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Blind Goddess (Hanne Wilhelmsen #1)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,117 ratings  ·  136 reviews

A small-time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. A young Dutchman, walking aimlessly in central Oslo covered in blood, is taken into custody but refuses to talk. When he is informe
Paperback, 343 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Scribner (first published 1993)
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The first in this series, Blind Goddess shows us a young, passionate female Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen guided by a seeming unfailing gut instinct that often steels into her mind like a car crash. Conflicted by her sexuality, well liked by her colleagues, not yet wholly original as a leading character but certainly believable, Hanne consequently unravels an Oslo conspiracy involving drugs, murder, and government corruption when in opening a man is found sitting quietly in the road, his
Karen Gygli
I'm giving this book three stars, but there were times while reading it that I was frustrated with it. I was disappointed with this after reading 1222. Hanne is in this mystery as well, but we see her as a cop, before she was injured and paralyzed. A drug dealer is found dead, and a Dutch vagrant in Oslo is arrested because he is sitting in the middle of a busy street. He only demands that Karen Berg, a corporate attorney, become his defense attorney. Otherwise, he remains silent. This thing is ...more
An attorney is called in to represent a young Dutchman found in the streets covered in blood after a man is murdered. Håkon Sand and Hanne Wilhelmsen are the officers investigating, and they find more murders and crimes leading to a drug ring with suspects in high places. I liked the book at first, really caught my attention, but it couldn't hold it. Maybe I didn't care for the characters that much overall, maybe it was pacing. I really can't put my finger on it, but I struggled to finish it.
I recently read 1222, the first to be translated (from the Norwegian) of Holt's Hanne Wilhelmsen series. Blind Goddess, the next to be translated, is actually the first in that series (it was first published in 1993); there are six other novels between Blind Goddess and 1222.

And in the intervening twenty years the central character, Hanne, has changed really beyond recognition, as has the style of fiction. 1222 is a traditional mystery in which a murderer's at loose among the passengers of a cra
Cheryl A
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
PROTAGONIST: Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen
SETTING: Oslo, Norway
SERIES: #1 of 8
RATING: 4.75

Lawyer Karen Borg is out with her dog when she comes across a very gruesome scene, a dead man whose face is so battered in that he is unrecognizable. It turns out that he is a small-time drug dealer, and his killer is found very soon thereafter. Han van der Kerch wants Karen as his attorney, despite her lack of criminal experience, and will not talk to anyone else. The case is assigned to Karen’s friend, poli
Read it quite quickly once I finally committed to reading this novel. I like Anne Holt as a author and this is the first outing for UK readers of the Hanne Wilhelmsen series; Goodreads states further, a lesbian police officer in Oslo, Norway.
She is a very good police officer and her sexuality is not an issue that could offend. None of the characters are stereotypes and this is one of the strengths of Holt's writing. However in this particular book the plot lets the story down. The story telling
Rebecca Martin
The last book I read in Anne Holt's series was last year's 2222 which features a still smart and sharp Hanne Wilhelmsen. But by the time of the 2222 case, she is twenty years older than in Blind Goddess, wheelchair-bound, and quite embittered and taciturn, not to mention cynical. Twenty years makes a lot of difference. This book features an interesting case but isn't the best in the series. What IS interesting is to see the softer and youthful version of Hanne, still smart and sharp but more kin ...more
I've returned to scandinavian crime after a long love affair with Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole. And now I've discovered Anne Holt, and she has two main crime series to follow - yeh! I'm looking forward to the character development of Hanne Wilhelmsen as I can see that reviews of books set 20years on from this one get great reviews. No spoilers please! I found this book a little slow at start (perhaps a lapse of concentration on my part) and I had to persist, but from the half way mark I was hooked into ...more
Paolo Gianoglio
Non riesco ad essere cattivo con Anne Holt, perché ho avuto il piacere di sentirla parlare a Mantova qualche anno fa, e mi è parsa una donna molto intelligente e capace, spiritosa, curiosa, modesta e consapevole dei suoi limiti. Questo libro però è il suo primo romanzo (1993), ed è distante anni luce dalla serie di Vic e Stubo, che arriverà solo dopo 15 anni (2008). Un libro che si fa leggere, ma acerbo nella trama e nei personaggi, un po’ ingarbugliato e un po’ indeciso, un po’ troppo buonista. ...more
Ho provato tre volte a leggerlo questo romanzo, ma l'incommensurabile noia che mi ha assalito ad ogni tentativo mi ha indotto a desistere. Ho trovato più divertente persino revisionare il testo di una traduzione legale in cui un avvocato ha avuto il coraggio di scrivere "fatture che si rammostrano al teste". Almeno mi sono fatta un paio di sane risate.


PS: Sarebbe opportuno proibire per legge che certe persone possano scrivere. Agli avvocati e ad Anne Holt di sicuro.
I discovered Ann Holt by reading 1222 not knowing it was her latest (translated) book. Blind goddess goes back to the beginning. It was a good mystery but 1222 had much more depth of character. In other words Holt has improved! They are now translating the remainder of the The Hanne Wilhelmsen series so I will continue to read them and "catch up" to 1222. Very interesting look at Oslo police department practices and the Norwegian government. I look forward to enjoying her books.
A young Dutchman is accused of killing a drug dealer in Oslo, Norway and insists on being represented by Karen Borg, the lawyer who found the body. However Borg is a civil, not criminal attorney, and defense lawyer Peter Strup tries to horn in on her client. The Dutchman refuses to change lawyers though and exhibits fear of attorneys and lockup. Soon afterwards another attorney, the disreputable Hansa Larsen, is shot to death. Police officers Håkon Sand and Hanne Wilhelmsen connect the murders o ...more
Lynda Kelly
I enjoyed this. It was apparently written back in 1989 but doesn't seem so at all as you read it. Her books have just been translated. I will definitely look for more in the series. I did get a little bit bogged down by some of the governmental "stuff" but thankfully it didn't carry on and we got past it. It caused me quite a bit of confusion as a few odd chapters don't tell you who is being referred to. Yes, part of the mystery but also quite confusing as well. Something I wondered about was Ka ...more
Good crime novel about police trying to find out about drug smugglers and connected killings in Norway.

Solid plot, likeable/intriguing characters that leave room for more, which is good as it's the first in a series.

One of the main characters is a lesbian detective, very much in the closet. If the other cases in the subsequent books are as well developed, I'll enjoy reading more about her.

#1 in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. Interesting mystery set in Oslo, Norway. The first of the series to be translated into English was #8 1222(2007) - it was nominated for the Edgar, Macavity and Shamus awards - and presumably on that basis started the translation of the remainder of the series. Allowing that 1222 was great and featured Hanne Wilhelmsen, Blind Goddess(1993), translated 2012, is merely average and Wilhelmsen is only one of three main characters. The plot has a murder, with a confe ...more
First book in the Norwegian police crime series featuring D.I. Hanne Wilhelmsen - pretty good storyline but not over-convinced by the characters in this one; may be down to the translation but I'm not as gripped by the central characters as I am in other Scandi-crime series that I read. Still a good and pretty exciting read - 7/10.
Lynette Barfield
My first for Anne Holt, but won't be my last. I thought this was a really good book with an unusual plot. I like the characters also. I didn't find anything annoying about the translation or the Norwegian names as I have in other translated books. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys suspense.
I would give it 2.5 stars if I could. This is the first in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series and I struggled a bit through it. I have a feeling the translation might be to blame for the somewhat flat storytelling. I was impressed with Holt's 1222 so decided to start reading the series from the beginning, which is The Blind Goddess. Sadly, Hanne Wilhelmsen makes a late entry and shares story space with a number of other characters, mainly police prosecutor Håkon Sand. A murder opens the story, but we e ...more
Paul Pessolano
“Blind Goddess” by Anne Holt, published by Scribner.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

Inspector Anne Wilhelmsen, who first appeared in “1222”, is on another case in “Blind Goddess”. Anne Holt, who is fast becoming a force to content with in Norwegian crime fiction, is now being acclaimed internationally.

“Blind Goddess” is a mystery that combines just good old fashion police work in solving complicated crime/crimes that include murder, drugs and political corruption.

Few first pages of novels will grab y
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Blind Goddess, as the title might suggest, is a tense, political battle between lawyers with Norway's very soul at stake. The narrative exposes Norway's careful legal system to review, and Holt does it well with the experience of working not only for the Oslo police department, but also as a lawyer and as Norway's Minister for Justice.

It's a taunt, psychological procedural, written within the context of the ordinariness of everyday life in Oslo, Norway. There's some beautiful writing that descr
Kathleen Hagen
Blind Goddess, by Anne Holt, translated by Tom Gettes, narrated by Kate Reading, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

A small-time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. A young Dutchman, walking aimlessly in central Oslo
covered in blood, is taken into custody but refuses to talk. When he is informed that the woman who discovered the body, Karen Borg, is a lawyer, he demands
her as his defender, although her specialty is civil,
The Hanne Wilhelmsen series from Norwegian author Anne Holt is another one of those Scandinavian series that have been translated completely out of order. For reasons which, as usual, escape me completely. So , and onto BLIND GODDESS which is the book that started the whole thing off.

It would be bad enough to discover a battered body when jogging in the morning, but you'd doubt lawyer Karen Borg would also have been expecting to be called in as defence counsel for the Dutchman who is found wande
Anne Holt
One of the recent Scandinavian authors, Anne Holt’s books are set in Norway. Unfortunately for mystery fans, we are not necessarily getting the books in the order they were written in, but in the order they are translated into English, or in the order they are published in the USA.
Holt has taken America by storm and introduced us to a protagonist we can look forward to seeing again, Police Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen. She is joined by a police attorney that becomes her frien
Tarin Towers
Here's a book that could have used a bit more editorial bureaucracy in the service of a more pleasant reading experience. The first few chapters I kept flipping around trying to figure out who worked for whom, and in police procedurals, office politics and hierarchy are often more-than-tertiary plot elements, elements that affect not only color and atmosphere but possibly the outcome of the case. In a police department where lawyers and detectives on the police force work together in an unusual ...more
Sofia Hicks
If there's one thing I love, it's a good old scando crime thriller, so I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, it was bloody awful. I ploughed through it because I hate the feeling of not finishing a book, but I had little to no interest as to what would happen to the plot/characters!

At first I thought it was due to the translation but as I continued to read, it became clear that the whole thing just wasn't compelling enough; I wanted to like hanne, but even she was just too one-dimension
A small-time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. A young Dutchman, walking aimlessly in central Oslo covered in blood, is taken into custody but refuses to talk. When he is informed that the woman who discovered the body, Karen Borg, is a lawyer, he demands her as his defender, although her specialty is civil, not criminal, law. A couple of days later, Hansa Larsen, a lawyer of the shadiest kind, is found shot to death. Soon police officers Hak ...more
Hana Howard
Ann Holt weaves an intricate plot of organized crime compounded with betrayal and lies in this police procedural murder mystery. “Blind Goddess” is the first in her series with female Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen, of the Oslo Police department.

The story has an intriguing beginning. After a drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of Oslo. A young Dutchman is found wandering about the streets covered in blood and is taken into custody. He refuses to talk to anyone but Kare
Filippo Bossolino
Il thriller/giallo scandinavo, nella mia limitata esperienza (praticamente Nesbo) si contraddistingue, secondo me, in eventi sensazionali, ricchi di azione e colpi di scena. Nel leggerli sembra già di visualizzare qualche blockbuster d'azione. Forse è per questo motivo che preferisco autori "mediterranei", in cui l'azione roboante è sostituita spesso da un'indagine più dimessa e ridotta nelle dimensioni e nello stile, ma con risultati comunque molto efficaci.

In ogni caso, saltuariamente, mi piac
A few weeks ago, I read 1222 by Anne Holt, the first book in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. Blind Goddess jumps back in time, back before the shooting the left Hanne in a wheelchair. This gives us more background on Hanne and what she was like as a detective, before she became the bitter woman we met in the first book.

There’s an interesting mystery at the heart of this, though I admit I got a little mired down in the middle. A drug dealer is found battered to death in a part. A deranged man, cover
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Anne Holt was born in Larvik, grew up in Lillestrøm and Tromsø, and moved to Oslo in 1978. She graduated with a law degree from the University of Bergen in 1986, and went on to work for The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and then the Oslo Police Department, earning her right to practice as a lawyer in Norway. In 1990 she returned to NRK, where she worked one year as a journalist and anch ...more
More about Anne Holt...

Other Books in the Series

Hanne Wilhelmsen (8 books)
  • Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (Hanne Wilhelmsen #2)
  • Death of the Demon (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #3)
  • I lejonets gap (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #4)
  • Död joker  (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #5)
  • Utan eko (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #6)
  • Bortom sanningen (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #7)
  • 1222 (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #8)
1222 (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #8) What is Mine What Never Happens Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (Hanne Wilhelmsen #2) Death of the Demon (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #3)

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