For me, the so-far best Martin Benner book of all times. The perfect combination of great figures, brilliant act, and psychological sophistication. Nothing is as it seems. There are many secrets, some of them deadlier than others and the main figure, Benner, is dealing with everything in a way only a man can. And still, he shows some perfect weaknesses. I loved the scene where he admits to himself that he needs this little girl in his life as much as she needs him in hers. Guess, she´s the only female person on the planet that can honestly say that she means everything to him. 

by Kristina Ohlsson
Martin Benner Series #3
Translation Susanne Dahmann
Original Title Henrys Hemlighet
Publisher Limes on September 28, 2020
Genre Thriller
Pages 492
Format Softcover
Source Limes 

Martin Benner, attorney, loves valuables, especially women, wine, and antiques. When his friend Henry dies, he leaves Martin a surprise – his share of Henry´s antique shop in New York. But Martin´s joy is short-lived: a man visits him who claims that Henry did not die of an illness but was the victim of murder. Soon, Martin is embroiled in a feverish hunt in which the truth must be found. Who was Henry Schiller? And what happened the day he died? (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Benner is attending the funeral of one of his best friends, when he hears for the first time, that his friend didn´t die of natural causes but was murdered. From that moment on, his life changes, and things become dangerous. He is getting threats from people he doesn´t know or see and when he has to learn that his enemy is closer than he thought, he has to change the rules of the game to his advantage to prevent his own death. 

At a fast-reading pace, it goes through an extremely cleverly composed story that couldn´t be more varied. Kristina Ohlsson's language and writing style are well-rounded, perfectly formulated, and simply brilliant to read. Various unexpected surprises and twists make the thriller an absolute pleasure to read. As a reader, I never knew what would happen on the next page. 

The setting ranges from snow-covered Stockholm to rainy New York to hot and sunny Rome. This thriller is located about seven years after the second Benner volume. As a result, the reader who knows the two previous volumes gets a small gap but is still not cut off from the new plot or the characters. For me personally, a great way to move on in a character´s life without boring the reader. For all the readers who are not yet familiar with the previous volumes, this is a highly fascinating way of getting in touch with Benner and his lifestyle.

Once again, the author has incorporated fascinating characters into a varied and extremely exciting thriller and brought them to life. Every figure has its secrets, its abysses, and passions that a more or less visible. People suffer, intrigue, love, and hate things in a way that doesn´t get any better.

Martin Benner has not changed anything in his lifestyle. At least nothing about having sex with other women or his job. In his private life, he raised and educated his little niece Bella, who has lived with him since the death of her parents. Bella makes him see things differently, rethink things, and the way he takes care of and treats Bella is absolutely refreshing. There is no childish fuss. Sure, he treats things in a child-friendly manner in her presence and takes care that she is not harmed of any kind. But at the same time, he treats her as someone with a mind and a personality of his own. He takes his niece seriously, which not every woman around him can say about herself. The dialogues between Benner and Bella are often the best. 

A page-turner from the first sentence to the last. A drama of a special kind from the very first moment. Just awesome! If you don´t know Martin Benner and the author Kristina Ohlsson, this thriller is the perfect introduction. Even if I personally prefer to start a series with the first volume just to get the rounder picture. This thriller can also be perfectly read as a single volume. Highly recommended. 

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Limes in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

In schnellem Lesetempo geht es durch eine äußerst raffiniert komponierte Geschichte, die abwechslungsreicher nicht sein könnte. Kristina Ohlsson´s Sprache und Schreibstil sind abgerundet, perfekt formuliert und einfach genial zu lesen. Diverse unerwartete Überraschungen und Wendungen machen den Thriller zum absoluten Lesevergnügen. Als Leser wusste ich nie, was auf der nächsten Seite passieren würde. 

Das Setting reicht vom verschneiten Stockholm über das verregnete New York bis zum heißen und sonnigen Rom. Es gibt auch ein Wiedersehen mit diversen Figuren aus früheren Martin Benner Romanen. Zeitlich ist dieser Thriller etwas sieben Jahre nach dem zweiten Benner Band angesiedelt. Dadurch bekommt der Leser, der die beiden Vorgängerbände kennt, einen kleinen Abstand ist aber dennoch nicht von der neuen Handlung oder den Figuren abgeschnitten. Für mich persönlich eine großartige Art, im Leben einer Figur weiterzumachen, ohne den Leser dabei zu langweilen. Für all die Leser, die die Vorgängerbände noch nicht kennen, eine höchst faszinierende Art mit Benner und seinem Lebensstil in Kontakt zu treten. 

Erneut hat die Autorin faszinierende Figuren in einen abwechslungsreichen und hoch spannenden Thriller eingebunden und zum Leben erweckt. Jede Figur hat ihre Geheimnisse, ihre Abgründe und Leidenschaften, die mehr oder weniger sichtbar sind. Da wird gelitten, intrigiert, geliebt und gehasst, wie es nicht besser geht. 

Martin Benner hat an seinem Lebensstil nichts geändert. Zumindest nichts, was den Sex mit anderen Frauen angeht oder seine Arbeit betrifft. Privat hat er seine kleine Nichte Bella aufgezogen und erzogen, die seit dem Tod ihrer Eltern bei ihm lebt. Bella bringt ihn dazu, die Dinge anders zu sehen, zu überdenken und die Art, wie er sich um Bella kümmert und sie behandelt, ist absolut erfrischend. Da gibt es kein kindliches Getue. Sicher, er behandelt in ihrer Gegenwart die Dinge kindgerecht und achtet sorgsam darauf, dass sie keinen Schaden welcher Art auch immer nimmt. Aber er behandelt sie gleichzeitig auch wie einen Menschen mit Verstand und einer eigenen Persönlichkeit. Er nimmt seine Nichte ernst, was nicht jede Frau in seinem Umfeld von sich sagen kann. Allein die Dialoge zwischen Benner und Bella sind oftmals der Knaller. 

Ein Page Turner vom ersten bis zum letzten Satz. Ein Drama besonderer Güte vom ersten Moment an. Einfach genial! Wer Martin Benner und die Autorin Kristina Ohlsson noch nicht kennt, ist dieser Thriller der perfekte Einstieg. Auch wenn ich persönlich es bevorzuge, eine Serie beim ersten Band anzufangen, um einfach das rundere Bild zu bekommen. Dieser Thriller ist auch perfekt als Einzelband lesbar. Höchst empfehlenswert.

*This book was originally published Henrys Hemlighet by Piratförlaget on June 5, 2019.

Kristina Ohlsson
Kristina Ohlsson ©Anna-Lena Ahlstrom

Kristina Ohlsson, born in 1979, is one of Sweden´s most successful authors of crime fiction and children´s books. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked for the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), the Swedish Security Service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her crime fiction novels about Fredrika Bergman have repeatedly been shortlisted for the Swedish Academy of Crime Writer´s Award for ´Best Crime Novel of the Year´ and featured prominently on bestseller lists all over the world. She won the 2010 Stabilo Prize for ´Best Crime Writer of Southern Sweden´ and established herself as a highly popular author with a broad fan base of adults as well as children. The author lives in Stockholm.


No comments:

Note: By submitting your commentar, you accept that the comment you write, and the personal information associated with it (e.g. username, email address, linked profile on Google/Wordpress) will be transmitted to Google servers. You can find more information in my privacy policy and in Google´s Privacy Policy.

Hinweis: Mit dem Abschicken deines Kommentars akzeptierst du, dass der von dir geschriebene Kommentar und die personenbezogenen Daten, die damit verbunden sind (z.B. Username, E-Mail-Adresse, verknüpftes Profil auf Google/Wordpress) an Google-Server übermittelt werden. Weitere Informationen dazu findest du in meiner Datenschutzerklärung und in der Datenschutzerklärung von Google.