The hunt for her killer is complicated, intense and gruelling. Hanne Wilhelmsen must contain the scandal before a private tragedy becomes a public outrage, in what will become the most sensitive case of her career …

This is a story of lies, intrigue and politics. The Lion’s Mouth questions who holds the power in Norway, and how far they will go to use it.

The premise of The Lion’s Mouth is intriguing – who killed the Prime Minister? And why? The telling was less so, unfortunately. I found this book to be a dry read, weighed down by Norwegian politics. One of the sub-plots, about the deaths of a significant number of children in 1965, lacked emphasis and power – needed for the weight it was ultimately given.  And while Billy T is an interesting character in his own right, I missed Hanne and wished she was not just a “visitor”.

This one wasn’t my favourite, but if you are a crime reader, I’d encourage you to read Holt’s books, especially 1222.

Available from bookstores and Allen & Unwin (RRP $29.99). My copy was courtesy of Allen & Unwin.

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