Fear Not, by Anne Holt

by Peter

Fear Not, Anne Holt
Fear Not (Pengemannen) is the fourth novel in Anne Holt’s series about Johanne Vik and Adam Stubo translated into English. In my opinion it is perhaps the best book so far in the series.

Fear Not starts with several bangs. They take the form of a series of seemingly unrelated events. First Johanne’s daughter, Kristiane, walks by herself out of a hotel where the family is celebrating a wedding, and into a busy street in the middle of Oslo. She would probably have been killed by a tram if she hadn’t been saved by a stranger. The stranger saves her and then disappears.

Then, quite shockingly, a on Christmas Eve a female Norwegian bishop is found murdered in Bergen! Bishop Eva Karin Lysgaard is a very popular and highly respected bishop. Why would anybody want to kill her? And why was she out by herself on Christmas Eve, walking the deserted streets of Bergen? Streets in Norway are deserted on Christmas Eve.

Also, a young asylum seeker, only seventeen years old, is found dead in the harbor of Oslo. The young man was a prostitute.

Adam Stubo is dispatched to Bergen to assist the police there in the investigation of the Lysgaard murder. This is a high profile case that gets lots of media attention, and the police are clueless.

Meanwhile, in Oslo, criminal psychologist and profiler Johanne Vik, working on a project about hate crimes, finds indications that the killings may actually be connected. But while she searches for proof of a connection and Adam continues to investigate in Bergen, bodies keep turning up in Oslo.

Johanne Vik thinks she may know the solution, but her theory is so farfetched that she can hardly believe her own reasoning. Lacking evidence and hard facts, she doesn’t even feel that she can bother Adam with her ideas. At the same time she strongly feels that unless something is done, the killings will continue.

Fear Not is an action-filled crime fiction novel that implicitly raises important and interesting questions about such topics as terrorism, hate and the nature of love. It takes a while for the suspense to be felt, but when it does, this novel really grabs hold of you. The plot is complicated, intriguing and very engaging. While the plot may not be all that likely, it certainly seems possible. I like reading Anne Holt, I enjoyed the book a lot, and eagerly await the next installment in the series!

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