Review: Thomas Enger – Scarred

463bb4179660b847de99c85d3d03b6f5We’ve had to wait a while to get the third instalment of Thomas Enger’s series featuring journalist Henning Juul. Pierced ended with Henning almost buried alive and still desperate to uncover the mystery of the fire which killed his young son. Scarred begins with Hanning back at work and given the assignment of reporting on the police investigation into the violent death of an elderly woman in a nursing home. The violence of her murder suggests someone with a personal grudge, which may lie in the woman’s past as an unpopular school teacher. But Henning’s priorities shift when his estranged sister, Secretary of State Trine Juul-Osmundsen, is accused of sexually harassing a young male politician. Although she refuses to accept any help from him, he is drawn into why she is refusing to defend herself with any conviction.

Scarred is a slightly different book to the ones that come before. Henning’s preoccupation with his son’s death isn’t as dominant here, although this does form part of the narrative. Rather, it shows much of Henning’s early life and the complex family relations that haunt him to the present day. The depiction of death, in this case of the elderly nursing home resident is, despite its brutality, more restrained than in earlier books and overall I found the tone more sober. For a while it was difficult to see how the two cases would come together but I thought the book was a well-written and satisfyingly complex read.

Thanks to Faber for my review copy. The translation is by Charlotte Barslund.

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11 thoughts on “Review: Thomas Enger – Scarred

  1. Sarah – As always, a fine review. It’s interesting how the tone change as a a series goes on. Still, this one sounds as though it’s as compelling as the first two books in the series. And I think it adds to a character when we learn a little about her or his past and family relationships.

  2. Although I haven’t read this series, I quite like the character of Henning Juul, sombre and tragical with nothing really going for him after the death of his son. Yet, something drives him on to do what he does best. Sometimes I find tragedies in fiction disturbing. Thanks for the review, Sarah.

  3. Pingback: The Best of March’s Reading | crimepieces

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