The first thing I thought when I read the blurb for 1222 was, “Oh! It’s a Norwegian And Then There Were None.” I love a good mystery, and a good locked room mystery? Even more fun. Put that locked room in a snowed-in resort high in the mountains? Love it.
The interesting thing about this is that Anne Holt’s detective, Hanne Wilhelmsen, is about as unpleasant a main character as you have read lately. She has good reason to be cranky — she’s been injured in a train wreck, she can’t get around the resort all that easily in her wheelchair, people keep turning up dead and the folks in charge expect her to help. Hanne doesn’t feel like helping. She left the police force after the shooting that left her disabled and she has been something of a hermit since then. Now, she has no choice but to lend a hand, whether she wants to or not.
I hated Hanne for the first few chapters! She kind of grows on you, especially as you find out more and more about her backstory. She takes a young man under her wing, Adrian, who might be a runaway. She struggles with her limited mobility in a very difficult situation. She is churlish and rude and yet people still seek her out. She’s going to be a very interesting character.
In terms of the mystery – I really enjoyed it. Plenty of plot twists, plenty of misdirection, and characters to both love and hate. It’s a variety of locked room mystery — they are stranded in a remote cabin, no way in or out, so the murderer must be among them, right? I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that they may not know everything about the resort and their fellow passengers.
This is the first in Anne Holt’s Hanne Wilhelmsen series. The next book, Blind Goddess, goes back in time to before Hanne’s injury, and it will be interesting to see how it proceeds in terms of time line. Just what I needed: another mystery series to follow.
My copy of 1222 is a review copy, provided free of charge.