Adrian Magson is the author of 20 crime and spy thrillers, including the Harry Tate series, the Lucas Rocco series and the Marc Portman series. His latest books are ‘The Locker’ (Midnight Ink - Feb 2016) the first in a new thriller series, and ‘Hard Cover’ (Severn House - March 2016), the third of his Marc Portman novels.
In Thomas Enger’s first novel, we met Henning Juul, tortured Norwegian internet reporter, damaged father of a boy, Jonas, lost in a fire which burned down his flat and scarred Juul inside and out.
In ‘PIERCED’, his second outing, a biker named Jocke Brolenius is murdered, and all the signs point to Tore Pulli, an enforcer and former member of the criminal underworld. But Pulli maintains his innocence and, from his prison cell, asks Juul to help prove it. Juul doesn’t want to know; he has far too much to occupy his mind, not least trying to deal with the loss of his son and rebuilding some kind of normal pattern to his life.
But Pulli has a powerfully clinching argument: he claims to know who was in Juul’s apartment building on the night of the fire that killed his son, and will tell Juul everything he knows… if he will help him.
Unfortunately, life has a way of interfering with man’s intentions, and Pulli is being targeted by Ørjan Mjønes, a professional killer, using the threat of a film cameraman’s family as leverage to ‘reach’ Pulli inside his cell.
Unaware of this, but using every contact he has – including ‘6tiermes7’ – his anonymous source in the police – and leaning on members of the criminal circle, Henning Juul moves closer and closer to determining who is the killer, and why Pulli was set up.
I found this another superbly compelling read by Thomas Enger, in which one cannot help but root for Juul, the scarred and battered central figure with but one purpose in life: finding out who torched his flat and his life. The characters leap right off the page, and the relationship between them is as twisted and complex as the story itself, from Juul and his news colleagues (including the man his wife left him for) to the members of the Fighting Fit gym, where the story appears to have its beginnings.
In particular, the way in which he describes the burden placed on the cameraman, Thorlief Brenden, who is selected by the contract killer as the unwilling tool to carry out a murder, is extremely gripping.