Tuesday, January 31, 2012
1222 by Anne Holt
published by: Scribner
publish date: December 27, 2011
1222 metres above sea level, train 601 from Oslo to Bergen careens off iced rails as the worst snowstorm in Norwegian history gathers force around it. Marooned in the high mountains with night falling and the temperature plummeting, its 269 passengers are forced to abandon their snowbound train and decamp to a centuries-old mountain hotel. They ought to be safe from the storm here, but as dawn breaks one of them will be found dead, murdered. With the storm showing no sign of abating, retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is asked to investigate. But Hanne has no wish to get involved. She has learned the hard way that truth comes at a price and sometimes that price just isn’t worth paying. Her pursuit of truth and justice has cost her the love of her life, her career in the Oslo Police Department and her mobility: she is paralysed from the waist down by a bullet lodged in her spine. Trapped in a wheelchair, trapped by the killer within, trapped by the deadly storm outside, Hanne’s growing unease is shared by everyone in the hotel. Should she investigate, or should she just wait for help to arrive? And all the time rumours swirl about a secret cargo carried by train 601. Why was the last carriage sealed? Why is the top floor of the hotel locked down? Who or what is being concealed? And, of course, what if the killer strikes again?
Anne Holt is bestselling Scandinavian author. The Hanne Wilhelmsen series is really popular there. I originally thought 1222 was the first book in the series, then I learned it was the second book, but it was the first one released in the United States. THEN I looked on Goodreads and found out it's the 8th book in the series. Thankfully I learned that AFTER I read it. I'm neurotic about reading books in order because I don't want to feel like I missed anything. That was not the case with 1222.
1222 contains enough of Hanne Wilhelmsen's story to make you like her even though she probably wouldn't want you to. She's definitely not your stereotypical suspense thriller detective. In the beginning of this book she's on her way to see a specialist about her spinal injury when the train wrecks. In the hotel, she's antisocial, terse, and uninterested in getting involved with the mystery at hand. She's also a lesbian although that doesn't play much of a role in this book.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a great murder mystery. The setting was wonderful. I loved the idea of being so snowed in a hotel. I can't wait to read the next Anne Holt book!