The Tenant

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

When a young woman is found murdered in her apartment with intricate lines carved into her face, detectives Korner and Werner are assigned to the case.  Pretty soon it is evident that the victim is somehow connected to her landlady Esther, who also happens to be writing a book, one which clearly depicts the exact murder.  Pretty soon the list of suspects grows, another murder is committed, and the detectives have more questions than answers.

The book started off strong with a good hook to keep you interested but it was a tad slow in the first half, for me anyways.  The second half is where the story really picked up pace and got interesting.   I love Nordic crime and The Tenant certainly delivered.  The story flowed well and the intricate plot definitely contributed to a bit of whip lash.  Without giving away any spoilers, I wish there was more back story and reasoning behind some of the characters.  I was left wanting a bit more information and explanation.  But overall a pretty solid book and I’d love to read more of the series.
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This is the first book featuring detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner, two detectives working in Copenhagen. There was no mention of a translator (that I could find) but I think he/she did a great job because the book flowed very well.  This is a murder mystery/suspense and is captivating from the beginning. A young woman has been brutally murdered and the police are following leads which point in several different directions and they need to find the killer before he strikes again. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. 
Thanks to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review
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A wonderful debut by Katrine Engberg!  A compelling thriller, a wonderful mystery.  Enough twists and turns to keep any reader of Nordic Noir turning pages till the end.  I look forward to her next book.
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I really enjoyed this one. It starts with the brutally murdered body of a 21 year old woman named Julie being found by another tenant Gregers. The other tenant and owner of the complex Esther is then questioned by the two detectives that take on the case Jeppe and Anette. From there little foreshadowing nuggets and side characters are dispersed throughout the investigation and the snippets we get of each of the characters that leaves the reader trying to figure out whodunnit. 

The dynamic between Christian (Julie’s father) and her I think could have been expanded upon a bit because his actions and accusations throughout seemed muddled. As well as a bit more backstory with Kingo and his involvement in all this as I found it a little convenient and farfetched at times. 

The pacing was a little slow in the beginning and getting used to the Danish locations/police procedures but it didn’t waver my motivation to continue on to try and piece together everything. From the beginning to about 70% of the novel my pick on who the killer was and their motives behind it kept switching as I tried to piece together clues and symbolism that was mentioned earlier. I do wish the reveal of the culprit was drawn out more and took place closer to the end to keep that intense page-turner excitement. Regardless, I devoured this in just under twenty four hours. I needed to know how it all tied together!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

This was a well-translated police procedural set in Copenhagen. I liked the lead detectives Jeppe and Anette, although it was a little tiresome (and typical) that Jeppe decided to sleep with a witness. The plot moved on swiftly and the first three-quarters of the novel were intriguing and flowed well. Unfortunately at about the 72% mark, the identity of the murderer became clear, which destroyed much of the tension for me. There were a couple of fairly violent action scenes and then the explanation for the whole devious train of events was revealed. This was extremely far-fetched.


Julie's father's actions were mystifying throughout and I didn't feel we ever spent enough time with Kingo and his succession of assistants to be able to believe they would be so under his spell as to murder, torture or rape for him. 

Still, I would be keen to read more in this series.
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2.5 Stars. 
I wish to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this ARC in return for an honest review. I often enjoy Nordic Noir crime stories,  but I am sorry to say this one failed to resonate with me. I found it slow and the language flat. I was not feeling any sense of excitement or suspense.  These ingredients were present in the plot, but the thrills I expected to feel were absent for me. The plot was complicated and well thought out with a variety of suspects, surprises and red herrings, so it should have worked for me. I wonder if this might be partly due to translation.

 The leading investigative team was Jeppe and Anette. Jeppe was the typical flawed detective with serious emotional problems, and I felt Anette needed more character development. I failed to connect with any of the characters.  I did not care for the police, nor the victims. The villains’ motivations seemed rather far fetched. Without being able to empathize with any of the cast, I was unable to care for the surprising reveals and solutions to the crimes. 

 I notice that many readers enjoyed this book, and am sorry that it just wasn’t for me. I feel that fans of Nordic crime stories should not be influenced by my misgivings.
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The Tenant by Katrine Engberg is a Scandinavian noir that pairs perfectly with shorter days and the autumnal chill in the air.  This one  is dark, twisted, and complex, and pretty much everything you would expect from this addictive genre.

Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner, Copenhagen police detectives, respond the the grisly murder of a twenty-'one year old woman whose lifeless body is discovered by a fellow tenant in her apartment.  Adding further to the savage crime, the victim's face has been carved into an intricate pattern.  When Jeppe and Anette begin to question the other residents of the stately home, Esther de Laurenti, the owner of the house, becomes a person of interest when it is revealed that she has written about a crime that bears striking similarities to the circumstances of the young woman's demise.  Has her manuscript, in fact, become an instructive manual for murder?

This is a thoroughly compelling read and a most impressive debut.  I am hopeful that Korner and Werner will return, as I believe that we have only scratched the surface of their depths.  Recommended.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this ARC.
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