Book Review: Pierced by Thomas Enger—and a Giveaway!

Thomas Enger
Atria, October 2012
ISBN 978-1-4516-1648-4
Trade Paperback

Pierced is an exciting novel chock-full of action and characters all woven together into a rather complicated plot. Translated from Norwegian, it is written in many short chapters, some as short as two pages. This style serves the story well, keeping events and plot turns coming quickly.

The novel opens twenty two months after Henning Juul’s young son died in a fire (in Burned, the prequel) that Juul cannot fully remember. In Pierced, Hennng Juul lives one mystery while he tries to solve another. He is contacted by a convict who promises him information about that day if Juul will investigate his conviction which he claims was a set-up.

The best part of the story, I thought, involved Thorlief Brenden, an innocent TV cameraman who finds himself caught up in events that don’t involve him and that he cannot understand. It is Brenden who pulled this reader into the action, trying to imagine what she might do in similar circumstances, what she can do in various threatening situations. For much of the book, the fast-paced chapters swap back and forth between events involving Henning Juul and Thorlief Brenden.

There are many characters in Pierced and Enger has a style where he names just about everyone. There were too many names for this reader to follow. But after awhile, it does become clear which ones matter and which don’t. This reader kept a list of names and it became quite long and eventually, helpful.

Pierced is Enger’s second novel in the Juul Henning series. I did not realize this as I was reading and didn’t feel that I needed to start with his first novel in the series, Burned. The ending does set things up for the next novel, although there is much that is resolved in Pierced. From the writer’s website, I learned he is planning to write a total of six novels for the series. So, if you like this one, Scarred, the third one is already available and three more are promised.

Reviewed by Constance Readers, May 2014.


To enter the drawing for a trade paperback
copy of
Pierced by Thomas Enger, leave a
comment below. The winning name will be
drawn Tuesday evening, September 30th.

This drawing is open to residents of
the US and Canada.

12 thoughts on “Book Review: Pierced by Thomas Enger—and a Giveaway!

  1. As a young girl, I used to hear my grandmother and great-grandmother speaking in a language I did not understand. It was Norwegian, land of my ancestors. My mother was second generation. In view of that, I’d love the opportunity to read a mystery that has been translated from Norwegian into English and to learn more about this author. Maybe Google will provide more insight. I live in Canada now, but was born in the U.S. Thanks for the opportunity to perhaps win a copy of the book — and if I don’t win, I’ll be looking for it at the library, where I donate books after I’ve read them. (lol) This is beginning to sound pathetic and needy, so I’ll stop here. Good luck to all! And, thanks again.


  2. Why are these Scandinavian writers just now being translated into English?
    I would be thrilled to read this novel.
    Are all of the Scandinavian novels dark? Are the stories a reflection of their winters?


  3. I am a huge fan of Nordic Noir and this book sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the review- I will probably go ahead and start with Burned even if someone else wins the giveaway.


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