Cover Image: The Tenant

The Tenant

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Member Reviews

I looked forward to this book for the longest time but in the end I just couldn't force myself to finish it. The premise is really interesting and it had a lot of potential but the downfalls for me made it unbearable. 1. It was a very slow start. 2. The characters seemed 2 dimensional, like they had been pulled from a How To of writing a crime novel 3. I'm sure in it's original language it is compelling, but the translation was clunky and kept taking me out of the narrative. Also there were references that didn't make a lot.of sense unless you were from there. I was bitterly disappointed.
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The Tenant is everything I love about Nordic Noir. A slow-burn suspense novel, The Tenant is a police procedural but with a difference. When a man finds a woman dead in his apartment block, the police investigating the murder find links to her landlady Esther, who is also working on a manuscript about a suspicious murder. As the investigation continues, they discover that the book has similarities to the real-life murder. This is the perfect blend of murder mystery and bookish suspense, perfect for all thriller and mystery fans, especially those looking for a Nordic Noir with a bit of a twist!
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The Tenant is the first book by the new to me author Katrine Engberg so I was very excited to dig in. Although I must admit it was a great police procedural, I am not going to lie I had mixed feelings about this novel. 

The story begins with a horribly mutilated body of a woman found in a Copenhagen apartment. When the police start to investigate the murder, they quickly realize the killing is based on an unpublished manuscript belonging to victim’s landlady. 

I really enjoyed the first part of the book. I got immediately hooked onto the storyline and a mysterious death of a young woman. The plot is rather complex and will keep you guessing the killer’s identity with lots of characters being introduced. The second part of the book is where the story really picks up and unfortunately, it is where I had the most problems with. I lost the excitement with the plot and I did not care for the big twist at the end. In my opinion the killer’s motive was rather far fetched which is a shame as it spoiled the book for me. 

To be more positive I loved how well some characters were crafted, especially a leading detective Jeppe and his professional relationship with a female colleague Anette, and an eccentric landlady Esther.

Overall is a solid novel and I will be most definitely reaching for the second instalment in the series. I would recommend this book to a reader who enjoys a slow burning police procedural novel but not necessary in a traditional Nordic Noir style.
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‘Tell me, are we in the middle of some f***ing crime novel, or what?’

If you haven’t already noticed from my blog and Goodreads profile, I am very partial to crime novels. Although I have written before on some of the pitfalls of the genre, it is still one that I hold close to my heart and in general I tend to find such books engaging and easy reads. The Tenant is the first in a Scandi noir crime thriller series and I was excited to dive into it.

Unfortunately, The Tenant fell very flat on my expectations for a number of reasons. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is so wrong with the story when it comes to a work that has been translated. I think the translation wasn’t as good as it could have been, it felt clunky in places whereas other books that I have read like this you would hardly know they’ve been translated at all. The book is also too long and drawn out with not enough happening to keep my interest piqued. It also got tiring when so many people were presented as red herring suspects. I honestly think that nearly every character you meet is spun as a possible suspect by the end of the book.

I also didn’t like how the blurb spells out a minor spoiler about the crime being linked to a plot of a book one of the characters is writing (and even who that character is). As this isn’t revealed properly until quite a way into the story it ruined the suspense the book had tried to build up until that point. 

The two main characters Korner and Werner are interesting, although they fulfilled the trope I have talked about on my blog before as ‘DI OldSchool GrizzleMan and his partner DC Woman WithIssues’. Korner is certainly DI OldSchool GrizzleMan with a recent divorce and a substance abuse of painkillers. He does feel refreshingly real though and we see some bad decisions in terms of relationships from him which I think may come back to haunt him in later books. As this is the first book in the series, there is a lot more focus on Jeppe than Annette so hopefully she will be more of a feature in latter books.

Overall, The Tenant isn’t the best opening to a crime thriller series that I’ve read but hopefully it will pick up for the next installment. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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With thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the ARC.

A cracking story new series set in Copenhagen. Looking forward to more.

Full review to follow...
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I didn't instantly get into this book but once I did I quite enjoyed it. There is something about it that makes it not quite an out and out thriller, though the crime element is very much to the fore, because there's a little bit of humour and pathos surrounding the characters.  Jeppe is a bruised character, but with a lot of insight and his pairing with Annette as the detectives investigating a nasty murder of a young woman is a pairing I hope we see a lot more of.  There's also the suspects, particularly Esther. Is she the eccentric she seems to be or is there more to her? There are plenty of twists and turns and being led up the wrong path before the crime is finally solved.
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The premise is good and it did sound like a book I'd enjoy, especially as I like Nordic crime. However, the characters seem one dimensional and not overly taken by the plot.
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This was a great read, enjoyed it thoroughly, was hooked from the first page, loads of twists and turns, would recommend it x
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I found this book rather slow and hard going. I just couldn't get in to it and only managed to get 40% through.
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This story starts with a violent murder on a young female called Katerina in her rented apartment in Copenhagen. The murderer leaves a detailed pattern on her face that brings a very intricate and strange path that two police investigators have to follow to try and solve. This is a dark, tense read that will keep you hanging to the end.
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I’m not a huge fan of the ‘Scandi noir‘ genre. I’ve read a couple of books by other authors which I enjoyed, but I’ve also read a few which I found dull and heavy going.  I understand this is a debut novel and it’s a cracker; very well written and although quirky, it’s a gripping and complex read filled with twists and turns.

Set in Copenhagen, the two central investigators are very different. Those differences turn out to be a real strength in the way they work and bounce off one another.  They’re interesting and plausible with human frailties.. There are some graphic scenes, as one might expect, but I didn’t feel that any of the detail was gratuitous.  Realism is fine and adds to the tension and pace.  I was never quite sure how or where the story was going, which makes an exciting and gripping read. Kept me engrossed with a strong sense of location and plenty of tension. An author to watch out for. 

My thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley.
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I'm not the biggest fan of Nordic fiction, I get all brain fogged with all the names/spellings I think but I'm glad I gave this one a go bit I'm not sure I'll ever read another.

The storyline was good and the police procedural part was really well written and executed.. but my problem with this book was I didnt like the actual Detectives Korner & Werner. Kornet was yoir A typical lonely, depressed, divorced male detective who drinks too much.  Werner is overly chirpy, happily married and a bit scatter brainy. 

The rest of the characters were more likeable and I really grew to like the landlady Esther who I'm pretty sure you're not meant to like. She was a strong character who held her own throughout. 

A good police procedural story with lots of twists and turns and a good dose of "who dunnit".

I do think maybe there were translation issues and that it's more than likely better in its original dialect. 


Thanks to netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC.
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When a young woman is murdered in an apartment building in Copenhagen owned by Esther de Laurenti, Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner are sent to investigate. The murder is especially brutal and the victim, identified as Julie Stende, has a paper cut pattern carved on her face. What unfolds takes the duo and the rest of the team on a very strange journey of discovery.

Jeppe and Anette have an interesting semi combative relationship which is entertaining. Much of the storytelling is from Jeppe’s point of view and he is struggling following a messy divorce which left him mentally floored but he meets a ‘means of recovery’ during the investigation. We get a lot of his thoughts and being inside his head is an intriguing experience! Although Jeppe is initially very down, there are moments of wry humour which is a welcome relief and is interjected perfectly. There’s some fabulously dark imagery as the murderous mayhem continues, some rich descriptions and shall we say some very creative deaths in this twisty investigation which slowly builds to a satisfying conclusion.
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Dark, Domestic Suspense....
A gruesome murder sparks a complex case for Copenhagen police duo Korner and Werner. Dark, domestic suspense with credible characters and an engaging storyline. A tense read.
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It's been a while since I indulged in Nordic noir and The Tenant proved a great refresher to a genre I very much enjoy. Cops Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner investigate the murder of a woman in her apartment which may not be as simple and straightforward as previously thought. There are plenty of twists and turns with good dialog and intriguing developments. I don't know how old Jeppe is but he comes across as an old soul who has endured much hardship. Still troubled by his wife leaving him, he juggles his personal issues as well as those imposed by this widening investigation rather well. Anette is, simply put, a little bulldog with great focus and determination. She balances Jeppe out well, much like an old married couple who work in tandem to keep everything afloat.

What is it that makes Scandi noir so delicious? Is it the exotic foreign names or the lack of vaguely duplicitous beating around the bush you would get in, say, England or the States? It may be a combination of elements both cosy and cruel that make it feel atmospheric and unique. Whatever the reason I enjoyed this opener to a new series and happily anticipate follow-on books.
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I lost my way when reading this.  It's a good - if confusing - story, but I just didn't 'feel' the connection between the detectives.  It left me feeling that I didn't have much to say about it.  I'd recommend trying it yourself and proving me wrong.

Just not my cup of tea, but very well translated

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I read a free advance review copy of the book.  This review is voluntary, honest and my own opinion.
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The Tenant is Katrine Engberg’s  2016 debut Scandi noir crime novel translated to English from Danish for the first time in 2020. When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment, with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen detectives Kørner and Werner are assigned to the case. Quickly they establish a link between the victim Julie and her landlady Esther - Esther is an aspiring author and the lines start to dangerously blur between real life and the unfinished fiction she’s writing.

This will keep you hooked! It kept me guessing all the way through. The characters are complex and the twists even more so. Something about Engberg’s writing style felt like it was the perfect fit for me and I cannot wait for the next instalment in the series to come out in English next year!

Thanks Netgalley and Hodder & Staughton for my copy to review 💕
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My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Tenant’ by Katrine Engberg in exchange for an honest review.

It was originally published in Denmark in 2016 as ‘Crocodile Guardian’ and translated from the Danish by Tara Chace. It is the first in Engberg’s Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner series of police procedurals set in Copenhagen.

There is nothing I enjoy more than dark and broody Nordic Noir and appreciate that Hodder & Stoughton are publishing the English translations in order as it allows for the development of the character arcs.

When the body of a young woman is discovered in her apartment with multiple stab wounds and an intricate pattern carved into her face, veteran homicide detectives, Kørner and Werner, are assigned to the investigation. No further details in order to avoid spoiler territory, though this quickly turns into a complex case with more murders following.

I certainly found this an engaging crime thriller. Jeppe is your typical brooding Scandi detective, while Anette brings a sunnier, quirky personality. Their interaction works well, indicative of a long professional partnership. 

Katrine Engberg is a former dancer and choreographer and brings some of that background to the novel as Jeppe Kørner had grown up in an arty environment and dropped out of theatre school before enrolling in the police academy. 

I look forward to reading further works in this series in due course.
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I understand that this title is the first translation of 4 books written already featuring Korner and Werner - a pairing that suits neither of them! The translation is very good, although sometimes the language is not as smooth as English. The characters are well portrayed and it was quite a complicated plot line which was sometimes rather confusing. I look forward to reading more in this series as the characters develop.
Three and a half stars for me as the book did keep me engaged.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Katrine Engberg/Hodder & Stoughton for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I felt this was well written and translated with some interesting if slightly unbelievable plot twists. The coupling of Jeppe and Anette worked well, but in the end I found it followed the average police procedural novel and in a crowded genre there has to be a special relationship or twist to make it really stand out. 3.5 stars
thank you to netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for an advance copy of this book
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