1222 by Anne Holt {Book Review}

I eyed this book for a couple of months as it stood on my bookshelf, waiting to be explored.

The blurb sounded interesting but not all that much that I felt I needed to add it to the next months to be read pile. I took a leap of faith earlier this year and thought I’d give it a try.

I read it for a while, struggled to get into it, read another book, and eventually came back to this one.

I did have hopes for this novel, but I was disappointed, not just by the ending but with the whole plot.

I had never heard of Anne Holt before-she’s said to be Norway’s #1 bestselling crime writer. Finishing this novel didn’t hook me onto more of her books, but should I come across any, I’ve give them a try, keeping my rule of three in mind.

The translation of this book from Norwegian to English was awful. There were many grammar inconsistencies and there were many sentences that made no sense whatsoever.

This is why I usually try to steer clear of books that have been translated from other languages to avoid any disappointment being added to the book as a whole.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: 1222 by Anne Holt #bookreview


Hanne Wilhelmsen, a retired paraplegic police woman, is on a train to Bergen to see an American specialist to discuss health problems when it is derailed by a snowstorm.

All the passengers survive, except the driver of the train. The train has derailed close to a hotel on the top of the mountain and the survivors take up refuge there.

Just as everyone is trying to settle in and take care of injuries, a murder occurs on the first night of their stay. Who amongst them is the killer and why?

When another body is found the next day, the passengers realise there is a murderer amongst them and they are all trapped inside by the storm.

Hanne is recognised and reluctantly put in charge to solve the murders as the fear looms over everyone. She doesn’t want to get involved, but as a team consisting of a lawyer, a doctor and the hotel manager forms, she is dragged in.

There’s a floor no one is allowed to go to, guarded by armed men. Are they the same men from the extra car on the train? The one that was rescued before everyone else was? Are the murders related to the mysterious strangers?

Will they be caught before another life is taken?

My Opinion: Positive Thoughts

I enjoyed the book being split into small sections with notes about the storm and how it was rated on the Beaufort Scale, with the side notes explaining the storm and the damage the wind would cause as it picked up in severity. It gave the reader a good insight about how serious the storm was and how much danger the characters in the book were facing.

The plot was okay, not great. There was plenty of potential lying in wait to be used but it just didn’t get there.

The name of the book is interesting though, and very clever. It easily explains the distance above sea level that the story is taking place and it was a smart way to incorporate it into the title of the book.

I did love Magnus Streng’s character. He was likeable, kind, funny and relatable. Just a shame this book wasn’t written with him as the main character, even though he still played an important role in the story’s development.

My Opinion: Negative Thoughts

Hanne wasn’t the most likeable character to me, and I struggled to feel sympathy towards her or her backstory. The easiest characterisation I can give her: a misanthrope.

Knowing everything about Hanne, you’re left picking your jaw up off the floor when you get to her generalisation of someone with Dwarfism. The hypocrisy isn’t lost there.

I also get that being handicapped might feel like others might belittle you (the pure irony) and think you’re not capable of taking care of yourself, but it’s not necessary to be so point out rude and cold all the time. Even when people are genuine about their actions towards her.

Hanne handled every situation in ways that a person who had served so many years on the force would know not to handle. It didn’t make sense that she would break so many protocols that should’ve been rooted by then.


The book took too long to get to any important points and I became bored with how slow the plot progressed, I didn’t even try rattling my brain to figure out who was behind the murders and why.

It might have been less painful reading the book if the ending at least had a ‘wow’ factor to it, but it completely missed the point. Every problem was accompanied by a perfect ending, and little was explained about the big mystery that was dangled over our heads throughout the whole book.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.35 on GoodReads. I gave it a 3.

1222 by Anne Holt {Book Review} #bookreview

Have you read 1222?

You can purchase it here.

Do you have a book you want reviewed?
Send me an email: sincerelyyoursannie@gmail.com

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