Henning Juul is a crime reporter in Oslo, Norway. He's returning to work after a fire killed his six-year-old son and left him visually scared. It also ended his marriage.
Henning is in the image of financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist from Steig Larrsen's The Millenium Series. Both men are quiet, determined and total professionals.
On his first day back to work, a young woman's body is found at a local park. The woman, Henriette Hagerup, had marks of a stun gun on her and was buried up to her head and stoned to death.
Authorities consider that it could have been a case of a ritual killing since the woman had a Pakistani boyfriend. Juul disagrees. He possesses the rare investigative journalist talent for feeling when things don't seem to fit.
Through the story Juul shows his compassion when interviewing friends of the deceased. He has the physical and mental scars from the fire in his flat, and yet, he doesn't ask for sympathy.
Juul is true investigator and finding the reason why someone would kill this college student consumes him. The title of the novel has many meanings. Not only is Jul's flat burned, but so is he and internally, he has the fire in his heart so much that the reader catches his passion.
The setting is well described as is Jul, who is a sympathetic character and we enjoy seeing his power of deduction as he looks for the killer. The author provides some twists and surprises that keep the reader guessing right to the excellent conclusion.