• Keely B

The Tenant - Katrine Engberg

It took me quite a long time to get into this story, despite the brutal murder discovered at the very beginning. I agree with other reviews, that the translation is very clunky in places, especially at the start of the book, and throws you out of the narrative flow. However, if you can persevere, there is a pretty impressively twisted plot to follow that keeps you reading after you find out who the perpetrator is, to see 'what happens in the end'. The police procedures are well-detailed throughout, without getting bogged down; it all seemed very realistic, right down to the office personalities and little habits. Jeppe and Anette are an unlikeable duo at the start which doesn't help, but looking back, adds authenticity. They grow on you, as does the translation. There are some lovely and unusual observations which are phrased in the author's language and translated directly, and while this doesn't always work, once you're absorbed in the Danish city and the characters, it becomes charming. And insightful. I think it's always interesting to see how other languages' colloquialisms and expressions work with body language and by the end of this book, you can picture the main characters very well. This is what tipped it into a 4-star read. At the beginning, it is solidly a 2.5 possibly 3. As you progress, it becomes a 3.5 and that is fair, considering the inauspicious start. However, the realistically-drawn characters and the fact that I would read more stories with the lead detectives gives it the benefit of the doubt. An impressive debut.

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