Esther de Laurentis, now retired in her sixties, is trying out new things that her career as a professor kept her from indulging fully. She has two beloved Pug dogs for companionship. Kristoffer, her singing instructor, is a warm friend whose company she enjoys. They both relish cooking, so dine together frequently. She enjoyed reading mysteries, especially Dorothy Sayers, now she has time to try her hand at writing too. Esther lives in the building she grew up in, living on the top floor and renting out the other three. She knows her building and community well, so it seemed the logical setting for her first mystery; she joined a writing group to have feedback as the story progresses.
On the surface it appears to be a good retirement, but Esther has secrets from the past and drinks way too much. This is why she does not hear when one of her tenants is brutally slain in the night. Loud knocking on her door the next morning by Copenhagen Police Investigators Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner woke her from a sleep, groggy, hung over, and not remember too much from the night before. The victim was a beautiful young woman, friendly and well liked, who rented the first-floor apartment with a friend. Why anyone would want to harm her is a puzzle. The nature of the crime, has the city on edge. There are troubling similarities to the story Esther is writing.
Solving the murder are two detectives who could not be more different, in style and personality, but both are committed to bringing the killer to justice. Jeppe is a wiry greyhound of a man, adverse to germs (not a dog loving kind of guy). Devastated by his divorce and bothered by back pain, he is indulging a reliance on prescription drugs that has gotten out of hand. Anette has a happy home with an adored husband and two border collies. She is great with animals, shares with them an intensity that might be off putting to coworkers. But once she sinks her teeth into a case, she doesn’t let go.
It would be a pleasure to read more from this author about these interesting characters— Deon Stonehouse
“Truth is stranger than fiction for two detectives and an aspiring author, characters featured in Katrine Engberg’s new novel, The Tenant. No one is quite who we think they are, so we’re right there with police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner as they try to unravel the multitude of threads connecting victims, possible suspects, and witnesses. Terror and thrills abound as Engberg keeps all of us guessing right up to the end. I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief until the last page.”
— Eileen McGervey, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA
#1 international bestseller
An Indie Next Pick
An O, The Oprah Magazine Titles to Pick Up Now
A People Book Pick
A New York Post Best Book of the Week
A theSkimm Best Book to Read This Winter
A BookPage Top Ten Books for February
A Parade Most Anticipated Books of Early 2020
A Bustle Most Anticipated Books of January 2020
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020
A She Reads Most Anticipated Thrillers of 2020
An electrifying work of literary suspense from international bestselling author Katrine Engberg, this stunning debut introduces two police detectives struggling to solve a shocking murder and stop a killer hell-bent on revenge.
When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment, with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to the case. In short order, they establish a link between the victim, Julie Stender, and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who’s a bit too fond of drink and the host of raucous dinner parties with her artist friends. Esther also turns out to be a budding novelist—and when Julie turns up as a murder victim in the still-unfinished mystery she’s writing, the link between fiction and real life grows both more urgent and more dangerous.
But Esther’s role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit—or just another victim, trapped in a twisted game of vengeance? Anette and Jeppe must dig more deeply into the two women’s pasts to discover the identity of the brutal puppet-master pulling the strings in this electrifying literary thriller.
Hailed as “inconceivably thrilling” (Fyens Stiftstidende, Denmark), The Tenant is a work of stunning originality that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
About the Author
A former dancer and choreographer with a background in television and theater, Katrine Engberg launched a groundbreaking career as a novelist with the publication of her fiction debut, The Tenant. She is now one of the most widely read and beloved crime authors in Denmark, and her work has been sold in over twenty-five countries. She lives with her family in Copenhagen.
"A stunning debut. Katrine Engberg’s unforgettable characters and brilliant plot twists will captivate readers of suspense fiction.”
— Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“What a fantastic debut! I love the characters, the sparkling prose, and the depiction of Copenhagen. Katrine Engberg is an absolute star!”
— Camilla Läckberg, #1 internationally bestselling author
“Engberg's fast-paced narrative is bolstered by an interesting and quirky cast as well as an intriguing setting . . . a lot of fun.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Everyone has secrets, and some secrets are lies. Engberg's debut novel, a sleeper hit in her native Denmark, is sure to attract comparisons to other Scandinavian thrillers… layered, character-driven suspense from authors including Erin Kelly and Ruth Ware may prove to be more apt read-alike suggestions.”
"Fast-moving . . . Engberg’s sparkling cast and palpable evocation of a society U.S. readers will find similar yet foreign keep the pages turning pleasurably."
— Publishers Weekly
"Engberg’s debut features dark family secrets—and a smorgasbord of surprises.”
"[A] gripping addition to the Scandinavian crime fiction pantheon."
"The careful plotting ensures that the mystery unfolds deliberately, with surprises constantly woven into the narrative . . . Engberg’s English language debut promises a gritty, unflinching procedural series, and will leave readers craving the translation of Kørner and Werner’s next adventure.”
"Winter wouldn't be complete without a great Nordic Noir novel, and that's exactly what Katrine Engberg's The Tenant is.”
"It’s hard to believe this is her [Engberg's] first book, so assured is the writing. Her characters are fully realized...[and] the story is as complex as the characters. Originally published in Denmark in 2016, The Tenant is Engberg’s first book to be translated into English, but it’s unlikely to be the last."
— Air Mail
"Engberg's plotting is dexterous, and her character-centered storytelling aligns nicely with her unhurried descriptions of Copenhagen . . . The Tenant is yet another feather in the plumed cap of Scandinavian noir."
— Shelf Awareness