Monday, 24 February 2020

Inborn by Thomas Enger @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks #AudioBook @audibleuk #Inborn #NordicNoir ~ narrator @DavidShawParker

When two teenagers - Johannes and Mari - are found murdered inside their school, in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim, the finger is soon is pointed at 18-year-old Even, whose relationship with Mari ended just before she died. 
Mari was writing a story for the school newspaper about Even and his dad, who died in a car accident 10 years earlier. But was it really an accident? And had Mari uncovered information that someone was willing to commit murder to protect? 
Charged and facing trial, Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the murders, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously. And as Even recounts his side of the story, it seems that there may be no one he can trust. 
But can we trust him? 
A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: how well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?

Inborn by Thomas Enger was published by Orenda Books, for Kindle in January 2019, paperback 15 February 2019. I listened to the unabridged audio book, on Audible, narrated by David Shaw-Parker.
The book was translated by Kari Dickson.

Thomas Enger says that his wife gave him a 'lightning bolt idea' and this led to him writing two books about the same story. Killerinstinkt was the first book and Inborn is the adult crossover, dealing with the same story.

The small Norwegian town of Fredheim appears quite ordinary; populated by families who've lived there for years, who all know each other well.
However, there's been a terrible tragedy at the High School and two pupils have been found murdered after a concert held at the school.
Thomas Enger tells this story over two time periods. The main voice of the narrative is that of Even Tollefsen who is in the courtroom at the court case dealing with the murders. One of the victims was Mari, until recently, she and Even had been a couple. Mari had broken off their relationship just a couple of weeks before she died. Even was distraught. Mari refused to speak with him, and he had no idea why she had decided to stop seeing him. Everyone in Fredheim knew how upset Even was, everyone knew that he was desperate to win her back. Now everyone suspects him of murdering her.

That's the present time, and the author flicks back to the recent past as Even recounts what happened that night and over the following days.  We meet Chief Inspector Yngve Mork; another long-term resident of the town, who knows everyone, and knows their history. Yngve is a wonderfully created character. He's kind and compassionate and also grieving the recent loss of his beloved wife. He takes comfort in her memory, often imagining that she's guiding him through the case.

Inborn is one of those stories that really capture the imagination. It is filled with secrets that are very slowly revealed, casting doubt upon the characters, and changing any motive that the reader has imagined.  The small-town, close knit community is described so well, with characters who are perfectly crafted and feel so realistic.

The tension throughout is brilliantly sustained as Even recalls the events and the numerous bombshell secrets that have been revealed over the past weeks. The depiction of Even's grief is tenderly and realistically handled; along with his growing anger, and then his total disbelief at what he discovers. Some of the things that have been hidden from him, and from others, are utterly life changing for him, and his family, and as he struggles to deal with the revelations, his sorrow becomes palpable.

Inborn is constructed with style and precision. The tension mounts as the case unfolds and leads to a dramatic and very clever finale.
Wonderfully addictive. Crime fiction of the highest quality from one of the finest Nordic Noir authors.

Thomas Enger is a former journalist. 
He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. 
Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. 
In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). 
Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, and another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. 
Most recently, Thomas has co-written a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. 
Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo. 

Follow him on Twitter @EngerThomas 
or visit his website

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