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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"1222" by Anne Holt: Was the Suspense Lost in Translation?

Haiku to 1222

Snow blast, train crash. Trapped.
Foul play. Hanne save the day?
Nice; but low suspense.

Norwegian author Anne Holt is reportedly a very popular author of crime/mystery books in her home country as well as in Germany, Italy and Sweden.  She has written eight books featuring police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen.  1222 is the both the latest book in the series and the first to be translated into English.

The book has interesting elements, but to me they didn't add up to very much suspense.  In 1222, a passenger train crashes at an isolated mountain station during a brutal blizzard.  The passengers take refuge at a nearby hotel.  Subsequently, one of their number is murdered.  Isolated by the storm and mountain location, Hanne Wihelmsen, a retired police inspector who is wheelchair bound as a result of being shot in an earlier book in the series, is reluctantly drawn into solving the murder.  Sounds exciting, right?  Unfortunately, it wasn't for me. I found this read a bit dull, and wondered a number of times whether the story suffered in the translation to English.  Disappointing.



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