Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.
Must admit, I hadn’t heard of this author before and was a little wary of starting to read a series that already had twenty odd titles before this one. When I started reading it though the story drew me in straight away. It’s a nightmare scenario for anyone to be wrongly accused of committing any crime. A former police officer, now private investigator Varg Veum is accused of the heinous crime of distributing child pornography and the case against him looks to be strong one. His fear was palpable and described very well. I could feel it through the pages and really wanted him to be able to clear his name even though I knew nothing whatsoever about him but somehow I cared enough to read on. And so begins this gripping Nordic Noir that held my interest to the very last page. Brilliantly descriptive and I can’t praise the writing highly enough. With a nod to the translator Don Bartlett. The story of how Varg discovers the truth by revisiting and examining events from his past is very skilfully told. Of course he has a chequered past – don’t they all but it all adds to the story in this case.
Ian Rankin describes the author Gunnar Staalesen as “…one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors…”. I feel like using the old cliched chat up line “where have you been all my life”. I’m quite annoyed with myself that I haven’t found this author before but perhaps they’re only fairly recently translated for our ever increasing appetite for Scandi Noir?
With thanks to Orenda publisher for introducing me yet again to another cracking author and for the ARC copy that I chose to review.
About The Author
lesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers.
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