Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
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.
I’m delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Faithless today!
Within the past few months I’ve become such a huge fan of a new to me genre, Nordic Noir. There’s something about this genre that really sucks me in, so when I heard that Orenda was publishing another translation, I knew I HAD to read this book. Karen Sullivan has such a fantastic eye for talent and she’s never sent me a book that I haven’t enjoyed and I’m pleased to say Faithless is another winner in my book.
Kjell Ola Dahl has been referred to as the father of this genre and after reading his work, I can certainly see why. There are two things that really capture my attention that a good Nordic Noir novel has; a stunningly atmospheric setting and a slow burning pace that has an underlying sense of discomfort and tension. This book has both of these elements in wonderfully appropriate amounts, but it also had some additions that added so much substance to the book. This is a classic police procedural where the cops are chasing down suspects the old fashioned way, they hit the streets.
Though I jumped into this series with this book, it easily read fine as a standalone. I was able to work out the characters and their group dynamic fairly easily and I never felt like I was missing out on anything important. Frank was a bit of an enigma, there’s a mysterious edge about him, he’s isolated, dark and brooding, but extremely well crafted.
I don’t want to say much about the plot, but it’s very cleverly done and there were many twists and red herrings. The writing is sharp, crisp and precise and though it’s a slow burner, in the end things really heat up. Everything culminates in a shocking conclusion that left me reeling in the best possible way.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy.
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.