Blind Goddess - Anne Holt

Reading Challenge Category: Book club May read

Official Blurb:

A drug dealer is battered to death in the outskirts of Oslo. A young Dutch student, covered in blood, walks aimlessly through the streets of central Oslo. He is taken into custody, but refuses to speak.
Five days later a shady criminal lawyer called Hans Olsen is murdered. The two deaths don't seem related, but Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is unconvinced. Soon, she uncovers a link between the bodies: Olsen defended the drug dealer.
But there are powerful forces working against Hanne; a conspiracy that reaches far beyond a crooked lawyer and a small-time dealer. The investigation will take her into the offices of the most powerful men in Norway - and even put her own life at risk...

My Thoughts:

This was my Book Club’s May choice and the only reason I persevered with reading it!
The book, as a whole, was quite a disappointment. While I appreciate a shocking start to a book, the graphic descriptions of bodily functions were just disgusting and not at all shocking.
Firstly, the book feels quite dated and is understandable as it is over 30 years old. However, the author's strange opinions on women being lesbians and the idea that they cannot be pretty and wear skirts just adds to the outdated feel of the book. The language used throughout the book is quite clunky, making it a difficult read, but I think this is mainly due to it being a translation.
The book has a lot of characters, and every time a new one is introduced, there is a massive backstory that is irrelevant to the rest of the story. This leads to a lot of tangents, some of which are interesting while others are not. It's not a typical detective story, and the investigation is quite hard to follow as it is based in a country that I have not read about before in this context. Hence, the different laws in the UK and America were confusing.
Sand is a pathetic character, and his reaction of throwing up when Karen finally called him back was just odd. The overuse of the characters' full names was annoying, and there was no consistency in whether it was their first name, surname, or full name.
The investigation itself was weak and almost seemed like an insignificant backdrop to the dramas of the main characters. It felt like the book was just a prelude to getting to know everyone for the rest of the series. Still, it wasn't well-executed as the criminal investigation was not gripping enough, and just sort of plodded on alongside some very insipid characters. I was also surprised at how little concern was shown for the attack on Hanne, as they seemed more worried about her hair than trying to find who was responsible.
The ending was boring, and I had no idea what the political implications meant. It just felt like the book dragged on, and I was relieved to be done with it. I also found myself wondering what the purpose of the title 'Blind Goddess' was, as it wasn't relevant to the story at all.
Overall, I found this book to be quite dreadful, and I'm glad it's over.

Blind Goddess
by Anne Holt
Date Started
23rd April 2023
Date Finished
27th April 2023