It’s my turn on the BlogTour Bitter Flowers by Gunnar Staalesen, translated by Don Bartlett. ‘A vintage classic from the award-winning, multi-million bestselling Norwegian author Gunnar Staalesen, available in English for the very first time.’
About the Author
One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, 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 titles, which have been published in twenty-four 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 Espen Seim.
Staalesen has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour); Where Roses Never Die won the 2017 Petrona Award for Nordic Crime Fiction, and Big Sister was shortlisted in 2019. He lives with his wife in Bergen.
About the book
Fresh from rehab, 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 three complex crimes land on his desk.
A man is found dead in an elite swimming pool. A young woman has gone missing. Most chillingly, 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 three apparently unrelated cases come together, against the backdrop of a series of shocking environmental crimes, Veum faces the most challenging, traumatic investigation of his career.
This book finds Varg just out of rehab and ready to get down to the nitty-gritty of the toxicity of the world of crime and criminals he appears to be surrounded by. The cold case of a missing child, the drowning of a young man and the disappearance of a young woman.
Varg’s freshly found stability is shaken, not stirred, by a complex combination of cases. On the surface they are seemingly unrelated until Varg starts drawing the threads together an making connections, where other people see none he starts unraveling a cleverly constructed cloak of silence.
I’m pretty sure I said this about the last Varg Veum book, but this is the best yet. It really hit the nail on the head for me. This psychological thriller is paced meticulously and superbly executed. A random set of circumstances equals an insidious deadly plot.
The author delivers a scathing commentary on the inequality of life, especially when it comes weighing up the worth of a human being and actual monetary profit. That parallel is drawn across multiple thread, whilst connecting a strong set of characters.
Simultaneously it has the Nordic Crime flair Staalesen is known for, and of course the acerbic personality of his character Varg is a delight as always. As always a riveting read.