About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

"E" is for Pierced by Thomas Enger

Pierced by Thomas Enger translated by Charlotte Barslund – Henning Juul is back at work with 123news.no having been badly burned in the fire that killed his son, Jonas. Every day is a struggle with memory.

Tore Pulli is a successful real estate speculator in Oslo but is best known for his earlier career as an enforcer, a debt collector, who used the Pulli Punch, a fast elbow move to convince debtors to pay up. He has boasted he collected over 75 million kroner (about $13 million).

Another enforcer is disabled by a Pulli Punch and then murdered. Pulli asserts he has been set up but the courts convict him. It was interesting to see how a signature move could be used as evidence.

Pulli uses one of his precious weekly phone calls to reach out to Juul. Pulli tantalizes the reporter with the proposition that if the reporter works to clear his name he will provide information to Juul on the fire.

There are shadowy figures who do not want Pulli revealing the past. With prisoners allowed to meet the press prior to an appeal Juul visits Pulli in prison. While Pulli will not release any information about the fire Juul decides he will seek to clear the enforcer.

Pulli has come from a body building segment of the Norwegian gang world. They train incessantly at the Fighting Fit gym. Pulli’s old friends are fractious, sometimes subject to sudden anger – probably steroid rages – and casual violence. They do not like Juul.

Unfortunately, the book did not work well for me.

I found the amount of back story from the first book, Burned, inadequate to completely understand this book.

The characters are diverse and the means used to induce an innocent man to commit murder – how far would you go to protect your family – intriguing but that character’s actions under the pressure of the threat were not credible.

The pace of the story was slow for me. It picked up in the last half of the book but I found it hard to keep focused early in the book.

I am in a distinct minority with regard to my opinion of the book. I am sure it would have been better to have read Burned before I read Pierced but I doubt I will read the next in the series.

I fear it was a book I approached with too high expectations. Bloggers I respect such as the late Maxine Clark at Petrona, Jose Ignacio at The Game’s Afoot, Sarah at Crime Pieces, Bernadette at Reactions to Reading, enjoyed the book far more than myself. I avoid reading reviews but like to know if a reader enjoyed a book. All had high praise for Pierced.  Such is reading. Different opinions are reached by readers.

This review will by my post for the letter "E" in the Crime Fiction in the Alphabet meme at Kerrie Smith's fine blog, Mysteries in Paradise.

I do appreciate Simon & Schuster providing me with a copy of the book. (Apr. 11/13)
My connection to Enger and his book comes from my Norwegian heritage. My paternal grandfather grew up in the Lofoten Islands off the northern Norway coast. The book is set in Oslo. Last fall Sharon and I spent time in Norway and visited Oslo for several days.


  1. Thank's for your kind words Bill and for your honest and candid review. We can't always agree Bill. Sorry it did not worked for you.

  2. Bill - I'm sorry too to hear that this book didn't work better for you. I do like the connection you've made between you and the book; I think it's great that you took the opportunity to visit Norway since you have that background.

  3. Jose Ignacio: Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your understanding of reading differences.

  4. Margot: Thanks for the comment. It was a wonderful trip back to a part of my heritage which I had not had a chance to experience before the trip.

  5. I have had problems (mostly with vintage mysteries) where I felt that my expectations hurt my enjoyment of the book. Sorry that it did not work for you. I probably will try the series eventually, although I have so many books on my wishlist ahead of it, but I will definitely start with the first one. Thanks for this review. I appreciated getting your your take on the book.

  6. This title sounds interesting.

  7. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I try not to have too many expectations but they happen to me, especially when a book is highly praised.

  8. Scott: Thanks for the comment.