Review: Blessed Are Those Who Thirst, by Anne Holt

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

Corvus, 2013. Kindle edition. Translated by Anne Bruce. Originally published in Norwegian as Salige er de som tørster, 1994. First published in the United States in 2012 by Scribner. eISBN: 978-0-85789-233-1. 240 pages. ASIN: B00A25NLQ8.

Blessed Are Those Who Thirst is the second instalment in Hanne Wilhelmsen series (you can find my review of the first book in the series HERE). It was first published in 1994 and the action takes place between 9 May and 10 June during an unusual heat-wave in Oslo. 

“The Oslo police is in the middle of their worst spring ever. In the course of six weeks, three murders had been visited upon the city, and at least one of these seemed unsolvable. There had been no fewer than sixteen cases of rape reported on the same period, with seven of these becoming the object of enormous media attention.” 

Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is completely puzzled. Some of the most strangest events she has ever seen, have begun to appear. The regular discovery of rooms all bathed in blood, without a victim. However, without victim, there is no crime and, without crime, there is nothing to investigate. At the most, this is a deliberate act of vandalism. In addition, there have been some numbers written with blood.

However, just to make sure if there is a crime, the case is assigned to Police Attorney Hakon Sand and DI Wilhelmsen. There is no information whatsoever about any missing person or animals dismembered in the area. And since these scenes are repeated every Saturday, they are being known as the Saturday nights massacres. The numbers written in blood don’t seem to have any meaning.

Almost simultaneously, Kristine Haverstad, a young medical student, is brutally raped in her apartment one Saturday night. DI Wilhelmsen is also assigned to this case. The victim can’t provide much information about the rapist. None of her neighbours have heard or seen anything. However, DI Wilhelmsen believes she’s found a certain connection between the Saturday night massacres and Kristine’s rape. As the story progresses, the victim, the victim’s father and DI Wilhelmsen, each on their own, will spare no effort to find the rapist.

Blessed Are Those Who Thirst is an extremely rewarding reading. Despite being relatively short, the novel has a wide scope, as highlighted by Norman in his review (see Crime Scraps Review below): a police investigation, the trauma of a rape victim, the private investigation of the victim’s father, the twisted motives of the perpetrator and the further development of some of the characters that we have first met in The Blind Goddess. In addition it also covers some important social issues. All in all, Blessed Are Those Who Thirst  is an excellent addition to a highly recommended series.

My rating: 4/5.

Blessed are Those Who Thirst has been review at Crimepieces (Sarah), at Crimescraps (Norman), at Ms. Wordopolis Reads (Rebecca) and at Amazon Customer Review (by Simon Clarke).

For those who may be interested the complete Hanne Wilhelmsen series is as follows:

Simon & Schuster

Atlantic Books

Salomonsson Agency 

Anne Holt – About the Hanne Wilhelmsen series

Bienaventurados los sedientos de Anne Holt

Bienaventurados los sedientos

Bienaventurados los sedientos es la segunda entrega de la serie Hanne Wilhelmsen (pueden ver mi crítica del primer libro de la serie, La diosa ciega AQUÍ). Fue publicado inicialmente en 1994 y la acción tiene lugar entre el 9 de mayo y 10 de junio durante una ola de calor inusual en Oslo.

“La policía de Oslo se encuentra en medio de la peor primavera de su historia. En el curso de seis semanas, tres homicidios se han sucedido en la ciudad, y al menos uno de ellos parece irresoluble. Al menos se han producido dieciséis casos de violación que hayan sido denunciados en el mismo periodo, siete de estos han tenido una amplia repercusión en los medios de comunicación.”

La inspectora Hanne Wilhelmsen está completamente desconcertada. Algunos de los sucesos más extrañas que haya visto jamás, han comenzado a aparecer. El descubrimiento periódico de habitaciones bañadas en sangre, sin ninguna víctima. Sin embargo, sin víctima, no hay delito y, sin crimen, no hay nada que investigar. A lo sumo, se trata de un acto deliberado de vandalismo. Además, también han aparecido algunos números escritos con  la sangre.

Sin embargo, sólo para asegurarse si existe un delito, el caso es asignado al fiscal Hakon Sand y a la inspectora Wilhelmsen. Tampoco existe información alguna acerca de ninguan persona desaparecida o de animales descuartizados en la zona. Y puesto que estas escenas se repiten todos los sábados, se conocen como las masacres en la noche del sábado. Los números escritos en sangre no parecen tener sentido alguno.

Casi al mismo tiempo, Kristine Haverstad, una joven estudiante de medicina, es violada brutalmente en su apartamento la noche de un sábado. La inspectora Wilhelmsen es asignada también a este caso. La víctima no puede proporcionar mucha información sobre el violador. Ninguno de sus vecinos ha oído ni visto nada. Sin embargo, la inspectora Wilhelmsen cree haber encontrado una cierta conexión entre las masacres de los sábados por la noche y la violación de Kristine. Conforme avanaza la historia, la víctima, el padre de la víctima y la inspectora Wilhelmsen, cada uno por su cuenta, no escatimarán esfuerzo alguno para encontrar al violador.

Bienaventurados los sedientos es una lectura muy gratificante. A pesar de ser relativamente corta, la novela tiene un amplio alcance, tal y como destacó Norman en su reseña (ver Crime Scraps Review): una investigación policial, el trauma de la víctima de una violación, la investigación privada del padre de la victima, las motivaciones retorcidas del agresor, y el posterior desarrollo de algunos de los personajes que hemos encontrado por primera vez en La diosa ciega. Además también aborda algunos temas sociales importantes. En definitiva, Bienaventurados los sedientos es un excelente complemento a una serie muy recomendable.

Mi valoración : 4/5.

Para aquellos que puedan estar interesados ​​la serie completa de Hanne Wilhelmsen está formada por los siguientes libros:

  • La diosa ciega (Blind gudinne, 1993)
  • Bienaventurados los sedientos (Salige er de som tørster, 1994)
  • Demonens død, 1995
  • Løvens gap, 1997 – escrito con Berit Reiss-Andersen
  • Død joker, 1999
  • Uten ekko, 2000 – escrito con Berit Reiss-Andersen
  • Sannheten bortenfor, 2003
  • 1222 (1222, 2007)

Ver la reseña de Bienaventurados los sedientos en El misterio de las letras,

Roca editorial

13 thoughts on “Review: Blessed Are Those Who Thirst, by Anne Holt”

  1. Thanks for this excellent review, Jose Ignacio. I thought this was a really thought-provoking read, particularly in its exploration of the impact of rape, and of the theme of justice. I have the next in the series lined up to read soon – I’m enjoying catching up with these earlier novels in the series very much.

    1. Thank you Katharina for your kind words. I’m also enjoying catching up with the series and, hopefully, in the right order. I look forward to reading 1222, one of her bests as I’ve been told.

      1. You’re welcome, Jose Ignacio. I’ve had 1222 in my hands a couple of times in the bookshop, but am holding off reading it, as a lot seems to have happened to Hanne. Look forward to comparing notes once we’ve both got there!

  2. Thanks for the review and the link, Jose Ignacio. It prompted me to do a little searching to find out when the next Holt will be published, but I wasn’t able to find any, alas.

  3. Death of a Demon comes next in this series. It’s been out in English for quite awhile. I have a copy and got it months ago but haven’t been able to get to it yet.

    1. Bill, I will like to read what you think of Holt’s books. She is a practicing lawyer, I understand, and even for a few month she was Norway’s Minister for Justice.

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