The Dark Men
Niels Oxen, the highest decorated soldier to ever serve in the Danish army, is living and working at a remote fish farm in Jutland under a Romanian identity.
In this secluded place, the veteran is battling his inner demons whilst living in a constant state of alertness - harbouring a secret which is keeping him alive, but may ultimately kill him.
When a curator is murdered at a castle and the Danish Minister for Justice is involved, a flood of serious events is unleashed.
Only a few people sense a connection to Oxen. One of them is his old partner from the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, Margrethe Franck, who has been searching for him for over a year. When she finally tracks him down, she seals his fate as well as her own.
Suddenly, Oxen is the target of a manhunt. Some wish to help him. Others wish to kill him. Who is friend and who is foe?
Once more Franck and Oxen join forces against the dark men in power, for a hunted veteran has but two options: perish or fight back.
The Dark Men is the sequel to Hangdogs, the first novel in the Niels Oxen trilogy.
This book is a treat for the connoisseur
Finally, the sequel to Hangdogs had arrived, a thriller I'd been looking forward to immensely. And what a delight it was. The master of conspiracies is back with a vengeance.
The book is extremely well written, the language flows really well, and within minutes I was immersed in the Oxen universe of the previous book. The book is divided into chapters about the different characters in the gallery. This works really well, and at times the chapters are also used to heighten the suspense and keep the reader hooked – and it works!
I was hooked from the word go and actually found it so hard to put the book down that I simply had to read the last 400 pages before going to bed.
The plot still works, and the suspense is absolutely sublime. This book is a treat for the connoisseur.
The dark men can teach editors a lesson
De mørke mænd (The Dark Men) is very well researched – whether it involves describing the process of centralising the police unit on Funen, the coded language of the elite soldiers or the type of boat best suited to cross the Kattegat.
In fact, I feel like placing De mørke mænd under the noses of those editors who pressurise their authors of thrillers and suspense novels to produce a new book every year.
Compared with many of these rushed editions, you sense that Jens Henrik Jensen has had a couple of years to develop the plot and try out different scenarios before writing the novel.
Although this is the second volume in a proposed trilogy about Niels Oxen’s battle against the undemocratic power of the Danish Court, new readers who start with this book will have no problem following the main character’s flight through Denmark.
Along the way, the different locations are described with an eye for their individual characteristics.
A killer of a crime novel
One of the greatest strengths of The Dark Men is its angle of social criticism, which applies to not only the treatment of war veterans but the existence of powerful lodges consisting of managers and politicians.
Jensen has produced a solid thriller featuring highly topical issues and historical ties to the Danish medieval magnate association Danehof. The author's style has grown as well. Dramatic and break-neck passages give way to nicely wrought poetic descriptions, which slow down the pace but increase the joy of reading the book.
[...] The Dark Men is a killer of a crime novel which leaves you wanting more.
What do the readers say?
Way to go, Jens Henrik, you've done it again :) Thank you so much for a fantastic weekend in Oxen's company; it has been a fast-paced and gritty experience, but dearest me it felt good to be back. THANK YOU.
♦ Stina Holdt, krimifan.dk
The master of conspiracies is back with a vengeance.
Finally, the sequel to Hangdogs had arrived, a thriller I've been looking forward to immensely. And what a delight it was.
♦ Blondie, saxo.com