Shortlisted for: Audiobook of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
Who killed Nanna Birk Larsen? Through the dark wood where the dead trees give no shelter, Nanna Birk Larsen runs.... There is a bright monocular eye that follows, like a hunter after a wounded deer. It moves in a slow approaching zigzag, marching through the Pineseskoven wasteland, through the Pentecost Forest. The chill water, the fear, his presence not so far away... There is one torchlight on her now, the single blazing eye. And it is here....
Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last day as a detective with the Copenhagen Police department before moving to Sweden. But everything changes when a 19-year-old student, Nanna Birk Larsen, is found raped and brutally murdered in the woods outside the city. Lund's plans to relocate are put on hold as she leads the investigation, along with fellow detective Jan Meyer.
While Nanna's family struggles to cope with their loss, local politician Troels Hartmann is in the middle of an election campaign to become the new mayor of Copenhagen. When links between City Hall and the murder suddenly come to light, the case takes an entirely different turn. Over the course of 20 days, suspect upon suspect emerges as violence and political intrigue cast their shadows over the hunt for the killer.
©2012 David Hewson (P)2012 Macmillan Digital Audio
"This adaption of 'The Killing' is a huge success.... So how does it survive this possibly awkward transmutation? The answer, in short, is extremely well. David Hewson - the author of more than a dozen detective novels set in Italy and with no need to stoop to anything too hurriedly commercial - has taken what was television gold and turned it into literary gold." (Guardian)
The narrator makes this reading more like a dramatization which enhances what already is one blistering detective story. His rendition is truly first class. The novel, which has more red herrings than any other I have ever read, has fully fleshed characters, a tangible sense of atmosphere and climate and is a riveting story. One slight niggle is that the final denouement, and believe me there is a lot of them, is a bit rushed and not fully implicated in the previous 23 hours. However, I recommend it to all lovers of crime and political fiction. It's a smorgasbord of delight!
I got a little of the danish TV show and was hooked, the book didn't disappoint. Characters are strong and imperfect, the story keeps you hooked: which is especially important given the length of the book. I will definitely be getting the sequel
I have read / heard loads of books and this is BY FAR the best yet!
The story is 'Simple' who killed the girl, the end is not what I expected nor had I predicted.
There are more twists and turns in this book than a Formula 1 season.
The Narrator does a good job of keeping the characters realistic and individual, even with the Danish names.
But be aware that, at times, its hard going to keep track, with some of the political wrangling and jumps in time. But the end is well worth it.
This is one book I can strongly recommend
I was really quite disappointed with this. There was nothing wrong with the writing per se, but I guess that just in the way a film adaptation of a book can never be as good as the book, this book adaptation of a screenplay never quite hits the mark.
Weighing in at more than twenty five hours the story is bloated and overlong. This is presumably to accommodate the twists, false starts and dead ends in the plot line, but I ended up feeling cheated and frustrated at said devices. A reader should be surprised, shocked or intrigued having been led down a path only to be redirected at the end, but these twists just do nothing to move the story on, they just elongate it. I felt as if they were there in order to provide cliffhangers for end of each episode of the TV series rather than clever plot lines in the book. The story plods along (speeding up occasionally only to get weighed down again) and I found myself checking the elapsed time, mentally urging the end to hurry forward.
The story is set in Denmark, so the choice Christian Rodska (the son of a Danish sailor) as narrator seems prudent. He can pronounce the place and character names with a level of authenticity. However, his decision to give the characters regional British accents seems entirely incongruous. The reader is listening to the intrigue at Copenhagen's Rådhus only for a character called something like Sven Munk Jørgensen to pop up with Scottish, Brummy or Sarf Lahndan accent. It draws attention away from the story and into the telling. For some audiobooks the performance is as important as the story, and indeed a good telling can make up for an average plot. In this case it just adds to the disappointment.
Shame, as there was promise in this. I'll stick to the TV version for The Killing 2.
The story line started off really well, it was gripping and I wanted to hear more. But after the 3rd of 4th time of the same bumbling hunt for the killer in the same kind of format I was bored. I lost count of how many times the wrong persons were accused of the murder with seemingly little evidence to create a convincing story. Having listened to more than half of it I struggled to the end only to find it was the person I had originally suspected. There was a bit of a twist at the end but far too late in the book to redeem it.
The narrator was very good but I could not make sense of the Scottish, Gordie, Cockney and other very English accents in a story set in Denmark!
Sorry this didn't do it for me but others may think very differently.
Nanna Birk Lassen, a young student, is missing, her family distraught. But that is nothing as to how they will feel when her body turns up, bound, ravished and locked in the boot of a submerged car. How did she get there? When was she killed? Detective Sarah Lund is assigned to the case to find out, her plans to relocate to Sweden put on hold.
The story vies for press coverage alongside Copenhegan's Mayoral elections until evidence arises tying one of the candidates to the victim - and two stories become one. But as Lund investigates and digs deeper, the list of suspects gets longer and Nanna's parents begin to realise how little they knew their daughter and the life she led. As the family get dragged into the limelight, secrets buried for years come to light, secrets of her father's highly suspiscious past and of his former involvement in gang warfare. Had his temper and hidden viscious steak led him to murder his own daughter?
With more twists and stomach-wrenching drops than a rollercoaster ride, this is a book that will keep you riveted and guessing right to the end.
Gripping, convincing, unusual
The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson because I also found it thoroughly engrossing and cleverly-writtne.
I was sufficiently interested in the story to make me stay until the end, but it was a struggle to do so.
The two main detectives never shared information with each other, and consequently went off on different tangents constantly. They hopped from plot to plot and seemed to decide on the guilty party using guess work and by jumping to strange conclusions. I found this really tiresome, and difficult to believe that supposedly skilled homicide investigators could be so inept.
The political intrigue was boring in the extreme, and scarcely seemed to fit into the story at all. Overall, there were so many twists and turns in the novel that one didn’t know whether one was coming or going.
I wasn’t thrilled by any of the main characters, and found them hard to believe in. I have enjoyed other Hewson novels, but this would really put me off attempting another.
The narration was ok, there were a few odd accents, and sometimes I felt that the narrator had used the 'wrong voice' by mistake.
I was glad to get to the end!
I so enjoyed this book. But I did not actually watch the tv series, so this could make a difference. I listened to this book after hearing all of the hype and very favorable reviews of the TV series. I liked the narration, it had a tone which was appropriate to the book and the story line. I was really interested in the characters and geniunely 'needed' to know the ending!
Well I thought this was a good if not a bit long winded however I was hooked and I was decorating at the time and it made the time go a lot quicker.I would defiantly recommend this book x
Good atmosphere captures the Scandanavian setting. A smart, flawed, but believable main character.
Very good police procedural.
Long, so a few false paths in uncovering the story.
"fascinating, and hard to stop listening"
I've found myself detouring on my walk to work so I can listen for longer. The narrator has a perfect voice for the tone of the book, making the book effortlessly listen-able.
I thought the way the unfolding of the case unravels the whole community felt very real. So often in books it seems that death doesn't really touch anyone aside from the immediate family.I haven't seen the TV series, but this book adaptation has so much inner life and complexity.
"A real page turner"
I loved this book. For once, my commute wasn't long enough!
The story is great, and the narrator good. In fact I enjoyed it so much, I've got hold of the TV series the book was based on to see where David Hewson made changed.
Overall a very enjoyable book and highly recommended.
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