One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjovik. 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 Frolich. 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.
Don Bartlett lives with his family in a village in Norfolk. He completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbo and Karl Ove Knausgard. He has previously translated The Consorts of Death and Cold Hearts in the Varg Veum series.
Author photo © Rolf M Aagaard
Taut, intriguing and compelling, this story just flies as it weaves through the interwar years in Norway. A private investigator and his assistant take on what appears to be a straightforward case but their past haunts their present and they soon find themselves caught up in Nazi schemes. I adore Kjell Ola Dahl’s Oslo Detectives Series, and now his latest novels including The Courier, take a step into the past. He writes with an assured hand and translator Don Bartlett brings his world to life without you even realising he is there. The story flips between 1938 and 1924, each turn releasing information and tightening the connection between the two time periods. The plot is powerful, my thoughts spun, my feelings hesitated and altered as I read. It was fascinating to dwell in the time just before the Second World War, before the world experienced the full force and terror of the Nazi’s. A standalone novel, The Assistant is not only an action-packed, thrilling and chilling tale, it’s also smart and thought-provoking too. The LoveReading LitFest invited Kjell to the festival to talk about this thrilling and chilling tale. You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Kjell in conversation with Paul Blezard and find out why you won't want to miss this cracking read. Check out a preview of the event here
You just have to say Oslo Detectives series and it conjures up everything you need to know, this is Nordic Noir with knobs on! Detective Frolich investigates a simple missing person case, but as a killer strikes, so the complexity rises. This could be read quite successfully as a standalone novel as Frolich has turned private investigator and it suggests a beginning. Do pop Faithless and The Ice Swimmer on your list though and start with these if you can! Kjell Ola Dahl writes with such crisp clarity, and translator Don Bartlett is on point as it feels as though not a word has been wasted. Short, sharp sentences pounce. I love how the story builds, the plot almost turns itself inside out, and yet is kept as tight as can be. There are no easy tick-box answers on offer here. Bang up-to-date, Sister is a raw, real, and fabulous read.
A fascinating, intricate, provocative read, set in motion by events in 1942, and brilliantly highlighting human need and emotions. Ester escapes from Norway to Sweden after her family are deported to Auschwitz, involved in the resistance she is part of a plot that rears again 25 years later, and then in 2015 a link to the past finally begins to answer questions decades old. As I began to read, the words so clear, stark and powerful, painted an immediate moving picture in my mind. I've previously read and adored crime fiction by Kjell Ola Dahl, you are expected to keep up as he drives the plot forward and this is no different. Three time spans and intrigue galore could create an incredibly knotted labyrinth of a tale, yet this is told and translated so beautifully, each moment opens into the other as a series of doors that you just need to open and walk through. The Courier sent a shiver coursing through me, it is a truly eloquent and rewarding tale, and oh that ending!
An assured, chilling, and intense piece of crime fiction set in Oslo. Detectives Frolich and Gunnarstranda investigate the murder of a woman who has been found scalded and wrapped in plastic, Gunnarstranda gets help from an unexpected source, while things get very personal for Frolich. This is an established policing team, however my first outing, and while it took me a little while to get to know them, ‘Faithless’ can easily be read without prior knowledge of the series. Kgell Ola Dahl establishes a strong, sparse structure, yet Norway flowed from page and into my mind. A sinister edge hovers over the characters, ready to slice and cut, while the complexity of the investigation sent my mind into overdrive. Information is slowly revealed, creating tension, pushing anticipation forwards. The plot runs a jagged course, twisting through story, all the while building to a dramatic conclusion. If you love Nordic Noir, then look no further, ‘Faithless’ is a fiercely powerful and convincing read. ~ Liz Robinson
The discovery of a body in the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour spark an investigation that takes the Oslo Detectives right to the heart of the government ... with life-shattering results. The godfather of Nordic Noir is back... ***Shortlisted for the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year*** 'Fiercely powerful and convincing' LoveReading 'A masterclass in plotting, atmosphere and character' The Times 'Lena Stigersand, one of the decent, talented, hard-working Oslo police detectives in Dahl's ensemble procedural series, takes center stage in this excellent sixth instalment ... fans of Scandinavian noir will be eager for Dahl's next book' Publishers Weekly **Book of the Month** ____________________ 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 that both a politician and Norway's security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frolich, 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 a simply unforgettable instalment in the critically acclaimed Oslo Detective series, by the godfather of Nordic Noir. ____________________ 'If you want your worst fears about what goes on inside a cop's mind confirmed, meet Kjell Ola Dahl's Oslo sleuths, Gunnarstranda and Frolich ... impossible to put down' Guardian 'A chilling novel about betrayal' Sunday Times 'If you have never sampled Dahl, now is the time to try' Daily Mail 'More than gripping' European Literature Network 'The perfect example of why Nordic Noir has become such a popular genre' Reader's Digest 'Dramatic, fast-paced and character-focused' Crime Review 'Skilful blend of police procedural and psychological insight' Crime Fiction Lover 'I have read many clever and thrilling crime novels through my life, but often they have nothing to do with real life. If I don't believe in them, they don't impress me. But when Kjell Ola Dahl tells his stories, I believe every single word' Karin Fossum 'Kjell Ola Dahl's novels are superb. If you haven't read one, you need to - right now' William Ryan
U mirnom predgraA u Osla Reidar Folke Jespersen taj je petak trinaesti zapoceo kao i bilo koji dan u posljednjih pedeset godina, brojenjem zlica zobene kase za dorucak. Unatoc dobi od sedamdeset devet godina podlaktice su mu bile snazne poput drvosjecinih i nitko nije ocekivao da ce dan zavrsiti gol u izlogu, s krizevima nacrtanima markerom na celu i crvenim koncem oko vrata, kao jos jedan slucaj za inspektora Gunnarstrandu i njegova pomocnika Franka Frolicha. Iako je Reidar Folke Jespersen mirno zivio vodeci staretinarnicu, lista osumnjicenika nije kratka: uz nezadovoljnu bracu, frustriranog sina, nevjernu suprugu i njezina mladog ljubavnika tu su i drugi ljudi kojima se vitalni starac zamjerio, a neka neprijateljstva sezu cak i do Drugoga svjetskog rata. Poznati norveA ki pisac Kjell Ola Dahl napisao je A ovjeka u izlogu u najboljoj maniri skandinavskih krimiA a, a napeta atmosfera drA i A itatelja u neizvjesnosti do samoga kraja. Istraga tijekom koje se nitko nije pokazao nevinim raspleA e se u neoA ekivanom smjeru
It is Friday the thirteenth, and with the Norwegian capital enveloped in freezing cold, seventy-nine-year-old Reidar Folke Jesperson passes what will be the last day of his life. In the early hours of the following morning he is found stabbed to death in his shop, his naked body exposed in the shop's window, a red string tied round his neck, and three crosses and a number - 195 - written across his chest. Police officers Gunnarstranda and Frolich - the team who were so deeply embroiled in the search for The Fourth Man - are called to the scene. Questions of love and betrayal, loyalty and guilt consume the investigation, just as they fill the private lives of the investigators. What will be uncovered is a country where victims, perpetrators and even police officers are haunted by the past, still trying to cope with the dark memories of the Nazi occupation of the country.
In the course of a routine police raid Detective Inspector Frank Frolich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late - he is obsessed. Suspected, suspended and blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair.