I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Faithless today so many thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for getting me on board and indulging my love of Nordic Noir! As I’m the first stop make sure you follow the rest of the tour throughout the month of April.
About this book…
Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frølich are back … and this time, it’s personal… When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her … and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he ponders the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda investigates a disturbingly similar cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway and Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and the killer – before he strikes again. Dark, brooding and utterly chilling, Faithless is a breath-taking and atmospheric page-turner that marks the return of an internationally renowned and award-winning series, from one of the fathers of Nordic Noir. ‘If you want your worst fears about what goes on inside a cop’s mind confirmed, meet K.O. Dahl’s Oslo sleuths, Gunnarstranda and Frølich … impossible to put down’ Guardian • ‘A formidable talent’ Booklist • ‘An absorbing study of sexual enthrallment, dogged police work and a harrowing twist or two: Fans of procedurals…will snap this one up’ Kirkus For FANS of Stieg Larsson, Wallander, Thomas Enger, Ragnar Jonasson, Karin Fossum and Gunnar Staalesen
I was attracted to this book by the fabulous cover initially but having not read any other books in the series I was unsure if I would be able to follow who was who and what was what! But fear not, this book can absolutely be read as a standalone and if you’re not a big fan of Nordic Noir then this might actually be the book to ease you in gently to a love affair with this increasingly popular genre.
When the body of a woman is found, Frolich is stunned to discover that it’s a woman he’s recently come into contact with in connection with another case. He had been involved in her arrest and subsequently release from custody and then to discover a much more personal connection which throws up a few more questions than it actually answers! So it comes as a huge shock to find her naked body which has been dumped after having boiling water poured all over it and been wrapped in plastic (back to that fabulous cover!) Back from his holiday, Gunnarstranda investigates a similar cold case which bears a striking resemblance and could provide a much needed link. But Froliche is also in charge of investigating the disappearance of a student from the international summer school at The University of Oslo. So there’s a very busy workload here and both cases seem to ignite personal feelings within these two men making this a full on criminal enquiry.
I do adore the more relaxed style of police procedural that seems to be the theme here in many Norwegian crime thrillers. There’s a different feel to how they deal with cases, in fact it reminded me here of how police drama series were done back in the 1980s, when things weren’t quite as politically correct! The tone in which they speak to each other is very relaxed, if not a bit too relaxed at times! But this meant I really connected with all the detective team involved throughout, especially Frolich. His love for the end result shines through aided by good old fashioned police work and a methodical build up to the truth. I also found Lena fascinating and would have enjoyed having a bit more background to her story as I was interested in what made her tick, especially when it came to her relationship choices.
The twists and turns of this story were brilliantly plotted and I rather enjoyed the journey of discovery far more than I had expected to. The translator has kept it crisp and current with a seamless transition from the original work. In fact, it’s the same translator (Don Bartlett) who has translated Gunnar Staalesen recently and he is the author who actually started my fascination with Nordic crime fiction so I wasn’t surprised that I found myself settling into the narrative as though it had always been in English. And now I’ve discovered the Oslo Detectives I’m looking forward to following them on their future cases!
Thanks to Orenda books for my review copy of Faithless which I have chosen to read and review.
Faithless (Oslo Detectives) is available to purchase at Amazon UK.
Meet the author…
One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.