The Lion’s Mouth by Anne Holt

‘The Lion’s Mouth’ is the 4th book in Anne Holt’s Hanne Wilhelmsen series and the 5th book in the series that has been translated into English. In this book Hanne plays a smaller role – she is on holidays in the USA with her partner Cecilie and returns to Norway for a visit (the latest crime is so exciting that she can’t stay away). The main investigator in this book is Billy T.

Six months after becoming the Norwegian Prime Minister, Birgitte Volter is dead! She is found in her office by her secretary, shot through the head.

Huge numbers of police are involved in the investigation – including, of course, the security services looking for terrorism. But clues are difficult to find and progress towards finding the murderer is very slow.

With the death of the Prime Minister, there is plenty of political manoeuvring going on. One minister in particular is playing a very dangerous game with the media to her own advantage. The media are also busy trying to dig up anything they can on the incident and the people involved.

Then a colleague of the Prime Minister commits dies. He was one of the last to see Birgitte Volter alive. He and Birgitte knew each other as children and their final meeting raised issues that were of personal significance to them both.


I have mixed feelings about this book. I love Anne Holt’s writing and as usual I found this book a pleasure to read. But the crime itself, the investigation, and the workings of Norwegian politics just didn’t grab me. I also missed having Hanne Wilhelmsen as the centre of activities.

This has been such an excellent series so far that I am expecting the next book ‘Dead Joker’ to be back to the usual riveting standard.


Book Published 1997

Published in English 2014


See a full list of books by Anne Holt

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, Holt, Anne, Series Fiction, Thriller

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