Fat Margaret Tower, Talliin
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Haunted House in Talliin

As the Schnauzer begins barking at the Trick and Treaters brave enough to go out in the storm, I am reminded of another creepy tail and wonder about the activities that might occur at a location on the other side of the world.

The Devil’s Window (Rataskaevu 16)

There is a house at No. 16 Rataskaevu Street, across from the Cat’s Well, in Talliin, Estonia, and if you are observant, you might notice something odd – one of the windows on the top floor is bricked up from the inside, and it has false curtains painted on the inside.

Many centuries ago, a mysterious, cloaked man approached the owner of this 15th-century manor and offered to pay him a huge sum of money for the use of a particular room, on the very upper floor of the house – on the condition that he was granted complete privacy whilst he was there. He emphasized complete privacy. The landlord needed the money and consented to this request. The house was located at 16 Rataskaevu Street, in Talliin’s Old Town.

That night, neighbours reported hearing a tremendous thundering on the stairs, with loud noises coming from the flat. This made certain people very curious and the landlord’s servant couldn’t resist a peek inside.

The Legend of the Devil’s Wedding

Precisely at one o’clock, the sound abruptly stopped, as if the party had simply vanished. The next day the landlord‘s servant, who had been spying through the keyhole, was found mortally ill. Before dying, the servant claimed to have seen the Devil himself having a wedding party in the flat.

From that day on, unexplained party noises have occasionally been heard from the room late at night, even when no one is there. Eventually, the owner bricked up the room’s window to stop the reports.

The neighbour who owns a sushi restaurant did inform us that, during the recent, extensive remodelling of the building numerous artefacts were found hidden in the walls, including coins, documents and, in one wall in the back of the restaurant in what’s now the employees’ room, human bones.

Source: Trip Advisor and Hidden Talliin.com

This legend seemed appropriate to recount on the spookiest night of the year, Halloween. My visit to this location ended at 5pm, so I cannot confirm nor deny this as the Devil’s hangout. Why not visit one day and see for yourself?

Find more Halloween tales, here

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Book review

Jo Nesbø – The Devil’s star

Cover of "The Devil's Star"
Cover of The Devil’s Star

BOOK REVIEW:

The Devil’s star  by the Wonderful JO NESBO – Harry HOLE ( hoola) series

There is a serial killer on the loose in Oslo, but the murders are not sexually motivated. Harry Hole is the only detective with serial killer expertise in the Norwegian police force,  having brought down a killer in Sydney,in what was the first book of the series. (“Bat” published in Norwegian) With Harry Hole on  a downhill spiral of drinking too much booze and insomnia due to his own mental torture of recurring nightmares, arch enemy Tom Waaler heads up the investigative team, however Hole’s boss asks unofficially for Harry’s help, even though Harry’s services are to be terminated in 3 weeks time, because of his failure to turn up for duty on more than one occasion due to his inebriated state.

In true, Harry style, he pursues this killer unofficially, a puzzling crime by someone who has left a trademark red diamond in the shape of a star on each of his victims. Harry has to find the Question to ‘why’ and not ‘how’ or ‘who’, in order to crack the cryptic code the killer has left. Time is running short and Harry is under pressure to find the killer before the fifth victim dies, but is forced to work alongside Waaler…. can he cope?

Touted as the next Stieg Larson, which is in itself, ironic, as Jo was writing and publishing books many years prior to Larson’s Millenium trilogy, the reader can expect a  multitude of plot twists and turns in Nesbo’s book, and likewise, should expect to be intrigued when the crime is solved only part way through the book. Therefore, one is not surprized when events suddenly take a different turn, and the reader is then led to believe that all that meets the eye is not real…. Nesbo will give you clues, but highly doubtful that most ordinary readers will pick them up. I certainly didn’t.

Loved the Devils’ Star even though I hated the title. I look forward to the next instalment of Harry’s adventure. I could not fault Harry interpretation of events unofficial investigation; Unlike Camilla Lackberg’s series, where the detective often bungles the investigation, to this reader’s total frustration!)

The good: Fantasticly woven crime thriller story that keeps you guessing

The bad:   The Title – a bit unimaginative I think…..

The Ugly: the severed fingers and what is under the fingernails…

Rating: 4.5 out of 5, only because I find it difficult to give a 5 out of 5 for anything.

Can’t wait to start the Redeemer, next in this series.

A few weeks ago, Jo Nesbo was touring Australia and quite openly admitted to taking some scenes in the Leopard “too far. He “regrets this”, he said.  He also mentioned that he has a plan to eventuallly kill/retire the Harry Hole character. He knows how he will do it, but not yet when….

Chronology of Harry Hole series translated to English

1. The Redbreast- reviewed here http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=504112467947203806#editor/target=post;postID=7000598131250317883

2. Nemesis

3.The Devil’s star

4. The Redeemer –

5. The Snowman – TBR

6. The Leopard   – TBR

7. The Phantom  – TBR

 

( the “Bat” is the first book in the Harry Hole series but is now in English)

As I reading that now, I will ponder some more before I post a review.