Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Dregs by Jørn Lier Horst

Dregs by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (310 pages, August 2011, Sandstone Press Ltd, ISBN: 1905207670)

DREGS is the sixth in the Chief Inspector William Wisting series set in the small coastal Norwegian town of Stavern, and the first to be translated into English.

The book opens with the discovery of a left foot washed up by the tide. What is strange is that it is the second left foot to have appeared in recent days. An extensive search has not turned up any right feet. There have been only four people reported missing in the last few months: three old men and one young woman. The men all disappeared within a week of each other and the woman a few days afterwards. No trace of them or reason for their absence has ever been determined. Wisting decides to reinvestigate the disappearances as a key witness was overlooked first time around but then she also disappears.

Meanwhile, Wisting's journalist daughter is back in the area researching a new article on what affect prison has had on criminals and her interview subjects begin to overlap with her father's.

Still more feet keep turning up and then a very large clue is also washed up which allows Wisting to steadily crack this very puzzling mystery.

At the core of DREGS is a very well thought-out plot, which keeps the reader and police baffled until the very end. The widowed Wisting is a steady, thoughtful detective with a wry outlook on life who is ably supported by a small team. I do hope that more of this series is translated as, based on DREGS, it is well worth seeking out.

4 comments:

kathy d. said...

I have put this book on my TBR mountain but am still not ready to face more severed feet, as I (and many other readers) faced two books with this plot device last year, thanks to Fred Vargas and Kjell Eriksson.

I'll eventually pick up this book as I've seen nothing but good reviews.

Maxine said...

I am very glad you liked this one, Karen. I think it is a really good book in the classic police-procedural tradition. I liked the character of the policeman and his relationship with his daughter. Thanks for the picture!

Sarah said...

I enjoyed this book a lot and picked it up because of the positive reviews by other reviewers. I'm looking forward to other books by this author being translated.

Jane said...

I liked this one too!
It isn't too gory - but there's sufficient menace to be realistic.
I hope there will be more of this author in English.
Great blog by the way! I'll be coming back here.