This is a new police procedural series written by a collaborating writing team consisting of two, well established names in Nordic noir. I’ve read a number of novels by Thomas Enger and they’ve always been very good. Perhaps surprisingly, I’ve never read a book by Jørn Lier Horst.

A prologue which details a disastrous police operation sets up one of the main characters, damaged police officer Alexander Blix, who’s career, and mental state is unduly affected by the outcome. The other main character is celebrity blogger Emma Ramm. In today’s world Emma happens upon the scene of a celebrity’s disappearance, all indications being that it’s through foul play. Blix is put on the police investigation into the case and the two are soon more or less working together. They soon discover that this is the start of a series of events that indicate that a serial killer is targeting celebrities and the famous, and that’s when things get truly interesting.

This is a well plotted novel that tackles various concerns of the moment, not least celebrity and our fame-obsessed culture. It is a good, solid police procedural, with plenty of twists and turns. The characters are well-developed, and while this is especially so for Blix and Ramm, it’s also true for the supporting cast. The authors make a good team.

A solid take on the police procedural, this is the start of a new series and fans of the genre could do much worse than get in at the start with this, the first book.

James Pierson 3/3*

Death Deserved by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger
978-1913193003 Orenda Books 20th February 2020