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A Presence of Absence (The Odense Series, #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A Presence of Absence is the first book in The Odense Series. Although this is a solid crime novel, it also begins and ends with grief for many of the characters, personal demons and life decisions.

A gritty murder case gets in the way of the characters' everyday lives and sends the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish city of Odense, into a panic.

British detec
Paperback, 242 pages
Published March 15th 2017
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
All of my reviews can be found on

This is the first book in a new series from authors Surgey and Vestrheim and is a blend of Nordic Noir and classic British crime. I’m always equally fascinated and skeptical when authors team up and write together, I worry that you’ll be able to tell that there are two different people writing the book and that there will be two completely distinct voices. Fortunately they work extremely well together and I wouldn’t have been able to even gues
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
A solid blend of Nordic Noir and Brit Crime - we get involved in a murder case set in Odense. Simon is a British detective still reeling from the suicide of his wife, Vibeke. Heading to Odense, her hometown, he pairs up with a local detective, Jonas, to help catch a serial killer. The past comes back to haunt him and while families fall apart around them, the case comes to a breaking point that threatens to tear them all apart.

As the first book in The Odense Series, character development is key
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am doing the blog tour for this book. I was sent a proof to read. what I am unhappy about is the fact that in this proof copy there is no blurb about this book inside the cover or on the back cover. I have had to turn to goodreads for the blurb of this book to add on my book site. I wasn't even sent an information sheet about the book or the authors. I do love reading short books and I really enjoyed reading this story. I liked the fact that A Presence Of Absence has only 253 pages.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cjsreads
I give this debut Nordic noir by Sarah Surgey and Emma Vestrheim 4/5 stars.

This novel is set in the beautiful landscapes of Denmark and England. With a very unique way of telling the story by switching back and forth to each location. We follow Simon and his family in grief over the death of his wife. He decides to leave England for Odense, Denmark to try and reconnect with somewhere in his wife's history. While there, the daughter of the wealthiest family in Odense is murdered, and he is drawn
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
What do you get when you mix Brit Crime with Nordic Noir? You get the start of a new crime series! A Presence of Absence is the first book in The Odense Series.

The first paragraph of the above description describes this book perfectly. The prologues draws you in and the plot slowly simmers; a police procedural clouded in a dark and haunting atmosphere, with family ties at its core. While Simon is in Denmark, we get a subplot of his daughter’s life in London; Sanne is doing her best to support he
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven’t read much Nordic Noir so jumped at the opportunity to read and review A Presence of Absence which jumps between London and the Danish city of Odense. Odense is the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson and a series of horrific murders in this quiet city sends the locals into a panic. The murders appear to be random attacks; people are being strung up and hay is left stuffed in their mouths.

Simon Weller (who is recovering from his wife Vibeke’s suicide) is appointed the investigating of
Abby Slater- Fairbrother
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a British/Danish set crime thriller. The novel opens with an eerie prologue & with chapter one we meet Simon Weller, London based cop. Dealing with the grief of his wife’s suicide, Simon is having a hard time avoiding the attention of his (now adult) children. Simon’s family is made up of his son Thomas, smothering daughter Sanne and shifty son-in-law Michael. Feeling the intense pressure of Sanne micro-managing his life & developing an alcohol problem Simon flees to the birthplace of hi ...more
Iris - Books In Character
Emma and Sarah were generous enough to send me the review copy for their novel. I am going to need some time to ponder on what rating I am going to give it for real, but for now I give it a neutral 3 stars because I had some problems with it, but in a way I also liked it and it did keep me reading I finished it in about 8 hours. Which I think is a bit long for a 253 pages novel, but it was not bad.
Gavin McKean
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From reading the first draft through to the final copy Sarah and Emma have enthralled me in their world of Nordic Noir.

A great first book, which has created an excellent foundation for the characters to further pull you into the imagination of these two captivating writers and I, for one, cannot wait to see what the future has in store.

Sam (Clues and Reviews)
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
For all my reviews, visit Clues and Reviews

A Presence of Absence, a collaborative effort by Sarah Surgey and Emma Vestrheim, is the first in a new series blending Scandinavian crime fiction and classic British police procedurals.

When the daughter of one of the wealthiest man in Odense, Denmark turns up dead, British detective, Simon, is on the case. New to Odense and grieving the loss of his wife, Simon must connect with washed-up local cop Jonas, to hunt one o
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This novel holds a lot of promise. Surgey and Vestrheim are able to fairly seamlessly co-write a piece of crime fiction that blends British police procedural fiction and Nordic crime noir – two of my favorite genres.

Full review on my blog! Pages and Pints
The P.Turners
Please see review on the blog: https://thepturnersbookblog.wordpress... ...more
Linda Boa
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-blog
To be reviewed Wednesday March 22nd as part of Blog Tour at ...more
Hazel Johnstone
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
i did like this - i found the English a bit clunky & thus distracting but will certainly read no.2 when it appears ...more
rated it liked it
Mar 18, 2017
Pam Robertson
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book which engages through the complexity of the plot and the relationships between the characters. I found their backstories intriguing. As I learnt more about each person, their place within the story seemed to make sense. I particularly enjoyed seeing the relationship between the two policemen, Jonas and Simon develop and I do feel that there is more to be said about them in subsequent books. The contrast between their two families sheds light on them as people and adds depth to the ...more
Chloe Smith
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
All reviews can be found at

A Presence of Absence is the first book in a new series by self-published authors Sarah Surgey and Emma Vestrheim. The Odense Series follows British Detective Simon Weller; starting with A Presence of Absence where Weller must tackle the grief of his newly deceased wife as he attempts to run away from his demons in Odense, Denmark. However, he cannot get away from her, her face keeps cropping up everywhere he goes resulting in Wel
Marcus Hobson
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
A great story which was sadly spoilt for me by many mistakes in the text. The use of the wrong words in several places, meaning that you had to re-read some sentences to get the right meaning, is something you don't want to have to do in a fast paced thriller. Pages 13 to 15 are double spaced, and everything else is single. Little things that a good editor should be able to sort out.

Apart from that, this was a great story. We have two storylines running, in England and in Denmark. An English det
rated it it was amazing
Mar 05, 2017
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-reads
(I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review as part of their blog tour. But as I unfortunately didn't enjoy the book, I did not take part in the tour.)

Since this is an ARC copy, the grammatical errors and typos - of which there are many - can be excused.

- The cold, bleak atmosphere oozed mystery and soaked me in its tragedy and emotion. The tone was perfectly set.
- The ending was chilling and very exciting.
- It was a clever mystery.

- The sente
Kwaku Osei-Afrifa
rated it really liked it
May 13, 2017
Emma Vestrheim
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Ross Caplin
rated it it was amazing
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