The Blurb (via Amazon)
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.
This is the first book I’ve read about the team of Oslo detectives that features the pairing of Gunnarstranda and Frølich but it didn’t detract from the storyline for me, so this novel can be read as a standalone.
Karen Sullivan, the publisher of Orenda Books has excellent taste and always chooses the authors who join her ever increasing stable of authors wisely. I have yet to read an Orenda novel that wasn’t an excellent read. I’m a fan of Scandinavian Noir but this one stands out for me for the quality of writing. With a nod to the translator Don Bartlett who no doubt played a part in the apparently seamless transition from Norwegian to English.
This book is a dark and intensive read, a police procedural following two separate cases, one of the brutal murder of a woman known to the police department and at the peripheral edge of an ongoing investigation and a young student from overseas who disappeared not long after starting at university.
The murdered woman also happened to be the fiancée of an old friend of Frølich who despite the conflict of interest is allowed to carry on investigating her murder due to the ongoing case that she was involved in.
The two old friends, although once close appear to be no longer and there had been a lengthy estrangement due to mysterious circumstances that are slowly revealed.
With a crisp no nonsense narrative and a compelling storyline that held my interest right until the very end I would highly recommend this book to fans of Scandi Noir or just crime fiction fans in general who enjoy a good old fashioned nose to the grindstone police procedural novel. I’m now planning to read more from this series, although I understand not all have been translated yet.
Thanks to Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my ARC copy that I chose to review.
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.