One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over twenty-three titles, which have been published in twenty-six countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is currently being filmed. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife.
Below is a Q&A with this author.
1. You have written over 20 crime thrillers in the Varg Veum series. Did you ever think it would go on so long?
It is almost 40 years since I started the series, and at that point I never thought as far the 21st century! The first one was an experiment, to see if the formula about a classic PI would work in Scandinavian context, but when that was a huge success here in Norway, it opened the door for me to continue. In light of that – yes, I hoped it would be a long series.
2. is a statue of Varg Veum in the heart of Bergen, a celebration of his birthday, and a myriad of branded merchandise. Are you surprised at the ‘fame’ of your protagonist?
Yes, I must admit that the size of the interest for my detective is much bigger than I could dream of. To day he is almost the Sherlock Holmes of Bergen! I just wanted to be a happy crime-writing storyteller and to have readers for my books, but see what it developed into! Almost an industry!
3. A missing child is at the heart of the plot. What inspired you?
In Norway, as you surely have in your own country, we have some famous cases of little children (mostly girls) who disappear without ever being found again. I can’t think of a worse situation for the parents (very often a single mother). I have written about a similar situation in an earlier Varg Veum novel (Bitter flowers, still not translated into English), but this time I wanted to go even deeper into the reactions such a disappearance would create in not only the parents, but also in neighbours, friends of the family, other children, the police. And I wanted to give an answer to the mystery – not as in real life, where there are often no answers at all!
4. In Where Roses Never Die, Varg is recovering from the death of his long-term partner Karin, and a period of serious reliance on alcohol. Your descriptions of his dependence are stunningly authentic. Did you have to research this?
Well, thank you for that. I am not a very hard drinker myself, even if I do enjoy the taste of most sorts of alcoholic beverages. But I have met some alcoholics during my life time, there is a great deal of literature about it (not at least in crime fiction), and, as a writer, you have to use your imagination.
5. There are numerous twists and turns in this book, and a completely unexpected ending. How do you plot your books? Do you know how it will end before you start writing?
I attempt to have an ending in mind before I start writing a book. The opening and the ending are the two most important elements of a crime novel. Many people can write a good opening, but not that many can create a satisfying ending. But there is a lot of writing to do between these two points in the story. Some of the twists in the plot are planned beforehand; some of them surprises even me, when I get the ideas during the writing. This time, the ending was the most definite element of them all: I had it in my head many years before I wrote it!
6. As a father and grandfather yourself, did you find the storyline troubling or distressing?
Yes, I feel that crimes against children are one of the most horrible things to think about. I do not like to write about it, really, but since it is part of real life and I have chosen to write about real life within the frame of more or less classic crime mysteries, I have to write about it in some of my books. But I try to never get too close to the victims. As Varg Veum worked as a social worker earlier in his career and, in particular, safeguarding children, it is also an important part of his life and his character: to care for children and try to protect them.
7. Does Varg ever direct the action? Take the story in different directions than you had planned?
I will not say that Varg directs the action in the books, but it happens of course that the writer gets some new ideas during the writing that can change the direction slightly. But the ending is still there, as a goal to reach.
8. Tell us about your ‘road’ to publication.
I started writing seriously when I was 17: poems, short stories and a short novel, but very few of the poems and stories were published. I published my first novel when I was 22, another one when I was 24, and at 27 I published my first crime novel, a police procedural, the first of three about two police detectives in Bergen. In 1977, when I was 30, I published the first book about Varg Veum, and the rest is history. I have also written 10/12 dramas or adaptations for the theatre.
9. Jo Nesbo calls you the ‘Norwegian Chandler’. Was he an influence?
It is very nice of Jo to compare me with Chandler, and of course he is an influence, as I believe he is for most modern crime writers. Chandler is the Shakespeare of crime fiction, and we all have to relate to him. As for plotting, my biggest influence is Ross Macdonald, and I have also learnt quite a bit, I think, from the Swedish founders of Nordic Noir, Sjöwall & Wahlöö.
10. What’s next?
Answer: After Where Roses Never Die, which was published in Norway in 2012, I have written two further Varg Veum novels. The first one is Ingen er så trygg I fare (No one Is So safe in Danger, which, like Where Roses Never Die, has a title taken from a religious song), published in Norway in 2014 and to be published by Orenda in UK in 2017, and I am just finishing the second one, Storesøster (The Big Sister, with a bow to Chandler), to be published in Norway in September this year, and the UK in 2018.
Fresh from rehab, Norwegian PI Varg Veum faces his most complex investigation yet, when a man is found drowned, a young woman disappears, and the case of a missing child is revived. The classic Nordic Noir series continues... PI Varg Veum has returned to duty following a stint in rehab, but his new composure and resolution are soon threatened when a challenging assignment arrives on his desk. A man is found dead in an elite swimming pool and a young woman has gone missing. Most chillingly, Varg Veum is asked to investigate the 'Camilla Case': an eight-year-old cold case involving the disappearance of a little girl, who was never found. As the threads of these apparently unrelated crimes come together, against the backdrop of a series of shocking environmental crimes, Varg Veum faces the most challenging, traumatic investigation of his career.
Provocative and unsettling this crime novel focuses on the predatory and merciless side of life. Private investigator Varg Veum reunites with former classmates at a funeral but a murder throws rekindled friendships up in the air. Fallen Angels forms part of the gripping and gritty Varg Veum series, the first of which was published in 1977. Gunnar Staalesen has since been published in 26 countries, and a statue of his protagonist Varg even sits in the centre of Bergen! This particular novel was first published in Norway in 1989 and is set in the 80’s, if you’ve already read his translated novels be aware that you are taking a step back in time. Taking place before other translated books in this series, it encourages an understanding of what makes Varg the man he is. There are parts which make for uncomfortable reading and I cringed as the seedier aspects of society were described. The painstaking aspects of investigations are clearly felt. Gunnar Staalesen and translator Don Bartlett, excel in creating deliberately jarring sections, which sent a chilling shiver coursing through me. Fallen Angles is a book that is meant to make you feel perturbed, it is also an entirely fascinating read.
Steadfast, tenacious and fascinating can be used to describe both the book and lead character in ‘Wolves at the Door’. Private Investigator Varg Veum was previously set up and linked to a horrifying case, now the men actually found guilty of the crime are dying one by one, is Varg next on the list? Gunnar Staalesen was in at the beginning of Nordic Noir, he started this series 40 years ago (there is a statue of Varg Veum in Bergen where the series is set) and has been published in 24 countries. This book does specifically link to previously translated novels so if thinking of stepping into the series you might want to start with ‘Where Roses Never Die’, followed by ‘Wolves in the Dark’ as a lead into this particular novel (‘Big Sister’ also sits in there too). Don Bartlett successfully ensured the thought of a translator didn’t enter my head as I was reading, I was sucked straight into the story and stayed there. I particularly enjoyed the slow slog of the investigation, each piece of information entering the fray and increasing the tension until it reached breaking point. With short, smart, darkly punchy chapters ’Wolves at the Door’ is a provocative and gripping read.
Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn't leave an address. She doesn't answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. Veum's investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal... Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world's foremost thriller writers.
A ferociously gripping read from a Norwegian writing legend. Private investigator Varg Veum is in serious trouble, child pornography is found on his computer, from prison he starts to pull all the pieces together in a quest to discover who has planted evidence and why they want to take him down. This novel is set after ‘Where Roses Never Die’, yet delves back in time to when Varg was in a pit of pain. Gunnar Staalesen allowed me to have my suspicions, yet kept my mind on high alert as the past cases are explored. This is at times an uncomfortable read, yet fascinating, thrilling, and action packed too. Varg sits on the edge of official, and dangles his legs over lawful, yet his morality is clear to see and feel. ‘Wolves in the Dark’ is another profound, dark, yet enjoyably readable tale from Staalesen and I can thoroughly recommend joining this series. ~ Liz Robinson Click here to read a Q&A with Gunnar Staalesen about this book.
A truly tenacious and back to basics Nordic crime novel featuring private investigator Varg Veum. Staalesen has been writing about Veum since 1977, however this is my first foray into the series, and found it could easily be read as a standalone. 25 years after a three year old disappears in mysterious circumstances, the mother hires Veum to take one last look at the case. As Veum begins his painstaking detective work, he begins to dig deeper and further than the police have been before, and starts to uncover some disturbing links to another crime. Staalesen writes with a clipped, matter of fact style, the sharp delivery in the first person really sets Veum centre stage. There are an awful lot of characters to get to grips with and it’s worth getting them straight in your mind, right at the beginning of the novel. With plenty of surprises in store and an intriguing case, ‘Where Roses Never Die’ sets your mind working overtime and is a gripping read. A 'Piece of Passion from the Publisher... 'Gunnar Staalesen is one of the fathers of Nordic Noir and the creator of the unforgettable private investigator Varg Veum. Only six of the 20-odd titles in the series have been translated into English to date, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to publish the remainder, beautifully translated by Don Bartlett. Known as the ‘Norwegian Chandler’, Staalesen is a master of his craft, creating tightly plotted, page-turning and extraordinarily atmospheric thrillers that tackle social issues in the finest tradition of Nordic Noir. As Sarah Ward says in Crime Pieces, ‘Staalesen’s greatest strength is the quality of his writing. The incidental asides and observations are wonderful, and elevate the books from a straightforward murder investigation into something more substantial.’ I could not agree more. Where Roses Never Die is Staalesen’s best book to date, and I could not put it down until I had devoured every last word, and then re-read the stunning, completely unexpected denouement, just in case my eyes had deceived me. ~ Karen Sullivan, Publisher, Orenda Books
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Sieben Falle mit dem Helden Varg Veum, einem reichlich desillusionierten, allerdings nicht zynischen Detektiv, der immer ein wenig besser ist als die Welt, in der er arbeitet. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Privatdetektiv Varg Veum aus Bergen erhalt den Auftrag, ein verschwundenes Madchen wiederzufinden. Kurz darauf wird ihm eine Todesanzeige zugeschickt: seine eigene. Wenn er glaubt, was da steht, hat er noch genau eine Woche zu leben. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Varg Veum ist entsetzt: In seinem Vorzimmer sitzt ein toter Mann. Wie ist er dort hingekommen? Und was hat er von dem Privatdetektiv gewollt? Veum findet heraus, dass sein stiller Gast auf eigene Faust Nachforschungen uber einen ratselhaften Fall angestellt hatte - ein Fall, der vierzehn Jahre zuruckliegt ...(Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Der Privatdetektiv Varg Veum erhalt von einer bekannten Anwaltin den Auftrag, nach ihrer verschollenen Schwester und deren Mann zu suchen. Rasch findet Veum heraus, dass der Mann bei einer Firma angestellt war, die Giftmull in die Dritte Welt exportiert und afrikanische Fluchtlinge nach Norwegen schmuggelt. Mit Unterstutzung einer Starreporterin ist der Fall schnell an die Offentlichkeit gebracht, doch das Ratsel der Verschwundenen bleibt lange ungelost ... (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. "e;Die Beerdigung fand an einem Freitag statt. Es war der zehnte Dezember, und die Luft war grau von Schneeregen."e; Melancholischer konnte der Auftakt kaum sein zu dem tristen Sittengemalde, das Privatdetektiv Varg Veum anlalich einer Haufung von Todesfallen unter ehemaligen Schulkameraden aufrollt.Seine Ermittlungen fuhren zuruck in die Popszene der siebziger Jahre, als die Bergenser Band "e;Harpers"e; sich nach funfzehnjahrigem Bestehen ohne ersichtlichen Grund uber Nacht aufloste.Was geschah in jener Nacht? Veum stot auf eine Mauer des Schweigens. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Wenn ein junger Mann vermit, bei der Suche aber eine junge Frau gefunden wird, ohne Kopf und demzufolge tot, im Kuhlschrank einer Mansardenwohnung im norwegischen Ol-Klondyke Stavanger, dann hat Privatdetektiv Varg Veum Probleme - und der Leser den Nervenkitzel. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Scheidungssachen nimmt er nicht an, deshalb lat Privatdetektiv Varg Veum den angesehenen Anwalt Moberg abblitzen, der seine junge Frau beschatten lassen mochte. Als kurz darauf ein besorgter Bruder fur den im Sterben liegenden Vater die verlorene Tochter finden will und gleich einen ordentlichen Vorschu auf den Tisch des Hauses blattert, wittert Veum leicht verdientes Geld und nimmt den Auftrag an. Denn beide Manner haben ihm ein Foto der gleichen Frau gezeigt. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Mein Name ist Veum. Varg. Veum. Ich bin Privatdetektiv, und ich lose deine Probleme, von den einfachsten, wie deinen entlaufenen Hund zu finden, bis zu den kompliziertesten, wie dir den Sinn des Lebens zu erklaren. Dass du mein Honorar bezahlst, ist alles, was ich erwarte. Das ist doch wohl nicht zu viel verlangt? Varg Veum, der Philip Marlowe des hohen Nordens, betreibt ein Ein-Mann-Detektivburo in der norwegischen Stadt Bergen. Der ortlichen Polizei ist er ein Dorn im Auge, denn uberall, wo er auftaucht, gibt es eine Leiche - und immer ist der Detektiv einen Schritt voraus.(Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Varg Veum bekommt Besuch: Sein bisher jungster Kunde, ein achtjahriger Junge, bittet den Privatdetektiv, sein Fahrrad wiederzufinden. Eine Clique von Jugendlichen hat es ihm gestohlen. Veum beschliet, dem Jungen zu helfen. Doch kurz darauf ist das Kind verschwunden ... (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Die Suche nach einem jungen Madchen aus gutem Haus fuhrt Privatdetektiv Varg Veum ins Drogen- und Prostituiertenmilieu von Kopenhagen, wo er sie schlielich in einer billigen Absteige findet. Kurz darauf verschwindet der Freund des Madchens spurlos, und dieses Mal geht es um Mord. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Dieser Titel gehort zu einer Romanreihe, auf der die bekannte Krimifernsehserie Der Wolf um den Privatdetektiv Varg Veum basiert. Die Erstausstrahlung der beiden Staffeln erfolgte in Deutschland 2008 bei Das Erste und 2013/2014 beim ZDF. Man soll schlafende Hunde nicht wecken. Und Wolfe schon gar nicht. Genau diesen Fehler macht der pensionierte Kriminalbeamte Hjalmar Nymark, als er auf eigene Faust in einem seinerzeit ungeklarten Fall neu zu ermitteln beginnt. Bei einem mysteriosen Autounfall wird Nymark schwer verletzt und wenig spater unter verdachterregenden Umstanden in seiner Wohnung tot aufgefunden. Sein Freund Varg Veum, Privatdetektiv und Aquavittrinker, nimmt die von Nymark freigelegten Spuren auf. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Varg Veum takes on the perplexing case of a missing wind-farm inspector and gets more than he bargained for, as religious zealots, environmental terrorism and then murder take centre stage ... The gripping next instalment in the award-winning Varg Veum series, by one of the fathers of Nordic Noir. 'Not many books hook you in the first chapter - this one did, and never let go!' Mari Hannah 'Mature and captivating' Rosemary Goring, Herald Scotland 'Moving, uncompromising' Publishers Weekly _________________ 1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he's made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then, in one of the most heart-stopping scenes in crime fiction, the first body appears... A chilling, timeless story of love, revenge and desire, We Shall Inherit the Wind deftly weaves contemporary issues with a stunning plot that will leave you gripped to the final page. This is Staalesen at his most thrilling, thought-provoking best. _________________ Praise for Gunnar Staalesen 'There is a world-weary existential sadness that hangs over his central detective. The prose is stripped back and simple ... deep emotion bubbling under the surface - the real turmoil of the characters' lives just under the surface for the reader to intuit, rather than have it spelled out for them' Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue 'Gunnar Staalesen is one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors. Operating out of Bergen in Norway, his private eye, Varg Veum, is a complex but engaging anti-hero. Varg means wolf in Norwegian, and this is a series with very sharp teeth' Ian Rankin 'Staalesen continually reminds us he is one of the finest of Nordic novelists' Financial Times 'Chilling and perilous results - all told in a pleasingly dry style' Sunday Times 'Staalesen does a masterful job of exposing the worst of Norwegian society in this highly disturbing entry' Publishers Weekly 'The Varg Veum series is more concerned with character and motivation than spectacle, and it's in the quieter scenes that the real drama lies' Herald Scotland 'Every inch the equal of his Nordic confreres Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbo' Independent'With an expositional style that is all but invisible, Staalesen masterfully compels us from the first pages ... If you're a fan of Varg Veum, this is not to be missed, and if you're new to the series, this is one of the best ones. You're encouraged to jump right in, even if the Norwegian names can be a bit confusing to follow' Crime Fiction Lover 'With short, smart, darkly punchy chapters Wolves at the Door is a provocative and gripping read' LoveReading 'Haunting, dark and totally noir, a great read' New Books Magazine 'An upmarket Philip Marlowe' Maxim Jakubowski, The Bookseller 'Razor-edged Scandinavian crime fiction at its finest' Quentin Bates
'The Norwegian Chandler' Jo Nesbo 'One of my very favourite Scandinavian authors' Ian Rankin MORE THAN FIVE MILLION BOOKS SOLD WORLDWIDE A dramatic, poetic and page-turning thriller from Norway's most dazzling crime writer. On a frosty January day in Bergen, Private Detective Varg Veum is visited by a prostitute. Her friend Margrethe has disappeared and hasn't been seen for days. Before her disappearance, something had unsettled her: she'd turned away a customer and returned to the neighbourhood in terror. Shortly after taking the case, Veum is confronted with a brutal, uneasy reality. He soon finds the first body - and it won't be the last either. His investigation leads him into a dark subculture where corrupted idealism has had deadly consequences. Dark secrets lurk everywhere, as the murky pattern of wounded people, worm-eaten lives, and hearts long grown cold proves deadly . . . for someone. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
'The Norwegian Chandler' Jo Nesbo 'One of my very favourite Scandinavian authors' Ian Rankin MORE THAN FIVE MILLION BOOKS SOLD WORLDWIDE An unbearably tense thriller of revenge, murder, bereavement and the destructive force of passion It is at their 'torture chamber', a hut in the pinewoods nearby, that Varg Veum, Private Investigator, first encounters the gang's pathetic but deadly ferocity. Eight-year-old Roar's bicycle had been stolen and not an adult in sight dared retrieve it. But that preliminary brush with youthful violence is nothing compared to what awaited Veum when he got to know Roar's blue-eyed, shy yet sensuous mother, Wenche Andresen, and her estranged husband, Jonas. Veum's attempts to break up Joker and his pack of young thugs by enlisting the help of the local youth club leader proves a dead end. But not so dead as the man who found lying prone with a knife in his back on the floor of Andresen's flat. Yours Until Death is an unbearably tense novel of revenge and murder about marriage, childhood, bereavement and the destructive force of passion. First published in Norwegian in 1979, it was described by the critic Nils Nordberg as 'one of the finest, most serious, most ambitious books in post-war Norwegian crime writing'. Translated from the Norwegian by Margaret Amassian
This is one of Scandinavia's top crime writers in the tradition of Henning Mankell. It was one of those days in February of which there are far too many, despite its being the shortest month of the year. February is the year's parenthesis. The tax forms have already been sent in and the tourist season has not yet started: there is nothing on the schedule. Greyish-brown slush lay in the gutters and the hills around the city were barely visible through the fog. Like the golden buttons on the waistcoat of a forgotten snowman, you could just make out the lights of the funicular up the hillside and the street lamps were lit even in the middle of the day...In this crime drama detective Varg Veum's adventures lead him into a dark world of privileged teenage girls who have been drawn into drugs and prostitution. The situation worsens when the local judge is discovered in a luxury hotel, dead and clad only in women's lingerie. Called in by anxious parents to look for a missing daughter and explain the judge's death, Varg finds clues that lead him only deeper into Bergen's criminal underworld.