Review: The Harbor by Katrine Engberg

Title: The Harbor by Katrine Engberg
Translated by Tara F. Chace
Kørner and Werner Series Book Three
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Genre: Contemporary, Noir, Mystery
Length: 348 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Butterfly House, called “brazen and original” by The Toronto Star, comes a timely, suspenseful, and darkly original new novel about a missing child and the web of lies that has threatened his life—and may prevent him from ever being found.

When fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff disappears, the police assume he’s simply a runaway—a typically overlooked middle child doing what teenagers do all around the world. But his frantic family is certain that something terrible has happened. After all, what runaway would leave behind a note that reads:

He looked around and saw the knife that had stabbed Basil Hallward. He had cleaned it many times, till there was no stain left upon it. It was bright and glistened. As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter’s work, and all that that meant. It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free.

It’s not much to go on but it’s all that detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner have. And with every passing hour, as the odds of finding a missing person grow dimmer, it will have to be enough.


Set in Copenhagen, The Harbor by Katrine Engberg is a compelling mystery. Although this newest release is the third book in the Kørner and Werner series, it can be read as a standalone.

Detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner’s latest case is the puzzling disappearance of fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff. His parents, Malin and Henrik, do not realize he is missing until he fails to return home from an overnight stay with his friend, Iben Skytte. With little to go on but the perplexing note Oscar left  for his parents, Jeppe and Anette work hard to locate the teenager before it is too late.

The Dreyer-Hoff family is wealthy so Kørner and Werner have to consider the possibility that Oscar might have been kidnapped. Without a ransom demand, they begin looking into both the missing teen and his parents. They also must question Iben and her father Kasper in order to find exactly when he vanished. After a discovery at the harbor, Jeppe and Anette begin to suspect there might be another reason for Oscar’s inexplicable disappearance.

The case takes an urgent turn when a body is found at the garbage incinerator company where Kasper works. There is clearly something going on with him, but does it have anything to do with Oscar? Anette cannot sit around and do nothing as they fail to locate Oscar or find any tangible details for where he could be. Working on a hunch they might have missed something, she goes back over previously investigated territory hoping to find anything that could help find Oscar.

The Harbor is an intriguing mystery with a fascinating cast of characters. The storyline is well-develoved and moves at a steady pace.  Copenhagen springs vividly to life as Jeppe and Anette work diligently to crack this mystifying case.  With cunning twists and shocking turns, Katrine Engberg brings this suspenseful mystery to a satisfying conclusion. Old and new fans of the terrific Kørner and Werner series are sure to enjoy this latest installment.

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Filed under Contemporary, Gallery/Scout Press, Katrine Engberg, Kørner and Werner Series, Mystery, Noir, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Harbor

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