Down-on-his-luck Norwegian reporter Vilgar Ravn Gudmundsson is singled out by a killer, fed emails revealing his self-righteous, mortiferous plans. The local upstart police investigator’s position on the team is threatened by the big-city profiler. Underlying it all is a four-year-old scandal involving sex, bribes, and a government administrator. As the killer gets closer to the lives and intimates of the main characters, they frantically search for a motivation beyond the sins proclaimed in the killer’s messages. Geir Tangen’s Requiem takes these familiar threads and twists them. Violently.
Tangen writes with a practiced hand, his plot points are unique, and many of his characters evolve dramatically through the course of the novel. While the short chapters are typical of this genre, periodic journal-like confessions from the killer help to vary the storytelling. Yet, at times the plot does not sustain the tension and it seems the author doesn’t know what to do with the characters between moments of crisis. And while it may be an issue with the translation, several of the metaphors fall flat.
Overall, while Geir Tangen’s Requiem may play on some common murder-mystery tropes, it possesses an articulated self-awareness that sets it apart from the pack. The last third of the book is lightning fast. And Tangen gives several nods to the great thriller writers of our time.
4 out of 5 stars.
Comes out on July 31st, 2018.
Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and Mr. Tangen for the advanced copy to review.
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