#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.













#BlogTour #Guest Post : Killed by Thomas Enger.  @OrendaBooks @EngerThomas @annecater #Killed #HenningJuul

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  As I’ve not yet had the chance to read any of the previous Henning Juul books I decided that making the final book my first read wasn’t a good idea.  Therefore, instead of a review I have a guest post from Thomas Enger for you, in which he discusses research or not researching before you begin to write.  It’s a very interesting post and I hope you enjoy reading it. 

Blurb:  Crime  reporter  Henning  Juul  thought  his  life  was  over when his young  son  was  murdered.  But  that  was only  the  beginning… 

Determined  to  find  his  son’s  killer,  Henning  doggedly  follows  an increasingly  dangerous  trail,  where dark  hands  from  the  past emerge  to  threaten  everything.  His  ex-wife  Nora  is  pregnant  with another man’s  child,  his  sister  Trine  is  implicated  in  the  fire  that killed  his  son  and,  with  everyone  he  thought  he could  trust seemingly  hiding  something,  Henning  has  nothing  to  lose  … except  his  own  life. Packed  with  tension  and  unexpected  twists, Killed  is  the  long-awaited  finale  of  one  of  the  darkest,  most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who? 

To research or not to (or how to) – that is the question

by Thomas Enger

A question I often get from pupils doing a paper or whenever I’m participating on panels/festivals here or there (mostly there), is the topic of research. How you do you do your research, when do you do it (before, during or after the first draft?) or sometimes I’m even asked if I do any research at all. First, let me just very clearly state that I’m not a doctor. I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m not a carpenter. I’m not a weather man. I’m not a politician. I’m not a teacher (at least not anymore, I did have a four-month sting as a gymnastics teacher back when I was 21). I’m not hit man. I’m not a hit woman, or a woman, for that matter. I’m not a butcher (although that can sometimes be argued…). I’m not a secretary for a shady lawyer, either. I’m not a real estate agent, would you believe it. I’m not a 74-year old woman or an astronaut. You get where I’m going with this. So if I’m ever going to make any sense at all in the books that I’m writing, a certain element of research has to apply.

That means I go online and search for stuff or places. I talk to people. I e-mail them. Ask all kinds of stupid questions, just to get an inkling for the topic or just to see if there is something in that specific line of work that I can use (to my advantage). I also travel quite a lot, and take pictures of the places that I’m writing about, just to make sure that I get everything right. Not that it has to be, I’m writing fiction, so I can easily manufacture a bridge or a lake here or there, if I want to or the story requires it. But it adds to the story’s credibility if I can keep myself within some form of reality. When it comes to medical issues, for instance, that is especially imperative. I can’t invent new ways to perform open heart surgery (a closed one, for instance, would look weird) or treat a cancer patient with anti-histamines and still proclaim with a certain level of authority that those little blue pills somehow made the patient cancer-free. Things that people can google themselves and double-check, need to be accurate, or at least very close to it.

When I get ideas for a book, the instinct in me tells me to start writing right away, as the idea is fresh and fun and free from friction. But what I’ve learned over the years is to give myself enough time and space, or patience, as some might call it, to develop a feel for the story first before I dive into the material. That means giving the story a preliminary cast, and when I do that, research always place a small part. If I need a janitor in there somewhere, I might research that profession a little bit. Bad example, but it would be good to know a little bit about what it’s actually like to be a female in a very male dominant part of, say, politics. Like in the Ministry of Defence, for instance. Then I would try to talk to someone with that kind of experience or background, and see if there are specifics in her everyday life that I can use.

If I know that the story is going to involve drug trafficking or problems related to immigration, then it’s always good to know some details of how things really work in the society I’m portraying before I start to create a story around that topic. For me, the characters always come before the topic, so that was a bad example, too. But you know what I mean. I hope.

I don’t want to over-do the research, though. I want to leave a lot up to my own imagination, and sometimes I just write and do the research after. I can write a scene exactly the way I want it to play, and then go back and see if a gun actually could spit out 22 bullets per second, or if I have to make do with 3. Again, not the best of examples, but I’ve found that research sometimes can be limiting to what I want to write. It certainly might limit my options, so the best thing, for me, at least, is to have a certain feel for the terrain before I put my boots on, so to speak, and then go wherever I want in that terrain, hopefully without getting my feet too wet. That was a better example, right? A decent analogy, at least?

But don’t take my, uhm, word for it. Every author has his or her own path or methodology, and it’s always a matter of trying and figuring out what works for you. If it doesn’t, then try a different angle the next time around.

What I’ve found to be quite amazing over the last eight or nine years (that’s how long I’ve been doing this professionally) is how incredibly forthcoming people are when I approach them, looking for help (first aid). They are so eager to help in any way they can, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Author bio: 

Thomas  Enger  (b.  1973)  is  a  former  journalist.  He  made  his  debut  with  the crime  novel  Burned  (Skinndød) in  2010, which  became  an  international sensation  before  publication.  Burned  is  the  first  in  a  series  of  5  books  about the  journalist  Henning  Juul,  which  delves  into  the  depths  of  Oslo’s  underbelly, skewering  the  corridors  of  dirty  politics  and  nailing  the  fast-moving  world  of 24-hour  news.  Rights  to  the  series  have  been  sold  to  26  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). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo. 

Bloody Scotland 2017

So, days after moving house I spent the weekend volunteering and attending events at Bloody Scotland in Stirling.

The weekend kicked off in style with the announcing of the winner of the McIlvanney prize (Denise Mina) and then with a torchlight procession from Stirling castle to the Albert Halls.

As a volunteer I was positioned about halfway down the route so was able to get an amazing view of the procession as it came down the street. All the volunteers were also offered the opportunity, as we made up the rear of the procession, to carry a torch of our own (something we never expected).  This made an already impressive experience even more amazing and was the perfect way to start the weekend. I headed home after this as I had an early start the next morning.

Day 2 

On Saturday I had the pleasure of working two events.  One was with C.L. Taylor, Sarah Pinborough and Clare Mackintosh who were a joy to listen to and were an excellent panel. The conversation flowed well and I couldn’t believe all 3 of them had only met the night before!

The second panel was Catriona McPherson, C.F. Peterson and Michael Ridpath. This was a fascinating hour in which all three authors discussed detting their writing in villages and remote places rather than the cities of Scotland such as Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Shift over I whizzed off to one of the other venues to catch Peter May in discussion with Lin Anderson.

I’ve seen Peter May talk before but it was a pleasure to hear him again. This time he discussed his Enzo series, the fact that all of the publishers in the country turned down The Blackhouse when it was sent to them and becoming a French citizen amongst other topics. All in all a fascinating and entertaining hour.

After that it was time for a quick lunch before more of Lin Anderson, this time with Ragnar Jonasson and Thomas Enger.  (And the news that Scotland won the Bloody Scotland football match 6-3!!)

During this hour we heard a lullaby that Thomas Enger’s Henning Juul character composed for his unborn son and a lot of discussion about setting novels in countries which get little, if any, daylight in the winter months. It was another excellent panel and I ended up leaving with a copy of Lin Anderson’s new book simply for asking Ragnar where his inspiration for the character of Ari Thor came from.

Day 3

A shorter day today. First I went to the Denise Mina and Liz Nugent event.

I missed the beginning of this due to watching Mo Farah win the Great North Run but it was still interesting nonetheless. It was fascinating to hear Denise Mina talking about the people in her latest book, The Long Drop, and her concerns about the book itself. Hearing about the inspiration for Liz Nugent’s, Lying in Wait (a stunning novel), was equally fascinating and added a little more depth to the novel itself.

After that it was back to work where I had a surreal few minutes in a minibus-taxi with the panelists on the next panel and the lovely Karen Sullivan. Bloody Scotland allows some authors to pitch their novels to publishers in the hope of getting a deal or, at least, a bit more exposure. This next panel was some of the results of that pitch opportunity from the past few years.

Steph Broadribb, Jospeh Knox and Matt Wesolowski have all had books published as a result of taking part in pitch perfect. I was already aware of them having read Deep Down Dead and had the pleasure of meeting Jospeh Knox at my book group a few months ago but it was fascinating to hear their stories of what happened after they had pitched their novels and how they got from that to being the published authors they are now.

My last and final event of the day was working on the Chris Brookmyre event.

Chris spoke for the whole hour (apart from audience questions).  There was an extract from his new book, out in November called Places in the Darkness which sounds like a mix of science fiction and crime and is set on a space station orbiting Earth.  While quite different from his usual books this one does sound intriguing and may possibly bring him a host of new fans.

That was the end of my weekend and what an ending it was. Bloody Scotland is back slightly later next year on 21st September and I, for one, can’t wait. See you then!!

Cursed Blog Tour: Guest Post by Thomas Enger

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ll know I’m currently too busy to review many books but I’m still taking part in a few blog tours and this is one that I’m particularly excited about.  I have the book itself from the lovely Karen at Orenda books so will read and review it in time, but for today I have a very interesting guest post from Thomas Enger on how he writes his novels.  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out the other dates in the tour!



Blurb:   When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests. Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Norway’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. When their lives are threatened, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history. Chilling, gritty and unputdownable, Cursed marks the return of one of Norway’s finest crime writers.


Guest post:  How I write my novels

One of the most common questions I get when I travel around talking about my books, is how I go about writing a whole novel. Especially kids or young adults are curious about this, and I was, too, when I was younger.

I guess there are a lot of ways to write a novel. Some just start to write a scene, and then they take it from there. I guess, in theory, that’s one way to do it. When I was younger, that’s what I did, too. It’s not my method of choice anymore, and I’ll explain to you why.

I find that not knowing where you’re going, with anything, is a fun way to write, but it creates a lot more problems than it solves. It’s tricky enough to write a novel when you have outlined the story beforehand, because a lot of stuff happens to the story and the characters as you dive deeper into them, stuff that’s impossible to plan. So when you haven’t planned anything, you stand the chance of just writing a whole bunch of pages that will be of no use to you, at least in that particular story (you may be able to use it for something else later, though), as you would have to omit or change a lot. If you’re able to just start writing something, and when you’re done, you’re done, then chances are you are either lying, or simply a phenomenal genius. Most people aren’t, though. I know that I’m not.

So my process is usually something like this: I get an idea for … something, in a story. It may be the start of a story, it may be something in the middle of it, or it could be the ending. It could be a character, a prop, something that would catapult me into thinking about how I could put that idea into good use. It usually starts with the question “what if?”. What if you are talking to your friend on the phone and then that friend gets killed as you are talking to him? What if there existed a magical pen out there somewhere that you could write with, and those things you wrote, would end up happening? That least question actually led me to write a novel called The Evil Legacy, a dark fantasy young adult thriller so far only published in Norway and Denmark.

But I write that what if-question down, or that idea for a character, or that specific scene, and then I start to tinker around with it a little bit. I try to imagine what kind of characters would fit the story, and then I start to work on their backgrounds. I write whole CV’s for almost each and every one of my characters, which means that I know them quite well before I start the actual writing process. This can be quite tedious, but I find it very useful.

I also outline my story quite a bit, but not down to every last detail. I like to keep a few things open, as I know from experience that things very often take a turn for the unexpected as the writing takes me deeper into the story. Sometimes other ideas appear as I go along, and those ideas make me rethink the character’s role in the story, or what should happen next. It’s a dynamic process, but knowing a little bit about where you’re going before you start, is always helpful. To me, at least, because then I know what kind of effect those changes will have on the story as a whole.

So what I usually do, is that I quite quickly write my way through a very rough first draft. This is not in any way readable, couldn’t possibly be looked upon as “literature”, and I wouldn’t show it to anyone, but it helps me to get to know my characters and my story. Then I go back and start to change things. To me it’s always after that first draft is finished that I normally know what kind of story I’m going to tell. It’s not like I get it right the first time around.

Each of my six novels are the product of a very long process of writing and re-writing, sending drafts to my editors, talking about the characters and their motivations, bringing that input back to the drawing board, and then go back to the beginning. Again and again and again, until it’s good. And by that I mean not good as in good enough. I mean really good.

I wish it was some easier and more efficient way to do this, but so far I haven’t found it. But I’m continuously searching for a better method, for a better strategy, and whenever I meet and talk to other authors, that’s what I’m the most curious about. How they go about writing their stuff.

Two things are for certain, though: It’s not easy to write a novel, and there are more ways than one to do it. You just have to find a way that works for you.



Author bio:  Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the
crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly,
skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 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). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.