Stigma is a chiller of a novel that had me jumping out my skin. It is a brilliant, tense slow burner that had me guessing throughout. Full of clever twists, I genuinely couldn’t work out how this Nordic Noir was going to end. I loved that! Nor was I prepared for the almighty ending, which even though left me a quivering wreck, enhanced my love for the novel all the more.
As my keen followers of my blog know, I am a big fan of the Blix and Ramm crime series. I am not the only one as this is an internationally wide critically acclaimed series. Written by multi-award winning writing duo, Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger, Stigma is the fourth book in this emotionally charged series.
Dramatic and tense from the onset, Stigma follows on from its explosive prequel Unhinged. Convicted of avenging the death of his daughter, former police officer Alexander Blix is locked up in a high security prison. He is facing a long sentence alongside his fellow prisoners, with some he was responsible for putting behind bars in his prior life. A target for the other inmates, Blix believes his investigating days are behind him. But then he gets a visit from his old boss which dramatically changes everything…
The narrative skilfully uses a dual timeline portraying how a German family spent four days in a tranquil Norwegian holiday resort in the summer of 2004 with dire consequences. This leads to a terrifying killer escaping from prison in present day. Blix’s former colleagues are now on the hunt for Walter Kroos, who was in prison in Germany after murdering his father. Now he has escaped and the police believe Walter is set on returning to Norway where he once holidayed as a teenager with his family. Why do the police believe Kroos plans to return to the quiet Norwegian holiday resort? Because they found the name of a Norwegian criminal, Jarl Inge Ree written down in Kroos cell. Jarl Inge Ree is from the holiday resort. He is also one of Blix’s fellow prisoners who is set on making the former police officer’s life a living nightmare.
Even though he’s in prison, tenacious crime journalist Emma Ramm still remains close to Blix. As well as being determined to help the former police officer who she views as a father figure, Emma’s instinct tells her there is a good story in the hunt for Walter Kroos. Emma travels to the woodland holiday resort, but nothing prepares her for the deadly secrets and betrayal she and Blix are about to unravel.
As I have mentioned above, I love the slow burning, simmering tension that runs throughout Stigma. However I do feel that to experience the full impact of this chilling yet moving narrative, the prequels need to be read beforehand. I have read and reviewed them all and I am a big fan!
Thank you once again to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to the blog tour of Stigma which is released on 12 October 2023.
To follow the blog tour please see below.