A(nother) Year of Orenda – The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl

Today it’s back to Mandie who is sharing her thoughts on The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl. I love the Oslo Detectives series and if you want to know what i thought of the book, you can find my thoughts right here.

Source: Review Copy
Release Date: 30 April 2018
Publisher: Orenda Books

About the Book

When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder.

With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.

Dark, complex and nail-bitingly tense, The Ice Swimmer is the latest and most unforgettable instalment in the critically acclaimed Oslo Detective series, by the godfather of Nordic Noir.

Mandie’s Thoughts

Although technically The Ice Swimmer is the 8th book in the Oslo Detective Series it is the second book published by Orenda Books and the good news is that all these books work quite well in their own right so if you have not read any of the other books you should still be able to enjoy this one without feeling you are missing something. This time the focus is clearly on Detective Lena Stigersand and how she navigates her way through her latest case and her personal life. 

When the body of a man is found floating in the harbour, the initial belief that it was an accident but there is something that niggles Lena about the way she is being pushed to close the case and she decides to investigate thoroughly even if it means going against her superiors. Gunnarstranda is also dealing with a case that on the face of it seems quite open and shut but like Lena he finds that nothing is as simple and as straightforward as it first appears. 

The dynamic between Lena and Gunnarstranda is just perfect. Although they may not always see eye to eye on some things, they know that when needed they can rely on each other and there are times that wise words from Gunnarstranda help Lena rethink her strategy and still get her the information she needs. Lena’s personal life does at times cause her to be distracted as she weighs up the potential changes, she may have to make but it is these insights into her life outside the police force that make her seem a little more real and gives the reader a reason to like her and route for her. 

I have already grown to love the pacing of these books as the action is never in your face and you get the feeling that the investigations take on a similar pace to those in real life, where not everything is simple, and the detectives sometimes have to hunt down even the smallest clue that may give them the motive behind the deaths. With each book you get a bit more of a sense of Oslo and its inhabitants adding another dimension to the book. There are certainly quite a few twists and turns in the Ice Swimmer, both professional and personal and you will be left guessing to the end and now I can’t wait to get stuck into the next in the series.

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

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