#BlogTour #Extract : Inborn by Thomas Enger. @OrendaBooks @EngerThomas

I am thrilled to be on the blog tour for Inborn today. I love the sound of this book and it’s on my to-read list but for my stop on this tour I have an extract for you and if this short piece in anything to go by this book is amazing! Read on and enjoy, I dare you…….


Inborn blog poster 2019


Blurb:   When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a
murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the
investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.  As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust.

But can we trust him?

A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and
asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?


Inborn final front (1)




Before he made the mistake of opening the door, Johannes Eklund was thinking about the show. He thought about the cheers and the admiring looks the girls had given him, the beers he was going to drink once he caught up with everyone at the opening-night party. The sex, God willing, he was going to get.

In those minutes that passed before he stepped through the doorway
and stared in disbelief at what he saw in front of him, Johannes’ mind had been filled with dreams. High on the praise that the night’s performance had received, his eyes had been firmly fixed on the future, on private jets and sold-out concerts, on a way of life he had yearned for every single day since his father introduced him to Stone Temple Pilots
and the glamour of rock ‘n’ roll some four years ago.

Right before his throat made that anxious little noise, Johannes wasn’t giving the slightest thought to the fact that he had school tomorrow, nor that he was due to hand in an essay on social economics later this week. School was no longer going to be important to him. Tonight’s show had only made that even more evident.

But then his presence was noticed, and he stood there watching for a few seconds, trying to comprehend what was going on in front of him. Then the stench of urine, sweat and metal rose to his nostrils and made him forget all about the distant future and the very recent past.  He couldn’t even process what he was seeing. All he could think was
that he wasn’t supposed to be there. That he had to get out.


His shoes, still wet from the rain, slipped on the floor as Johannes started to run, but he managed to stay on his feet and pick up some speed. The sound of boots, hard against the floor behind him, made him force his legs to move even faster. Heart racing and lungs screaming, he reached the end of the corridor. As he was about to open the door that led to the staircase, he turned and caught a glimpse of the person speeding towards him, eyes so dark it made Johannes tremble and whimper.

He grabbed at the door and ran through. He was about to descend the staircase, when he felt a powerful hand on his shoulder. He turned and raised his hands as if to protect himself, whispering a plea that died on his lips as intense pain jolted through his jaw, paralysing the rest of the muscles in his face. His feet lost touch with the ground, and as the back of his skull made contact with the top of the staircase, it felt and sounded as if something in his head had smashed into a thousand pieces.

He didn’t pass out, but part of him wished that he had. He tried to
get up, but something connected with his upper body and pushed him
forcefully further down the stairs. Unable to break his fall, he landed
on his back and shoulder. Then he toppled down the stairs and came
to rest at the bottom.

He couldn’t move.

Couldn’t think, at least not at first. He wanted to scream for help, and he managed to cover his face with his arm, but it was pulled sharply aside. He squinted up at the person above him. Only then did Johannes fully understand how much trouble he was in.

His thoughts turned towards his family and his friends, to the songs he had yet not written, songs that would never be loved, and the tears began to roll down his cheeks. As he felt blow after blow raining down on his face, feeling the numbness travel from his head to the rest of his body, Johannes’ mind drifted away from what was happening to him.  He thought about all the fun he had planned. The dreams that would never come true. And as the white lights above him started to fade, he thought of the taste of a girl’s lips. The feel of her body. And when Johannes Eklund could no longer feel a single thing, he could not help but wonder what on earth he’d walked in on, and why the hell he had
to die.


About the author:



Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, and another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has co-written a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.













Blog Tour Review: Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl


Synopsis:  Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frølich are back … and this time, it’s personal…

When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her … and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he begins to look deeper into the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda finds another body, and things take a more sinister turn. With a cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway casting a shadow, and an unsettling number of coincidences clouding the plot, Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers –
and the killer – before he strikes again.

Dark, brooding and utterly chilling, Faithless is a breath-taking and atmospheric page-turner that marks the return of an internationally renowned and award-winning series, from one of the fathers of Nordic Noir.


Faithless cover

My Review:

I’m a bit late to the Scandi/Nordic Noir obsession.  I was aware of the television programmes but oddly, for a crime fiction fan, I didn’t watch any of them so the whole thing passed me by until I discovered Ragnar Jonasson’s books and decided to try them.  Once I did that I was in.  I’m slowly reading more of these books and trying new authors in this genre and this book is no exception.

While reading this book I struggled to work out what it was that I was enjoying about it.  Make no mistake I did enjoy it but it took a while for me to put my finger on why.  There are two reasons: one is the writing style.  I love the writing style that only writers of these books seem to have.  I’m not sure if it’s in part because it has been translated into English rather than written in English originally but whatever it is it is perfect.  This leads into the second reason which is the story, or rather the lack of the characters stories.  This, for me, was very much a plot driven book.  There was information about the police characters and obviously sufficient information about the victims, witnesses and other characters in the story but there was only as much information given as was needed.  There was no excessive background to anything and while I like background to characters, because of the way this book was written the little information that was supplied was enough, I didn’t want or feel I needed more.

When you look at this book, the print version, it doesn’t seem particularly large especially compared to some of the other books I have.  However, this comparison is misleading because for all that it appears to lack in size it makes up for in density.  This is not a hard read by any means but because the author has not wasted words on anything unnecessary he has been able to fit a lot of information, plot and description into fewer pages.  This makes the reading experience quite unique. There is enough description to get a feel for the building, room, street, wherever the character is but not so much that you’re still reading about it three lines later.  You get given what you need and that’s it and I find that quite impressive.  It’s the same with the characters, there are a lot of characters in this book but it never gets confusing as to who is who or what is happening next.

This is a skillfully written book that takes you on a journey with the characters and lets you see and feel exactly what they do without getting bogged down in extraneous information.  It’s almost as crisp and clear as I imagine the winters in Norway are and I think that is what makes it so good.  This is definitely a book that crime fiction fans, especially those who love police procedurals are likely to enjoy but I would also recommend it for anyone who wants something a little different, or perhaps wants to try a new author.  There are so many authors out there to choose from but you won’t go far wrong if you pick this one.



Author bio:  One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has
been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.




A Presence of Absence Blog Tour: Guest Post by Sarah Surgey

I’m really pleased today to have a guest post on the blog tour for the amazing sounding A Presence of Absence.  Although this is a book that sits in the Nordic Noir category the fact that it is written by two authors and has such an intriguing blurb makes it stand out for me.  Below I have an interesting guest post from one of the authors and further below that I have the synopsis for the second book in this series which is hopefully being published at the end of the year.


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Blurb:  The Odense Series is a new Nordic Noir/Brit Crime series that blends humanist stories and family drama with gritty crime in the central Danish city Odense.

British detective Simon Weller escapes the fallout from the recent suicide of his Danish wife, Vibeke and heads out to her home city of Odense. But once there he is paired up with a local detective, Jonas, who is also about to hit rock bottom in his home life and they must overcome their differences and personal problems to try and catch one of the worst serial killers Odense has seen in many years.

The case takes them back into past decades as history starts catching up with some of the local inhabitants.

When Simon realises that his wife’s suicide may not be all it seems and her name appears in the case, his integrity within the case is compromised, how far will he go to find out the truth of Vibeke’s past and hide it from his already troubled police partner?

Back home in London Simon’s family are struggling with their own web of lies and deceit and the family is falling apart.

With one family hiding a dark secret, the whole case is just about to reach breaking point.


A Presence of Absence Cover Low Res


Guest post: What goes on around the ‘crime’ is just as important

By Sarah Surgey

We are a female writing duo whose everyday lives can be compared to most people reading this.

One of us is a mum, homemaker and freelancer and the other works full-time between different jobs and loves to travel, so what is it that attracts us to writing crime thriller…..do we need a bit of excitement in our lives?

Well, that would be nice but no, writing crime thriller isn’t always about having some dark fascination with murder and death.

Emma and I have both discussed this and for us, it’s the humanist stories around the crime that really engross us. Human responses, reactions and behaviours change when we deal with scenarios which are on a magnified scale. When we have to cope with loss, changes or sudden disruption and of course dealing with a loved one who has died can change how we become as people and we can never predict how we’ll cope.

But then magnify that death with a murder or suicide being involved and suddenly people behave in a way so completely out of character that for us as writers this is an interesting thread to follow.

The first book in The Odense Series is ‘A Presence of Absence’ and it deals with grief from those affected by death. We watch the fallout, the anger and strange behavioural patterns.

We look at two suicides, in two countries, in different decades. In amongst this, you will find the crime, the murders, the lies and deceit.

This is a story of revenge and retribution set amongst the cobblestone side streets of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace, Odense and the bustling pavements, in the heart of London.

The character development has been described by reviewers as “incredibly strong” and this is important to us because we knew we wouldn’t just write one book, we wanted to carry these strong characters through a whole series and if we had any chance of being successful at this we would need to really develop them and have the reader wanting to emphasise with them, pity them and rejoice with them when they succeed.


About the Authors

SarahSarah Surgey

Sarah Surgey is a 36 year old British feature writer for various magazines. She lives in the UK with her husband and 4 daughters.

She has had an interest in all things Nordic for many years and has written about many genres within this subject for publication. Although British, she has Danish family and enjoys exploring Denmark and its culture whenever the opportunity arrives.

Sarah was brought up with crime books and inevitably has always had crime story scenarios going around inside her head. After interviewing many famous authors for different magazines within the Nordic literary circle and always knowing the answer to her question of “why did you start writing?” she felt now was her time to get her stories out there, for people to read!


EmmaEmma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the owner and editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia, a Nordic film and television journal that analyses popular Nordic titles. Part of her work includes working with directors, actors and filmmakers, and her numerous interviews with the biggest names in Nordic film and television have given her a privileged access to what makes Nordic narratives so successful. Cinema Scandinavia publishes bimonthly and is available in major Nordic film libraries.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheOdenseSeries
Twitter: https://twitter.com/OdenseSeries
Instagram: Sarah: https://www.instagram.com/the_wormcatcher/ Emma: https://www.instagram.com/emmavestrheim169/

Website: www.theodenseseries.com


The Enlightened Book Cover


The Enlightened is the second novel in the Odense Series.

When a young girls body is discovered in a burnt-out church, the Odense police initially conclude that it’s nothing more than a tragic accident involving a runaway. However, when British detective Simon Weller digs deeper, he finds a link between the girl and a cult up in the most northerly parts of Norway.

As more evidence arises, the arson attack on the church quickly becomes a murder investigation, and sees the detective travelling to Norway to work on the case alongside a young and eager Norwegian counterpart. Everything is not what it seems and they find themselves looking back over the history of Norse Mythology and how the past occult is once again fighting its way into modern day society. Meanwhile, in Odense Simon’s colleague Jonas Norgaard discovers an element to the case that puts Simon’s life in danger.

As the case unfolds across the corners of Scandinavia, in London Simon’s family is falling apart. With her husband, Michael, missing, Simon’s daughter Sanne spirals into depression and self-loathing, while her brother Thomas takes care of her children. Frustrated, Thomas starts investigating Michaels disappearance and comes across information that may answer why his mother committed suicide two years ago.

Intended release date: December 2017