PunishmentBaug, Birger: Straff
Kris is an ordinary 13-year-old, except for two things: He has no friends and he has no father. This is enough to make him the victim of some of the most horrid acts a child can be exposed to.
Police inspector Halvor Heming (39) is torn between his family, the crime division and his own past, as the most intricate case of his life falls into his lap. What originally appears to be a heart attack at a health resort suddenly becomes a whole lot more than that. Traces at the crime scene point towards one of Oslo’s most hard-boiled criminals, but where on earth has the man disappeared to? After two days of intense searching, another murder is committed, and Halvor is beginning to fear he is chasing a ghost. Until he starts to unravel the 24 years old story about Kris.
PUNISHMENT is a crime novel with a plot that evolves on several levels, with bullying as an important topic. Halvor Heming is an atypical investigator for crime literature. With three children and a wife who works high up in the health department, he has got challenges everywhere. When, in addition to this, he discovers obvious parallels between the case he is investigating and his own life, he is seized by fear.
Praise for Punishment:
”Refreshing … Halvor Heming is not quite like the policemen we are used to reading about … not a bad idea, trading in the customary disillusioned sourpuss for a modern, well-functioning man. At least not in this case. Because the debutant Birger Baug manages to combine the description of a rather ordinary family life with the solving of a complicated murder case in a manner that testifies to a keen eye for everyday and current issues, suspense-building and composition.”
“Heart-breaking suspense ... An exciting and thought-provoking novel about life-threatening bullying, a topic that concerns us all ”
"Promising ... a catchy crime debut which touches upon important issues ... the intrigue in the book has interesting aspects and may also arouse moral questions in the reader."
"A crime novel with  much tenderness ... he implements compassion into his serial-killer-novel, by effectively crosscutting a story about bullying from the 80s and a crime riddle from the present. He manages to create a close involvement that pulls the reader through the story about the quiet boy and the tormenting gang of bullies"
"The newcomer Birger Baug has created a intricate and thrilling plot ... the conclusion has to be that PUNISHMENT is a very promising start."
"In my opinion, Punishment is built of all the elements necessary for a traditional crime novel. Problems with your boss, problems with fusing work and family life, and then of course a well crafted crime puzzle (...) Mhm – a good crime novel, a nice woollen blanket and lots of time. That's my idea of a reader's luxury. (...) I look forward to solving more murders with Halvor Heming."
"As many twists and turns as you could wish for ... If you are looking for a suspense novel to read during your easter vacation, I can definitely recommend this book".
" Punishment is a thrilling read, and Halvor Heming is a rare character: a police chief who has to leave work early to pick up the kids from the kinder garden or school, go shopping at the supermarket and cook food, because his wife has her own career to attend to. […] It will be very interesting to follow Halvor Heming and his family and colleagues [in future books].”
(Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark)
"Wonderful Norwegian crime debut, featuring Halvor Heming as the leader of an investigation team hunting a serial killer in Oslo."
"The novel is full of suspense, and it has a drive that makes the pages turn themselves."
( www.krimisiden.dk , Denmark)
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First published: 2008, Aschehoug
Birger Baug: Biography and bibliography
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