WHERE MONSTERS DWELL
It is almost unbelievable that this is Brekke’s debut novel. The story moves seamlessly between 16th-century Europe and present-day Virginia and Norway, and the mystery is intricate without losing the reader as it moves through time and place. Brekke’s characters are developed with depth, making readers feel both empathy and sympathy toward them. Details about Edgar Allan Poe and the ancient books of a serial killer give the reader historical details without bogging down the story.
Homicide Detective Felicia Stone gets her first big case: the murder of the curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Va. Though scars from her past threaten to complicate her investigation, she is sent to work with police in Norway who are working to solve a similar crime. Back to work after life-endangering brain surgery, Norwegian Chief Inspector Odd Singsaker is assigned to the murder of an archivist found in a locked vault at the Gunnerus Library that holds rare books. As Stone and Singsaker search for clues, it turns out that both murders are connected by a 16th-century book bound in human skin. (MINOTAUR, Feb., 368 pp., $24.99)