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1222: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel Hardcover – December 27, 2011
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"A good old-fashioned murder mystery. Wherever Hanne shows up next, my advice is to follow that wheelchair."--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
“It must be spooky in Scandinavia, but Holt, Norway’s best-selling female crime writer and a former minister of justice, has a goofy streak that changes the tone of this beguiling book….I really loved this snowbound book.”—Carolyn See, Washington Post
"A well-wrought, claustrophobic mystery...best served by the blizzard, roaring in the background while Hanne parses the swirl of rumors and snow piles inexorably against the windows."--Houston Chronicle
“It's a safe bet to say [Hanne Wilhelmsen] is a unique fictional creation, yet Holt makes her utterly believable. With her doubting internal dialogue and sharp wit, Wilhelmsen is neither too good, nor too bad and brooding to be true -- a nice find in the mystery world….Thanks to the sharp Wilhelmsen and an exceptional cast of characters, there's nothing cliché about Holt's take on this tried-and-true mystery genre.”—Cleveland Plains-Dealer
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Top Customer Reviews
The premise of 1222 is that a train going from Oslo to Bergen in northern Norway derails during one of the most terrifying snow storms the area has ever seen. Of the 269 passengers, only the conductor loses his life. The accident occurs 1222 meters above sea level. The survivors are taken to a local hotel to await aid. During their stay, passengers are being murdered, and the retired paraplegic police detective Hanne begrudgingly tries to figure out what is happening.
I really loved this book. There was never a dull moment, and the interaction of the characters was very credible. If you think that this book is a rip-off of the Steig Larsson Millenium trilogy, that is certainly not the case. While Hanne's character is slightly similar to Lisbeth Salander, her withdrawn tendencies stem more from her paralysis on the job as opposed to more sociological issues. 1222 leans more towards being a classic mystery yet set in a modern time period, with nods to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and Roald Dahl's Lamb to the Slaughter. Both of those stories are some of my favorite writings, so I really enjoyed the references.
While I must admit that I became more fascinated with Scandinavian mysteries after reading the Millenium trilogy, I wasn't hoping for a copycat while reading 1222, which you definitely won't get. I look forward to the English translation of Blind Goddess, the first book of the Hanne Wilhelmsen series, to be released in June 2012.
1222 features one of Holt's recurring characters - Hanne Wilhelmsen. Hanne is not a stereotypical protagonist. She's wheelchair bound, having been paralyzed from the waist down in a police shoot out four years ago. She's a lesbian, a loner and astute. Oh, and she really doesn't like people at all, even more so since her accident.
'It's having people close to me that I find difficult. I am interested in people, but I don't want people to be interested in me. A very taxing situation. At least it is if you surround yourself with friends and colleagues, and if you have to work in a team - as you do in the police. When I got shot and almost died, I ran out of strength. I was perfectly happy sitting there, all by myself."
Hanne is on a train to see a specialist about her paralysis. When the train derails in a snowstorm high above any settlement, the passengers are forced to take refuge in a hotel at the top of the mountain. Communication is cut off as the storm rages on. And someone else is full of rage as well - a clergy man is found shot. Hanne is recognized and reluctantly conscripted to the team that seems to be taking charge - a lawyer, a doctor, and the hotel manager. The storm is increasing in ferocity - and there's a murderer among them. And what about that extra car on the train - the one with armed guards?
I loved this book so much! The character of Hanne was different, not a by the numbers detective. She somewhat reminded me of Inger Ash Wolfe's Hazel Micallef character. Stubborn, sardonic, irascible and highly observant.Read more ›
About halfway through I found the storytelling reached a plateau. I didn't care about who died, there was no one in the hotel who was actively looking for them or mourning so there felt no sense of tension. I didn't feel any sense of danger for the remaining characters with a killer on the loose and I ended up just reading it because I don't like to leave books unfinished.
It was okay. I'd add another half star if I could.
But Hanne Wilhelmsen would disagree with that assessment. The train she is traveling on derails in the mountains 1222 meters above sea level during a massive blizzard. Fortunately there is a nearby hotel. It's an old building and nearly empty except for the staff, but at least the passengers have someplace warm and dry to wait for rescue. No one knows exactly when that rescue will take place because no one is going anywhere while the blizzard is still raging.
With plenty of food and sheltered from the storm, the passengers believe they are safe and once the shock of the derailment wears off, they are almost in a holiday mood. When morning dawns, one of the passengers is found dead, and that feeling of safety vanishes like mist. Retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen, being the only person in the hotel remotely connected to law enforcement, is asked to investigate. She'd rather not, and she makes that plain. Paralyzed by a bullet lodged in her spine, Hanne has made it a habit to keep herself to herself. She wants no help, but she does want to be left alone. Unfortunately for her, her curiosity and natural talent for observation weren't paralyzed along with her legs.
Hanne begins to take an interest in the other passengers and their secrets. When another body turns up, she knows that time is running out. She has to act fast before panic sets in amongst the other passengers. Her investigation is complicated by a mysterious passenger who had been traveling in a private rail car at the end of the train and was evacuated first to the top floor of the hotel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read many many Scandinavian mysteries by authors from across the region, and this was the weakest to date. I am always attracted by stories set during snowstorms. . . Read morePublished 2 months ago by Deuxchatsnoirs
This is the 8th book in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. I've only read one book before and I wasn't a fan: too political and boring for my taste. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gorilichis
This is the worst kind of mystery novel, in which the story drags on for a couple hundred pages without involving the reader in the solving. Read morePublished 4 months ago by close reader
Hanne is now in a wheel chair - and is on her way to a medical assessment, when her train derails in an isolated mountain resort in Norway. Read morePublished 4 months ago by L. .G. avid reader
the atmosphere is what stands out in this book. I go chilled reading about the cold and snow.Published 10 months ago by P. Gudish
What could be more Norwegian than having your train break down and being trapped in an isolated mountain lodge for days during a blizzard while the wind howls and breaks the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by James W. Fonseca
boring, confusing character development....background info was interesting however.....perhaps having different translator for each book causes these problemsPublished 12 months ago by jake
Hanna Wilhelmsen is an outstanding character. I wish I had found her earlier. This is the eighth book in the series. The secondary characters were also fun. Read morePublished 16 months ago by gcm