It happened in the quiet town of Larvik.
A severed head is displayed on a stake. A crime so dark only one man is capable of solving it: Police Inspector William Wisting.
Before long, more bodies are found. Media frenzy sweeps the locals into a panic. And when Wisting’s investigation leads him to a deadly underground crime ring, he fears the whole town may be in danger.
But at the heart of it is just one man: The Night Man.
Their elusive leader. The man Wisting must find if he wants to stop the murders.
That is if The Night Man doesn’t get to him first . . .
As all my followers know, Jorn Lier Horst and Wisting are on the top of my favorite author and character list, so as always I was looking forward to reading The Night Man.
I have all the Wisting books that have been published in English and have read them all in the order that they have originally been published in Norway, However, The Night Man is actually book 5 in the series, so therefore it does read a little out of sync. This is my only minus point and I think that it should be made clear before readers dive in.
That said, the story and plot is excellent as always, the way Jorn Lier Horst writes the police procedural side is always so true to life ( something to do with him being a Detective with the Norweigian Police before becoming a novelist ), and I love that we get so deep into Wisting’s psyche with every book in the series. I don’t know why but I just really feel so much warmth for William Wisting as a character, he is such a lovely thoughtful Detective, who always goes to the ends of the earth for the victims of crime. He isn’t perfect, his relationship with his son, Thomas isn’t the best, but he is close to his daughter, Line who I also love… she is a journalist and has her father’s curious and analytical mind. From reading the first book in the Wisting series I totally fell in love with William, that is definitely down to the skilful writing of Jorn Lier Horst, and as an added bonus being set in my favourite Country, Norway, makes these one of my favourite reads.
Line features quite heavily in The Night Man, and as I’ve said it’s strange reading about what’s happening to her as this book is in the last compared to the last read of A Question Of Guilt. But her character is so well written by Jorn, I always find it amazing how male authors can portray female protagonists so well.I love Line to as she is an inquisitive and kick ass journalist, who won’t let things go….however sometimes this can mean trouble can find her!
The storyline follows the discovery of a child’s severed head on a post in the middle of Larvik, Norway. There are some quite gory descriptions of this that made my skin crawl haha, but that’s one of the reasons I adore Crime Fiction. We follow Wisting and his team on a journey through drugs and child exploitation from Europe to Afghanistan, on a quest to find the killer or killers.
The detail Jorn Lier Horst writes in his books is what always stays with me, the descriptions of the settings, the food being eaten, the insides of Norweigian homes, all are exquisite and totally make The Night Man sing with realism.
The ending leaves the reader wanting, but as I’ve said if you were to read the Wisting series in order – the next book being Dregs – it actually makes more sense. But as I love Wisting and also Jorn Lier Horst, it didn’t matter to me. It was a great read and another added to my collection. To help new readers I will list the Wisting series in order for you –
- Key Witness (Org. Nøkkelvitnet, 2004)
- Disappearance of Felicia (Org. Felicia forsvant, 2005)
- When the Sea Calms (Org. Når havet stilner, 2006)
- The Only One (Org. Den eneste ene, 2007)
- The Night Man (Org. Nattmannen, 2009) – translated into English July 2022
- Dregs (Org. Bunnfall, 2010) – translated into English by Anne Bruce, 2011
- Closed for Winter (Org. Vinterstengt, 2011) – translated into English 2013
- The Hunting Dogs (Org. Jakthundene, 2012) – translated into English 2014
- The Caveman (Org. Hulemannen, 2013) – translated into English 2015
- Ordeal (Org. Blindgang, 2015) – translated into English 2016
- When It Grows Dark (Org. Når Det Mørkner, 2016) – translated into English 2016 (A prequel to the series.)
- The Katharina Code (Org. Katharina-koden, 2017) – translated into English 2018
- The Cabin (Org. Det innerste rommet, 2018) – translated into English 2019
- The Inner Darkness (Org. Illvilje, 2019)- translated into English 2020
- A Question of Guilt (Org. Sak 1569, 2020)- translated into English 2021
- Boundless (Org. Grenseløs, 2021)
- The traitor (Org. Forræderen, 2022)
I hope that this helps those readers who haven’t yet ventured into the Wisting series by Jorn Lier Horst, if you want to read gripping, tense, exceptionally well written police procedurals and thrillers, then I urge you to start collecting and reading this series.
I will also add that all the Wisting novels are written in Norwegian first, then translated into English, this is done so well, that one really doesn’t know they were not written in English first!
So my score is a sound 4 stars, and as always I wait for the next Wisting book to be translated into English!
Jorn Lier Horst has his own website HERE
You can watch Wisting on the BBC iPlayer HERE