Today it’s over to Mandie who is starting her journey into the world of the Oslo Detectives series with a review of Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl. We’ve decided to make May a month of Norwegian excellence so there will be plenty more to come from this and all Orenda’s other lovely Norway set series and authors so keep an eye out. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the 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 begins to learn more about the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda deals with a disturbingly similar cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway. An unsettling number of coincidences emerge, and Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and to catch 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.
Having read The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl and thoroughly enjoyed it, I have been looking forward to catching up with other books by this author. Although Faithless is book 7 in the series it is the first one translated by Orenda Books and this is where I started. For anyone worrying that they may not be able to pick up a book that is mid series and be able to connect with the characters, I can honestly say that this is not an issue. There is sufficient detail about the main characters for you to be able to enjoy the book and not feel that you are missing something.
When Frank Frølich arrests Veronika Undset following a stakeout, he does not expect to see her again at a party to celebrate the engagement of an old friend, never mind her being the fiancé. When Veronika is later found murdered, and her body dumped Frank finds himself in a difficult position and having to face a past he would much rather stay buried. His requests to be removed from the case are denied and it becomes a real test for his loyalty to the job or to his former friend.
There is just something about the writing style of Kjell Ola Dahl that slowly lures the reader in, constantly leaving you guessing about both the motive and the perpetrator. The pace of the book seems to perfectly reflect the setting of the story. It is almost refreshing to read a book where there is more emphasis on the actual detective work which allows you to learn more about the main characters and what makes them tick. I was rooting for Frølich to work out where all the clues were leading him and his faults and doubts made him just seem real. Even when you find out the identity of the killer there is still one more surprise in store for the reader that will have you wanting to reach for the next book in the series to see how things play out.
With these kinds of endings, I quite often find myself being grateful that I have joined a series late into the day as at least there is no lengthy wait for the next book, and I can dive straight in and with a storyteller like Kjell OIa Dahl you can be sure that you won’t be left disappointed.
About 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.
Books by Kjell Ola Dahl