Excited to be hosting a stop today on the blog tour for Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen. I’ll be sharing my review right after the all-important information about this book in the long running Varg Veum series.
Author : Gunnar Staalesen
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : June 1, 2017
Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.
When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a pedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material . . . and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest-and most personal-case yet.
Varg Veum has a rude awakening when police show up on his doorstep and bring him in for possession of child pornography. Veum claims he’s innocent but everything points to the contrary. Soon he finds himself in prison where he tries to piece together the last few cases he’s worked on. Not an easy task since most of those years are a blurry mist due to excessive drinking after losing the love of his life. When an opportunity to escape arises, he quickly takes it and sets out to investigate in order to clear his name.
Now, if you have been following my blog, you are by now aware of my need to start a series from the beginning. Yet here I am, reviewing Wolves in the Dark, which is book 21 in the Varg Veum series which has been going strong for decades. There are even movies! Who knew? (I obviously didn’t!)
The main character, Varg Veum, is a private detective who hasn’t always had the easiest of times. He is a well established, complex character with lots of baggage. And this is where I wish I’d read the older stuff first so I’d have a better idea of how he became the person he is today. Obviously I’ve missed out on a lot of background information. While there is some reference to past events, it didn’t quite satisfy my curiosity. I know, killed the cat and all that. And obviously I don’t expect the author to shove twenty years of history into a book just so new readers can know all the ins and outs of this, quite clearly, beloved character.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy this foray into Scandi-Noir and it’s obvious the author has many years of experience in writing crime fiction under his belt. The plot is truly intricate, keeping you hooked as various threads seem to shoot off in different directions as you try to work out the clues. There are more than enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end and Veum makes for one excellent narrator.
I think it’s safe to say, with apologies to the author, that I’ll probably not be reading any of the other 20 books in this series in my lifetime. Also because not all of them have been translated to English so there’s that. However, I will most definitely keep an eye out for the next one!
Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my advanced copy of this book and for the opportunity to join the blog tour.
Wolves in the Dark is available now!
Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 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 Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers.
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