Sunday, January 11, 2015

Where Monsters Dwell by Jørgen Brekke ~ 2011

There are no monsters under the bed.


Published: February 11th 2014 by Minotaur Books (first published 2011) 
Hardcover, 357 pages
Author: Jørgen Brekke 
ISBN13: 9781250016805
Edition language: English Translation copyright © 2014 Steven T. Murray
Jacket Design: Rob Grom
Jacket Photography:
The Damned Souls in Hell by Signorelli Luca, 1499-1504,
15th century fresco © Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images;
bridge and river © Giorgio Magini/istock.com;
man in tunnel © Vova Pomortzeff/Alamy


5 Stars
Jørgen Brekke

The prologue opened up with my thoughts running with anticipation for a delicious page-turner ahead. 
Where Monsters Dwell being the most awaited English language crime fiction debut in years, it did keep me turning pages. The novel is divided in 4 parts each having an aphorism from different famous people over the years depicting God being omnipresent. Saying in a sense that history repeats itself.

The novel opens up in the year of 1528 with a mendicant monk on a mission of retrieving "...better knives cannot be found in all of Christendom." from a certain beard-cutter. He assaults the beard-cutter and takes his knives.Then it flashes to the present in the year 2010.

Where in Richmond, Virginia at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum a murder has been committed. The museum curator is found flayed by the cleaning woman during her cigarette break in the Enchanted Garden on the Poe monument and later as she raced for a phone his head was found staring up at her with bulging eyes from the wastebasket as she called 911.

Not long afterwards, in Trondheim, Norway an archivist at the Gunnerus Library is found inside a locked vault used to store delicate and rare books murdered in the same way. Flayed and beheaded.
Richmond homicide detective Felicia Stone and Trondheim police inspector Odd Singsaker find that they are working on similar murder cases, but half a world away. Both murders are somehow connected to a sixteenth century palimpsest; A manuscript called The Book of John - a journal that appears to be from a Norwegian serial murderer bound in human skin and is linked to a set of knives.

I appreciate how Jorgen incorporated some of the characters having characteristics of this story. Some having mystery books, readers of mystery, rare book collecting, some having 'personal problems' that related to the story and how some characters were intertwined with their personal life that related to the story. A grin appeared on me when Jorgen had introduced "The Rule of Thirds" and I said to myself, "Aha!, a clue" and as the story moved along that's exactly what he did with his story. It was clear to me that he had done some homework and it paid off for a very good mystery. He also went from past to present in the scenes at points that were ingeniously done. Each end of the chapters and parts were beautifully timed.

His characters Odd Singsaker and Felicia Stone are bound to be uncovered and painted more colorful with their own history as Jorgen Brekke writes further novels into this series. If Felicia is not around in a lot of his forth-coming novels, Odd has a colorful characteristic people will love to read more of.
The ending of Where Monsters Dwell there is a twisted, pleasing, delightful surprise. 



Here's where you can get your fingers on Where Monsters Dwell:
  • Amazon ~ Hardcover from $0.01 and up ~ Kindle $9.99 ~ Paperback from $0.01 and up