After the shocking end of book one, I HAD to know how things continue. But to be honest, this second book in the Danehof trilogy was not as good, as the first part had been. At least not for the first half. But then it was as if the author had put the pages on fire and the end was nothing I´ve expected. What a shock!

OXEN Der Dunkle Mann*
by Jens Henrik Jensen 
Danehof Trilogy #2
Original Title De Mørke Maend
Publisher dtv Premium on March 9, 2018
Genre Thriller
Pages 508
Format Softcover
Source Library

The heavily traumatized elite soldier Niels Oxen has a false identity and has disappeared – on a remote fish farm in Jutland. But the Danehof is still hot on his heels. When Margarethe Franck finally finds him, they join forces in the fight against the overpowering secret society … (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Niels is living a life under the radar. He works on a fish farm and does everything he can to be prepared. Whatever he learned during his military time, he does it to protect the man he works for as well as himself. But then things change again, and he has to face evil once more. Not knowing that his situation is even worse now than it was ever before.

Jens Henrik Jensen hasn´t changed his writing style or tone. It is only that the story itself is not as action-filled and haunting as before. Oxen is living a very quiet life, getting his things and himself back together as good as possible and the author describes everything in a way that lets you notice that something has to happen sooner or later before the book ends. Otherwise, it wouldn´t be a good thriller.

But the atmosphere has changed. I was eager to find out more about Oxen and why someone wants him dead. And what had happened to Margarethe Franck or Mossman? And the fact, that some parts of book one are again shown in this second book, not only to get the reader into the picture but also to show that Oxen´s file has never vanished, is a nice help for the reader to stay in the picture. Yes, it gave me for a few seconds the feeling of having a déjà vu, but it soon became clear that it was necessary for the ongoing plot.

The main figure, Niels Oxen, is still a traumatized man. His Seven, as he calls his nightmares, are coming back on a regular basis, torturing him and showing him that they have a power he never thought would be possible. The daily routine he starts at the fish farm gives him some kind of relief. I was impressed by the way how he was handling his personal situation, how he started to realize that he had to do something about it and that he always was willing to protect the ones whom he liked.

His inner conflict is again shown by the author in a wonderful but a bit frightening way. Sure, Jens Henrik Jensen is blunt and does not embellish anything. But he is also kind of sensitive when it comes to Oxen´s nightmares and how the drugs and alcohol helps Niels dealing with the Seven. Without telling the reader that this is the perfect way to get rid of nightmares. The message is clear.

A good continuation but different. No question, this thriller was reading pleasure and I had my problems to get over the shock the author gives you at the end, but other than that the tone of the entire thriller was not the same as it had been in the first part. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful story and I can´t wait to get to know how everything will finally end.

Happy reading

Jens Henrik Jensen
Jens Henrik Jensen ©Heike Bogenberger bogenberger Autorenfotos

Jens Henrik Jensen was born in 1963 in Søvind, Denmark. He has worked as a journalist for 25 years and worked for the daily newspaper “JydskeVestkysten in various capacities, including as editor and head of department. Since 2015 he has devoted himself entirely to the writing of books. His debut novel, Wienerringen, was published in 1997 and in the following years, he published the Kazanzki-Trilogy and the Nina-Portland-series. As part of the research for his books, Jensen traveled to Murmansk, Krakow and through the Balkans. Further travels took him to Australia and New Zealand as well as to North and South America. The three volumes of the OXEN series, which appeared in Denmark from 2012 to 2016, are at the top of the bestseller lists, having already been sold in ten countries, and SF Studios secured the film rights. In 2017, Jens Henrik Jensen won the Danish Crime Award. He lives with his wife and two sons in his hometown.


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