Isola The Sanctuary

The Copenhagen series #5

A man wakes to the nightmarish sound of an industrial saw. Tied up and unable to move, he can only watch as the blade approaches…

Jeppe Kørner is on leave from the police force and has taken refuge on the island of Bornholm for the winter. Back in Copenhagen, Anette Werner is tasked with leading the investigation into a severed corpse discovered in a trunk buried in a downtown playground. Also on Bornholm, Esther de Laurenti is writing a biography on a female anthropologist with a mysterious past, Margrethe Dybris, all whilst coming to terms with her own crushing sense of loneliness. When Jeppe lends a helping hand at the island’s local sawmill, he unwittingly finds himself in the crosshairs of a sinister mystery rooted in the past, forcing him to once more team up with Anette and Esther to unravel the island’s secrets before the murderer strikes again.

Katrine Engberg’s Isola is the fifth novel about the Police Sergeants Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner.


Shortlisted for the Mofibo Awards (Best Crime & Suspense) Denmark 2021
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  • “[T]old in Engberg’s typically unflinching yet artful prose /…/ [The Sanctuary] is a brilliantly crafted novel /…/ Engberg has emerged as one of the leading authors of Scandinavian noir, and this is one of her best.”

    Booklist *Starred Review*, US

  • “Nail-biting/…/ From the horrific opening to the final reveal, Engberg keeps readers turning the pages.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “The iden­tity of the culprit is an enormous surprise, but more surprising still is the closure Engberg brings to long-running storylines, resulting in a very poignant moment for fans of the series in addition to a satisfy­ing solution to the central mystery.”

    BookPage, US

  • “This is a non-stop thrilling read from start to finish. In an extremely skillful way, Katrine Engberg manages to incorporate rare ingredients such as humor and warmth into a genuinely unsettling murder tale. She weaves the many plotlines together into a detective novel, well-suited to the reader looking for suspense and a well-told story, without the usual genre clichés.”

    BTJ, Sweden

  • “Let it be said at once: Katrine Engberg is part of the upper echelon of Danish crime writing. She knows how to construct a shrewd plot and create believable characters and scenes, and on top of that she formulates herself in a smooth and effortless language. All of this she proves once again in the fifth installment about police detectives Anette Werner and Jeppe Kørner, Isola. /…/ It’s well-devised and surprising.”

    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “Engberg accomplishes the feat of keeping the reader guessing, right up until the point where everything falls into place in a wild finale.”

    Jydske Vestkysten, Denmark

  • “With Katrine Engberg you are always guaranteed a thrilling crime read.”

    Femina, Denmark

  • “This one is something truly special.”


    Sidses bogreol, Denmark

  • “[Isola] kept surprising until the very end.”

    ★★★★★, Denmark

  • “Nothing short of a masterpiece.”


    Krummes Krummelurer, Denmark

  • “I rejoice, weep and shudder.”


    Frk. West, Denmark

  • Isola is, straight from the shoulder, the best crime novel I’ve read all year – and it will be difficult to find one to match it.


    Bogfidusen, Denmark

  • “Can someone please tell me why I haven’t read anything by Katrine Engberg before? Huge, huge recommendations.”


    Bogens Liv

Photo: Les Kaner Katrine Engberg
  • Crime
Reading material

Danish edition

Rights sold

Denmark, Alpha

Estonia, Eesti Raamat

Finland, Otava

Germany, Diogenes

Italy, Marsilio

Netherlands, Bruna

Norway, Bonnier Norsk

Portugal, Minotauro

Sweden, Forum

UK, Hodder & Stoughton

US, Scout Press

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The Copenhagen series