Cover Image: The Inner Darkness

The Inner Darkness

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Member Reviews

These Wisting series of books just keep getting better and better. A true slow burner of a book where the pace and action increase to a page turning finale.
A must read for any fan of Nordic crime fiction.
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This is the 3rd Book in The Cold Case Quartet featuring William Wisting and his daughter Line. Tom Kerr, serial killer is in prison, but strikes a deal, saying he can tell them where one of his victims is buried but he must show them in person.  He had been working with an accomplice who the police called The Other One, and it hoped that he might also provide details of where he is. 

The police are wary and are fully prepared for an escape attempt or thought they were! He cleverly manages to escape but at the same time seriously wounds several police officers. 

So the race is on to find him, hoping he will contact The Other One and they will get them both - but he seems to be 1 step ahead of them; how/why? 

A great book, was unable to put this down. I think the characters are great and have enjoyed the TV adaptation, please do some more. Thoroughly recommend this but read in order!
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This is the first Wisting novel I have read and I was incredibly impressed with it. The bleak landscape and circumstances of the case place it firmly in the Scandi Noir genre that I know and love, however the tight plotting and intense atmosphere makes the novel stand out from the pack. Wisting and his daughter working alongside each other creates a curious dynamic that you initially would think would go one way, but in fact it goes in quite the opposite direction. The hauntingly calm and sinister villain worked incredibly well, this book will definitely give you chills.
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Another twisting tale for Wisting to make sense of and he doesn't disappoint. i read the previous book in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it, so was very pleased to have the chance to catch up with this detective. The story is quite intriguing and I didn't guess how the ending would unfold until almost there. The backdrop of snowy Norway makes this even more gripping as it adds to the bleakness. I will definitely look out for the next volume.
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The Inner Darkness is an incredibly tense and compelling tale from Jørn Lier Horst and is part of The Cold Case Quartet series, featuring Norwegian Chief Inspector William Wisting, based at Larvik police station. Riveting and exciting, I loved the minimalist character portrayal of the smart, logical and determined Wisting. Told from the perspectives of Wisting and his daughter, Line, Jørn Lier Horst's matter-of-fact, unfrilly and intriguing writing was notably good and even though this was my first read of the series, I found it to be an absorbing, followable story. Slow-burn in its pacing, the remote, chilly backdrop of scenic Norway created added tension which was tangible throughout. I'm really looking forward to reading the books I've missed in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I love Jorn’s writing. It is tense, fast-paced and compelling. 
In this book, he creates a sense of real menace and writes a brilliant police procedural. His characters are excellent, especially Tom Kerr, as the convicted serial killer and escapee!
Wisting is a hugely believable lead detective, and though doubted, once again, proves his worth. I also love the beautifully crafted backgrounds and settings.
Horst is up there with Henning Mankell among Scandinavian writers of this genre.
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A convicted serial killer has agreed to lead police to the grave of a victim but the operation is set-up and he escapes.  As well as looking for Tom Kerr the police are also searching for his unknown accomplice, never caught and always one step ahead of them.  Wisting is being hung out to dry as the scapegoat for the escape and his daughter Line is documenting it all on camera but can they catch the killer before he strikes again.
Again this is a strong novel from Horst featuring his cold case team.  This is a particularly twisty one with enough red herrings to satisfy most readers and a denouement which comes from left-field but which ultimately satisfies.
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The Wisting series of Scandi crime stories have become as comfortable as a snuggly sofa next to a roaring fire on a chilly winter afternoon. Although the cover blurb does its best to sell this carefully constructed mystery as a ‘pulse-pounding thriller’ it has far more in common with Wallander or Varg Veum than Harry Hole or Department Q. In British terms, think Midsomer Murders. Not The Sweeney…
If you’ve read Jørn Lier Horst’s earlier mysteries or seen episodes of the Wisting TV series then you’ll know exactly what to expect. Thoughtful crime fiction which revolves around the relationship between Norwegian police detective Wisting and his adult daughter, Line. He’s experienced, measured and deliberate, a by-the-book investigator and a far cry from crime fiction’s typical tortured souls with their addictions and outlandish habits. She’s the fiery female journalist, forever chafing against her father’s authority while trying to win his approval for her own investigative instincts. Invariably, she puts herself in harm’s way – and her potential jeopardy is what propels the story forwards…
And it’s an entirely intriguing story, in fact, one which could’ve stood entirely on its own. A convicted felon, a multiple murderer, finally offers to reveal the grave site of one of his undiscovered victims. Wisting has his doubts, and is presented with the poisoned chalice of being the officer in charge of the escapade – which rapidly turns into an escape. A cold-blooded killer is unleashed, and it seems that his original accomplice is waiting in the wings. A massive manhunt follows to track the two murderers before they can flee across international borders – or commit another gruesome crime.
Locating these killers requires more than barking dogs and searching the woods while wearing dayglo jackets, however. Wisting and Line, in parallel and separate investigations, examine the old, cold cases, searching for the identity of the unknown accomplice. This is a carefully constructed and satisfying mystery, replete with red herrings (possibly pickled, as this is Scandinavia after all), dead ends and misleading evidence.
Despite the book’s title, which suggests melancholic soul-searching at midnight, The Inner Darkness steers clear of deep philosophical waters. It’s a precisely plotted police procedural; cleanly translated and easy to read. Although I’m a little weary of the father / daughter plot device, the narrative is deftly delivered and there’s little about Wisting to dislike. I’m hardly desperate for the next one, but this series provides solidly enjoyable entertainment.
8/10
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What a good find this author has proved to be. I will look out for his writing from now on. Nordic Noir always has an element of “ I’m never going to get used to these names” about it and this was no exception but as usual they fall into place and become not so noticeable. Although I had just got used to Line as a name when Lone as another was thrown in for good measure. 
The story whilst for a lot of time is a good example of  police procedural does eventually elevate itself to a tense thriller. The timing is excellent particularly in the second half of the book but one thing that threw me was the role of. Wisting’s daughter as some sort of situation photographer.  I’m not sure that role would have been possible in a British or American book but I will go along with it being possible in Scandinavia. I would have preferred her to have been a police officer but that’s just me wanting to run the show! For that reason and that only I would have given four and a half stars but I won’t downgrade to four so five it is. 
I would  like to thank Netgalley and  Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
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At the centre of this dark crime novel we have a sadistic killer, Tom Kerr, who is in prison for the abduction, torture and murder of two women. An overused theme although slightly altered here by the novel beginning with Kerr imprisoned for his crimes. Kerr has confessed to a third victim and is taken out of prison to lead the police to the location of the body. The police were aware that Kerr had an accomplice known as ‘The Other One’ and were hoping to use Kerr’s visit to the burial site to bring his accomplice out into the open. However, it all goes wrong and Kerr escapes. Wisting was in charge and therefore held to account for the escape and his daughter Line was also mixed up in the action as she was filming Kerr.. 
What follows is a carefully plotted, police procedure novel with a number of twists. It is a complicated plot; however,  there were times I found myself wondering why the police weren’t taking a more sensible course of action. 

A good scandi crime novel but there are graphic descriptions of violence and there is a similarity to other novels in this series with Wisting’s daughter Line gets involved in the action.
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My thanks to Penguin U.K./Michael Joseph for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Inner Darkness’ by Jørn Lier Horst in exchange for an honest review. It is the third in his Cold Case Quartet and was translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.

I have read a couple of Jørn Lier Horst’s police procedurals featuring Chief Inspector William Wisting and rated them highly. 

Convicted serial killer Tom Kerr has recently confessed to another murder and has insisted on leading the police to the final victim’s grave. There is plenty of security but the excursion goes horribly wrong and Kerr escapes into the Norwegian forest.

Wisting launches a search to find Kerr but then the body of a woman is discovered, murdered weeks ago in the same way as Kerr's victims. The possibility of a copycat and/or accomplice has to be considered. Dubbed The Other One the stakes are now even higher.

Wisting’s daughter, Line, a freelance TV reporter, had been hired by the police to film the on-site visit and becomes involved in the case from the sidelines. 

Horst is a former senior investigating officer with the Norwegian police force and as a result his crime fiction is strongly grounded in realistic procedures. He masterfully combines this realism with page-turning tension. 

This is an intelligent, complex work of Scandi-Noir that proved very satisfying. I look forward to reading more of Jørn Lier Horst’s back catalogue.
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After four years behind bars, notorious serial killer Tom Kerr is ready to talk.
And Chief Inspector William Wisting is waiting to listen. When Kerr leads the police to his final victim's grave, the expedition goes horribly wrong. He escapes. Now, Wisting must find this cold-blooded killer before he strikes again. Then another body is found - killed weeks before, in the same way as Kerr's victims.
A very well written edge of the seat book. Even though you know from the blurb that the creepy – yes he’s ultra creepy - Kerr escapes the tension is tangible. I love Wisting who's just a darned good cop, no heroics, no making a drama out of a drama just solid police work. There are several twists & turns that keep you guessing. I was engrossed from cover to cover
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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This is my first book by the author - although I have his previous books on my to be read pile - and after reading this books I have to read the others as soon as possible.

Detailed and immediately gripping. This book was fantastic! 
Gory but manageable with a lot of details and a gripping story, I simply couldn’t stop reading it.

The characters were really interesting specially, in my opinion, because of their intrinsic simplicity but amazing professionalism. 

The plot was fast paced and there were plenty of twists and turns and I felt like I wanted to rush to find out what happened but at the same time didn’t want to finish reading such an amazingly developed plot.

Overall, incredibly well written story and I can’t wait to read more from the author! 

 I would like to thank Netgalley and  Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
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I really enjoyed Dregs when I read it a while back. There's something about William Wisting as a character that intrigues me so I was quite excited to get my mitts on this book.
So... notorious serial killer Tom Kerr is finally ready to admit to the killing of one of the victims linked to him but that he was never convicted for. But it has to be on his terms. He has to be allowed out of jail to lead the police to the victim's final resting place. Reluctantly, with no choice, they agree but, a bit obviously for this genre book, it doesn't go according to plan and he escapes. It falls to Wisting to head the search for him before he strikes again which he is wont to do eventually. But then, a spanner in the works, a woman's body is found, killed in the same way Kerr employed. But instead of being fresh, it's a couple weeks old. Killed whilst Kerr was still incarcerated. A copycat maybe? Looking at the manner of Kerr's escape it appears that maybe he had help, could he also have had help with the killings - is he master to an apprentice, and it becomes more than a race against time for Wisting to bring Kerr in before the body count rises further.
As with the previous book, Wisting's daughter Line also features in this book. She is hired to video document the unearthing of the victim. And when her father gets in trouble for the way Kerr escaped, she uses her connections and indeed the footage she shot to try and help him.
The plot is intriguing and held my attention nicely throughout. Characterisation is good and consistent all the way through. Wisting is refreshingly normal for a cop and appears to be without the usual stereotype, afflictions and crutches that some authors rely on in this genre book. He's a plodder and is very methodical in the way he works, rarely getting flustered. A breath of fresh air indeed. Line on the other had is more emotionally driven. Pacing is good and follows the narrative all the way through. Steadily initially as the author sets it all up and then ramping up as we race towards the end, flowing well throughout. Short punchy chapters facilitate this. Culminating in a conclusion that thoroughly satisfied.
All in all a cracking read that I have no hesitation in recommending for fans of the genre. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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This book is my first foray into the ‘Scandi Noir’ world of detective William Wisting but it certainly won’t be the last - I was glued to the book from the first word to the last. Wisting sets out to solve an old murder but soon ends up having cases much closer to home to deal with - no spoilers here, but this story really will grab you and not let go until you reach the final paragraph. The writing style is unusual, with short, sometimes rather abrupt sentences, but this somehow adds to the almost breathless pace at which the drama unfolds, and far from being irritating (as I thought it would be at the start) it adds to the suspense of the narrative. This is very clever writing indeed, with all the necessary elements very firmly in place.
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A serial killer is captured. He took great delight in torturing and dismembering his victims. He is taking the police to the Norwegian forest where he says he has buried one of his victims. A wild goose chase ensues and he manages to evade his security team and once again he is on the loose. The police always thought that he had an accomplice and it looks like he or she has helped him to evade capture. It is now up to Chief Inspector William Wisting and his team to fi d both of these killers. OMG WHAT A READ!!! Packed with tension and suspense, I literally have no nails left. This book definitely ticked all my boxes and kept me reading late into the night. Scand noir par excellence and I want more now PLEASE. A well deserved five stars and a MUST READ. 
Thanks to Penguin UK and Michael Joseph and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.
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A really good book.  I've watched the TV series but this doesn't detract from enjoying the book. As usual Wisting and his daughter, Line end up involved in the same case.  Allowing a mass murderer to escape in order to catch his accomplice is a little far fetched but made a good, fast paced read.
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I love police procedural Nordic noir, and especially Horst's writing. It's well paced, the story is interesting, full of twists and turns. I had a great time. Perfect for these cold months. 
Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.
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This book is a brilliant police procedural.  It is a fast paced story with lots of twists and turns which keep you guessing right to the end.  The story is quite a unique take on a police procedural as you know who the criminal is from the beginning as they’ve escaped! I really liked the character of the lead detective Chief Inspector Wisting and his relationships with his daughter and colleagues and look forward to meeting them again.

Tom Kerr has been in prison for 4 years until he escapes police custody during an expedition from prison to show the police his final victims grave, so now they just have to find him before he has a chance to strike again.  Chief Inspector William Wisting leads a frantic search to find this cold-blooded killer that sees him and his colleague chasing around the Norwegian landscape.

Weeks before Tom Kerr’s escape a body of another woman, killed weeks before, has been found. Murdered in the same way as Kerr's victims.  Is this a copycat?  Is Kerr inspiring others to kill?  Is it connected to Kerr’s escape? 

Definitely a recommended read for those who love Scandi-noir and crime thrillers.
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The tension was initiated almost straight away in The Inner Darkness, as the search gets underway for 19 year old Taran Norum’s remains, led by convicted serial killer, Tom Kerr. Kerr is someone who took great pleasure in torturing and dismembering his victims, and he has never revealed Taran’s final resting place - until now.

The story begins with Kerr heading a team of police officers and detectives through an area of thick Norwegian forest. He’s supposedly leading them to the site of Taran’s grave, but after walking and stumbling along various tracks, he manages to evade all security arrangements that have been put in place and escapes. His successful escape came about when detectives decided to remove his leg irons after he’d tripped a couple of times - and so it was that Kerr gained his freedom - but would he carry on where he’d left off?

Investigators were always convinced that Kerr had an accomplice, known to them as ‘The Other One ‘ and it looks like this unknown accomplice has stepped in and set up Kerr’s escape - but who is he/she? 

That’s what Chief Inspector William Wisting and his team need to establish, because The Other One is just as dangerous as Kerr - another young woman was found recently with the same MO as Kerr’s murders, and as Kerr was under lock and key at the time, it can only have been committed by The Other One, so there’s double the danger now that it appears they are reunited!

As the frantic search begins to find Kerr and his counterpart, the tension ramps up to an unbearable level, culminating in a heart stopping conclusion. As a former Norwegian police detective, author Jørn Lier Horst is more than qualified to bring us this exciting Cold Case Quartet - definitely a master at work aided by his knowledge of the complexities of the criminal mind. Highly recommended!
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