What Never Happens by Anne Holt

What Never Happens
Anne Holt
Grand Central Publishing (2008)
ISBN 9780446578035
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (2/08)


“What Never Happens” is a compelling, thought-provoking mystery written by Scandinavia’s well-known crime author Anne Holt.  When a series of uniquely gruesome murders occur, investigator Adam Stubo and his wife, Johanne Vik, who is a gifted profiler, get involved.  Johanne, who just had a baby and cares for a young daughter with autistic-like behaviors, is exhausted.  She has some very bad memories from her past when she was in training with the FBI, however, she finds herself recalling patterns of past murders to what is currently happening.  There is definitely an intelligent person involved with the murders.  As the pattern begins to show itself, she realizes that she and Adam are in danger.

The characters have a great deal of depth and dimension.  I also got to know Adam and Johanne.  Holt made them so real to me.  The way she writes about Johanne’s daughter has me convinced that she has first-hand experience in dealing with a child with special needs.  Trying to overcome their personal issues and solve the mystery of the murders is incredibly stressful for them, but it also helps Johanne work through some issues.  She is forced to confront her past.

“What Never Happens” is absolutely fascinating.  It is by far one of the best murder mysteries that I have ever read.  Anne Holt came up with an incredible idea for writing this book.  Her imagination scares me!  She also manages to tie together different murders that you would assume have no connection.  I don’t want to give it away, so I will leave it at that.  The murders and the symbolism behind them are incredibly diabolical and creative.  This is a must read for murder mystery fans.  It would also provide some hot topics for readers groups.

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