Title: 1222 by Anne Holt
First line: As it was only the train driver who died, you couldn't call it a disaster.
Summary from the blurb: "A train on its way to the northern reaches of Norway derails during a massive blizzard, 1222 meters above sea level. The passengers abandon the train for a nearby hotel, centuries-old and practically empty, except for the staff. With plenty of food and shelter from the storm, the passengers think they are safe, until one of them is found dead the next morning." Paralyzed by a bullet, retired police inspector Hanne Wilhemsen is among the rescued passengers. And when old instincts kick in, she can't help investigating her fellow passengers. But time is running out. "Trapped in her wheelchair, trapped by the storm, and now trapped with a killer, Hanne must fit the pieces of the puzzle together before the killer strikes again."
My thoughts: It was the whole trapped-in-a-snowstorm setting that drew me to this Norwegian mystery. I blame my fascination with bookish blizzards on having read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder so many times as a child. And this locked-room murder mystery is a pretty good read. At times, especially when the murderer is revealed at the end, it reminded me of an Agatha Christie novel. Holt creates some great characters. although it took me several pages before I started to warm up to Hanne, who's a very distant and guarded woman. Adrian, a fifteen-year-old teenage runaway with a sullen disposition and a penchant for angry outbursts was my favorite character; he reluctantly helps Hanne with her investigation. My only real complaint is that for a supposed thriller, 1222 is actually a pretty slow read. I blame that on the first-person narrative. Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting mystery, but I wouldn't call it a fast-paced page turner. Personally, I prefer the mysteries of Kristina Ohlsson and Yrsa Sigurdardottir to this one.