The Tenant

Author: Katrine Engberg

5/5 Stars

A murder mystery with a twist The Tenant was thoughtfully written and engages the reader with each page that is turned. When Gregers Hermansen wakes up on a regular Wednesday morning he decides to take his trash out however what Gregers doesn’t realize is that he will discover his biggest nightmare. As Gregers shuffles down crooked steps he realizes a door to a neighboring tenants home is open so he does what any concerned neighbor would do and pushes the door open. Instantly Gregers regrets prying the door open due to his old aging body he loses his balance and falls to the ground. Gregers is stuck and in the midst of trying to get up he looks down only to realize the large amounts of blood spread across the room and the body laying on the floor. Soon Gregers is discovered and is taken to the hospital while detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner attend to the gruesome bloody scene. Jeppe and Anette make their first stop to the landlady who owns the building Esther de Laurenti. Esther is told the news and questioned about her whereabouts however Esther had heard nothing unusual and was baffled herself on the death in her building. After viewing the crime scene and sorting out who the tenants are it is made clear that the victim is Julie Stender. However the way she is murdered is like no other her killer made it clear that they wanted to draw attention to what they had done by leaving an intricate design carved into Julies face. Soon 1 victim becomes 2 and another tenant is also found dead but not before he becomes the main suspect to Julies murder. Kristopher comes into play as he was the last person to have seen Julie alive in fact he was following her the night she was murdered he was just feet away from her door. Kristopher was a singing instructor and was good friends with Esther however he had begun to have feelings for Julie and when she blew him off the night that she died she had just left a party and Kristopher followed her home hoping to somehow get her attention one more time. But when Kristopher sees a light appear in her house he immediately thinks there is someone else in the picture so he leaves. So did Kristopher murder Julie in spite of her possible new lover? After doing a sweep of Julie’s home there is no evidence left behind the killer was smart but he did leave a perfect hand print that was coated in cornstarch from the gloves worn while killing Julie. But why have a perfectly clean crime scene and leave a handprint? After getting a confirmation on the handprint being 100% Kristophers, Anette and Jeppe head over to arrest him the evidence points to him, it has to be him. As Anette and Jeppe arrive at the theater that Kristopher works at they both are shocked to find him hanging lifelessly on the chandelier above the theater. So many question marks are displayed on everyone’s faces why would he kill himself before being confronted? In all of this confusion Esther decided it is time to tell the truth, she killed Julie. As she calls Jeppe he is once again thrown a curveball. Esther did not physically kill Julie but she was an aspiring writer and had been writing a story and Julie happened to play the main character and she indeed dies in almost the exact way that she did in Esther’s story. But Esther hasn’t shared this story or well not to the world only in a writing group online which included Anna Harlov and Erik Kingo. So could they be the killers? With the many changes of suspects the reader learns the connection between Erik Kingo, Julie, Mr. Stender Julie’s father and Julies mystery boyfriend David Bovin. One night Esther had a get together with a few friends where she might have drank too much and revealed a little about her past childhood, she reveals that she had gotten pregnant young and her parents made her give up the child. I know what your thinking how does this tie into the murder well what Esther doesn’t know that night is the killer was at that party disguised. It isnt until the murder happens that Esther starts to think about Julies past and how they had shared similar traumas. Julie had slept with her teacher years ago and got pregnant and had to give up her child however what Julie never knew was her child was adopted and her grandfather happened to be Erik Kingo. Now to add another character David Bovin who was Julies secret boyfriend and a “work” friend of Julies father. Now David Bovin had a rough upbringing and happened to have always thought his birth mother abandoned him so when he heard Esther talk the night of her party he assumed she was his mother whom gave him up years ago however he wasn’t because Esther had given birth to a baby girl. In spite of Esther, David Bovin came up with a plan to seek revenge so he murdered Julie, he murdered Kristopher and he attempted to murder his mommy dearest Esther till she revealed the truth to him. So he then decided to go after Erik Kingo in the best way possible by taking his granddaughter in attempt he murdered Erik Kingo and David Bovin. Overall this novel had me turning each page trying to figure out who murdered Julie and why? I loved each character and felt like the novel was very well developed.

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