By Kjell Ola Dahl
Published by Orenda Books (Ebook - available now; Paperback - 15 April 2017)
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 look deeper into the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich's colleague Gunnarstranda finds another body, and things take a more sinister turn. With a cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway casting a shadow, and an unsettling number of coincidences clouding the plot, Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers - and the killer - before he strikes again.
Over the last couple of years, I've become a huge fan of Nordic Noir, thanks to the seamless translations published by Orenda Books. Faithless is no exception. The translation by Don Bartlett is perfect - the book is not only easy to read, but the narrative is rhythmic and fast paced.
I haven't read any books by Kjell Ola Dahl before, and this book is the fifth in the series, so I don't know the characters' back stories. But this didn't detract from the intelligent well-conceived plot. Faithless can easily be read as a standalone.
Inspector Frank Frølich is investigating the murder of a woman known to him - not only because he arrested her recently, but also because she was engaged to his childhood friend, who he hasn't seen for over 20 years. When the detectives link the murder with a cold case in northern Norway, they realise this isn't as straightforward as it seems. Meanwhile his colleague Gunnarstranda is investigating the disappearance of a university student - there's no trace of her, although there are plenty of suspects.
Faithless reads like classic crime, with well-developed characters, an atmospheric setting and a tangled web of secrets and lies. It's a whodunnit set in the modern world but with many throwbacks to the past. Nordic Noir detectives seem to use their heads and old fashioned investigations more than technology when putting together the clues to solve their cases. I had no inkling about where the story was going, or who the culprit was, or even how everything was going to be resolved, before the end. A great surprise and a highly satisfying conclusion.
The Oslo Detectives is another series to add to my very extensive reading list.
I received an Advance Reader Copy.
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