This is the first crime novel (in a planned series) by this author, who normally writes vampire-themed books. There is a touch of the macabre about some of the scenes (especially the autopsy and links to the possible supernatural).
It features disgraced ex-Chief Inspector Thorkild Aske, a damaged man with a complicated past. He worked previously in a unit investigating police corruption (think Line of Duty in a snowy setting) but ended up in prison after becoming involved with a young law student (Frei) who was killed whilst he was driving a car with her as a passenger, both in drug-fuelled states. Little also did Aske realise that Frei was the girlfriend of the policeman he had come to the town to investigate.
As prison was terrible and the magnitude of his actions had also meant he spent time in a psychiatric hospital, Aske is both fragile and still in a drugged state (with anti-depressants). He wants to forget the past but then the past comes crashing back.
He is asked to help investigate why the young cousin of Frei (Rasmus) has gone missing off the coast. Rasmus’s desperate family only see the good policing qualities of the former detective and even though he is continually tormented by his past Aske heads off to try and help.
The area into which Rasmus disappeared is a storm swept rugged coastline, with past shipwrecks and a lonely lighthouse (where Rasmus had hoped to run a community centre). The waters are treacherous and when Aske not only finds a body (this time a woman who had been drowned) but which then is pulled back into the sea by a mysterious figure in a diving suit he has to ask the local police to get involved. When two policemen then also disappear it seems everyone suspects Aske.
It took a while to get into the plot and also unravel Aske as the main character. He is so flawed it is probably only through other characters we get to understand his motives. His sister Liz, also friend and doctor Ulf, and husband Harvey who runs a mussel farm and his clairvoyant wife Merethe are all well written and definitely add to the tension as well. I found the killer reveal a genuine surprise and was by then rooting for Aske to come out of the whole thing with his reputation back in one piece.
My e-book version had some weird symbol and letter inserts and as a translation there were a couple of spelling mistakes but nothing to distract from the flow overall.
As a personal read it gripped me eventually. Would I want to read more with the same main character? Not sure. Book clubs who like Scandi Noir might not find anything with a new slant and be warned if you aren’t keen on gruesome scenes in the sea…
Philipa Coughlan 3/3
I Will Miss You Tomorrow by Heine T. Bakkeid
Raven Books 9781526610775 hbk Nov 2019