Review: Burned by Thomas Enger

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Translated by Charlotte Barslund, 2011. Faber and Faber Crime, 2011. Kindle Edition. 521 KB. Originally published in Norway as Skinndød, 2010. ASIN: B0052RCVXU. ISBN: 978-0-571-27223-5.

The action is set in Oslo during the month of June, 2009. Following a period of extended leave, Henning Juul, a journalist in an online newspaper called 123news has returned to his day work. He lost his only son, a six year old child called Jonas, during a house fire a couple of years ago, which have left him physical, emotional and psychological scars.

On his first day back to work Henning has to cover the story of a young woman found brutally murdered in a tent at an Oslo public park. She had been buried up to her neck and, at first glance, stoned to death. The police have arrested her boyfriend, of Pakistani origin, as a main suspect. But Henning does not believe is an honour killing and begins to investigate by his own. And then a second murder takes place and Henning’s life will be in serious danger.

I found that Burned has an excellent plot, very much in the tradition of the best whodunit of the Golden Age. It includes some red herrings that, for me, have worked just fine and has a superb ending with some unexpected twists and turns. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Besides, the main character is quite attractive. Maybe it’s not a great novel. It’s not flawless. Certainly some secondary characters are not well defined, the narrative has some ups and downs in the middle of the story, and there are some things that are not credible, in my view; but in any case it is a promising debut and I’ll be looking forward to the next book in the series. 

My rating: 4/5.

Burned  is Thomas Enger debut novel and the first in a series of six that will be featuring the journalist Henning Juul. The second novel Pierced (originally titled Fantomsmerte) was released in English last July. The third novel, Scarred (originally titled Blodtåke), is due to be released in Norway in the beginning of 2013.

Burned has been reviewed by Sarah at Crimepieces, Karen at Euro Crime, Barbara at Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Maxine at Petrona, Bernadette at Reactions to Reading, Peter at Nordic Bookblog, Lynn Harvey at Euro Crime, Norman at Crime Scraps among others.

Thomas Enger official website

Tomas Enger at Scandinoir (in English)

Faber & Faber

Atria Books


Fuego de Thomas Enger

La acción se desarrolla en Oslo durante el mes de junio de 2009. Después de un largo periodo de ausencia, Henning Juul, un periodista de un periódico en digital llamado 123news ha vuelto a su trabajo diario. Él perdió a su único hijo, un niño de seis años llamado Jonas, durante un incendio en su casa un par de años atrás, que le han dejado secuelas físicas, emocionales y psicológicas.

En su primer día de vuelta al trabajo Henning tiene que cubrir la historia de una joven encontrada brutalmente asesinada en una tienda de campaña en un parque público de Oslo. Ella había sido enterrada hasta el cuello y, a simple vista, apedreada hasta morir. La policía ha detenido a su novio, de origen paquistaní, como principal sospechoso. Pero Henning no cree que sea un asesinato por honor y comienza a investigar por su cuenta. Y luego tiene lugar un segundo asesinato y la vida de Henning correrá un grave peligro.

He encontrado que Fuego tiene una trama excelente, muy en la tradición de la mejor novela policíaca de la Era Dorada. Incluye algunas pistas falsas que, para mí, han funcionado muy bien y tiene un final excelente, con algunos giros inesperados. Tengo que admitir que me ha sorprendido gratamente. Además, su personaje principal resulta bastante atractivo. Tal vez no se trata de una gran novela. No es perfecta. Es cierto que algunos personajes secundarios no están bien definidos, la narración tiene algunos altibajos hacia la mitad de la historia, y hay algunas cosas que no me han resultado creíbles; pero en cualquier caso se trata de un debut muy prometedor y voy a estar esperando con interés el siguiente libro de la serie.

Mi calificación: 4/5.

Fuego, es la primera novela de Thomas Enger y la primera en una serie de seis que tienen como protagonista al periodista Henning Juul. La segunda novela Pierced (titulada originalmente Fantomsmerte) fue publicada en Inglés el pasado mes de julio. La tercera novela, Scarred (titulada originalmente Blodtåke), se espera que sea publicada en Noruega a principios de 2013.

Editorial Medialive. Publicado el 21 de noviembre de 2011.

Tomas Enger at Scandinoir (en castellano)

Crime Fiction Pick of the Month September 2012

The purpose of the Pick of the Month meme, hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, is to identify our crime fiction best read for each particular month. You can click HERE to find the contributions of other participants.

In September 2012 I read five crime fiction books. You can find my review by clicking the book title.

  • The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards. First published 2005****
  • Black Out by John Lawton. First published 1995 ***
  • The Nameless Dead by Brian McGilloway. 2012 ****
  • The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura. Translated by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates, 2012.****
  • Burned by Thomas Enger. Translated by Charlotte Barslund, 2011. My review will be posted soon.****
  • I would like to highlight all of them. But my personal preference is for The Nameless Dead by Brian McGilloway.

    2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet T is for Taibo, Paco Ignacio Taibo (PIT) II

    The Crime Fiction Alphabet arrives this week to letter “t”, and my T is for Taibo. Paco Ignacio Taibo II or PIT as he likes to be called, was born in Asturias, Spain in 1949. His parents emigrated to Mexico in 1958. Taibo’s political loyalties were cemented in the student movement of 1968 (Boston Review). PIT is most widely known as a crime novelist, the author of a book series featuring Hector Belascoarán Shayne, a fictional private eye. For additional information about the Belascoarán series read An Easy Thing by Paco Ignacio Taibo II. The nine books (click on the English title for a brief summary) in chronological order, as far as I know, are:

    • Días de combate (1976)
    • Cosa fácil (1977) English translation: An Easy Thing (2002)
    • Algunas nubes (1985) English translation: Some Clouds (2002)
    • No habrá final feliz (1985) English translation: No Happy Ending (2003)
    • Regreso a la misma ciudad y bajo la lluvia (1989) English translation: Return to the Same City (2007)
    • Amorosos fantasmas (1989)
    • Sueños de frontera (1990) English translation: Frontera Dreams (2002)
    • Desvanecidos difuntos (1991)
    • Adiós Madrid (1993) (The only novel that is not located in Mexico City)

    Paco Ignacio Taibo II at Wikipedia

    Paco Ignacio Taibo II at Mis detectives favorit@s (in Spanish).

    Días de comabate (Planeta 2004) is on my TBR shelf and I look forward to reading it soon, stay tuned.

    The blurb reads: This month of July, the most emblematic detectives dare to answer these questions. A month dedicated to crime and mystery, a fine selection of titles from the great authors of the genre. The best tribute to a wonderful genre: crime fiction. A women strangler is on the loose in the city of Mexico. Hector Belascoarán Shayne, a retired engineer by his own will who has turned into a private eye, tries to stop the murderer. The only clues to decipher these crimes are the notes found on the victim’s corpses signed under the pseudonym “Cerevro”. (My free translation).

    There is a Kindle edition Todo Belascoarán (in Spanish) available at Amazon.es and Amazon.com that includes: Días de combate, Cosa fácil, Algunas nubes, No habrá final feliz, Regreso a la misma ciudad y bajo la lluvia, Amorosos fantasmas, Sueños de frontera, Desvanecidos difuntos and Adiós, Madrid.

    The 2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet is a Community Meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. By Friday of each week participants try to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week. Click HERE to visit other suggestions from fellow participants.

    %d bloggers like this: