My thanks to Fiona Brownlee of Muswell Press for sending me a copy of My Name Is Jensen. This review forms my honest opinion.
One word on a beggar’s cardboard sign. And now he is dead, stabbed in a wintry Copenhagen street, the second homeless victim in as many weeks. Dagbladet reporter Jensen, stumbling across the body on her way to work, calls her ex lover DI Henrik Jungersen. As, inevitably, old passions are rekindled, so are old regrets, and that is just the start of Jensen’s troubles. The front page is an open goal, but nothing feels right…..When a third body turns up, it seems certain that a serial killer is on the loose. But why pick on the homeless? And is the link to an old murder case just a coincidence? With her teenage apprentice Gustav, Jensen soon finds herself putting everything on the line to discover exactly who is guilty.
My Name Is Jensen was one of those lovely surprises. Most of the time when I pick up a book I have some idea of what to expect, be it because it’s been recommended to me, I know the author from reading their work previously or there has been a lot of hype. Instead, bar the PR sheet, My Name Is Jensen arrived on my doormat with no introduction. I settled down to read, and flew through it in a matter of days (no easy feat during the summer holidays!)
Female journalist, Jensen is at a lull in her life. Recently returned to Copenhagen after a secondment in London, she’s struggling to feel at home, her usual instincts and desire for writing clouded. Then, on her way to work she discovers the body of a young homeless man. Calling her married ex-lover Henrik – who also happens to be a police detective, opens the door to her past, all whilst trying to deal with her present.
As the investigation into the young mans death goes on, Jensen becomes far more involved than she should – I found myself hooked. There aren’t many books that can hook me so early on, but this one did. The central plot was compelling, and several times along the way I thought I’d worked it out. Only to be wrong. It kept me guessing and thinking throughout and I found myself snatching ten minutes here and there (a sure sign I really like a book!) wanting to know what happened next.
I absolutely loved this book. Pegged as home grown Scandi-noir, this is the first in a new series, and it’s a series I’m so excited to continue reading. My Name Is Jensen is exciting, fast paced and incredibly readable. The character of Jensen is complex and a mass of contradictions. Both strong and weak. Independent and dependent. I found myself drawn to her, there being an air of realism about her. She lives in a male heavy world, her relationship (or not) with Henrik drawn in the shadows, complicated and messy. Jensen, however is brave and resourceful, more than a match for each of the male characters. She’s not superhuman, she’s fallible and I loved her for this.
The core of this novel are the fantastic cast of characters; editor Margrethe, the charismatic Esben, Jensen’s forced-upon apprentice Gustav, the mysterious Liron (who seems to have some kind of mystical coffee healing ability), her borrowed driver, Aziz and coffee-poaching Henning. There is huge potential here and the characters are buzzing with energy and future stories to tell.
A new favourite series for me – I can’t wait to read the next installment, and I cannot recommend enough. It had everything I was looking for – and more. I’m expecting big things from Jensen and Heidi Amsinck in the future.
Published by Muswell Press, My Name is Jensen will be released on 31st August.
If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, please consider supporting your local independent bookshop. If you don’t have one locally, I work at The Rabbit Hole in Brigg, North Lincolnshire – a small, lovely, community minded bookshop and your support via Bookshop.org (or pop in, if you’re local, we’d love to see you!) would be hugely appreciated: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Therabbitholebrigg
About the Author
Heidi Amsinck a writer and journalist born in Copenhagen has lived in London for many years. A graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, she was previously shortlisted for the VS Pritchett Memorial Prize. Last Train to Helsingor her first published collection of short stories, was published by Muswell Press in 2018.