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The Assistant

by Kjell Ola Dahl

Translated Fiction Crime and Mystery eBooks of the Month Historical fiction Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading Expert Review of The Assistant

A standalone thrilling and chilling private investigator tale set during the interwar period in Norway.

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

Liz Robinson

The Assistant Synopsis

A seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity leads a PI and his ex-con assistant on a murderous trail, in a sophisticated, riveting historical Nordic Noir thriller set in interwar and prohibition-era Norway.

Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler's Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there's a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.

When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant - his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers - begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity.

But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past ... and an extraordinary secret.

Both a fascinating portrait of Oslo's interwar years, with Nazis operating secretly on Norwegian soil and militant socialists readying workers for war, The Assistant is also a stunningly sophisticated, tension-packed thriller - the darkest of hard-boiled Nordic Noir - from one of Norway's most acclaimed crime writers.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781913193652
Publication date: 13th May 2021
Author: Kjell Ola Dahl
Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 276 pages
Collections: 50 Books for Every Dad this Father's Day, Celebrating National Crime Reading Month with Translated Crime,
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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What To Read After The Assistant

Blood Song
The Infidel Stain
Bills of Mortality

Kjell Ola Dahl Press Reviews

'Ola Dahl ratchets up the tension from the first pages and never lets go' The Times

'Cleverly braiding together past and present, the who and why of murder and betrayal are unpicked. The detail is impressive' Daily Mail 

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781913193652
Publication date: 13/05/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781913193669
Publication date: 13/03/2021
Format: Ebook

View All Editions

About Kjell Ola Dahl

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 ...

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