Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl! Make sure you also check out my tour buddy Rachel’s post today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the opportunity and my review copy!
Author : Kjell Ola Dahl [translator : Don Bartlett]
Title : The Ice Swimmer
Series : Oslo Detectives #8
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : February 1, 2018 (ebook) | April 30, 2018 (UK Paperback)
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 both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, 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.
Despite the fact Kjell Ola Dahl is known as one of the godfathers of Nordic Noir and that I’ve had Faithless on my bookshelf for aeons, this is the first book I’ve read by him. While it says The Ice Swimmer is the eighth book in the Oslo Detectives series, don’t let that put you off as this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone and I never really felt I was missing out on anything.
It’s a busy day in the city of Oslo. The body of a man is lifted from the freezing waters of the harbour and a young woman has apparently taken her own life by jumping in front of a train. Things aren’t quite what they seem though. Detective Lena Stigersand is in charge of the first investigation, while her colleague Gunnarstranda looks into the second one. But Lena has a whole lot of other issues to deal with.
The Ice Swimmer is a truly cleverly plotted police procedural. What looks like a simple drowning quickly turns into a murky tale full of lies, deceit and corruption. Not only does it involve a high ranking politician, it even looks like someone close to Lena may somehow be involved. And why does it seem like someone is following her?
I must say this thrilling investigation kept me guessing throughout and it was a true delight seeing various threads come together at one point. But I also really enjoyed the glimpses into the team’s personal lives and the realistic touches, like spending long hours of boring stake-outs in the freezing cold Oslo winter.
It’s easy to see why Kjell Ola Dahl is so highly regarded in this genre. Yes, I may have stumbled over the Norwegian names a few times or gotten some characters confused with others but that’s hardly the author’s fault and it didn’t ruin my enjoyment at all. If anything, it required me to focus that little bit harder. Which you’d think would have helped me solve the case, but no. The reveals left me completely blindsided.
The Ice Swimmer is a twisty and incredibly well written story, full of suspense and intrigue and it had me glued to the pages. Of course, I must also mention the seamless translation by Don Bartlett. If you’re a fan of the Nordic Noir genre, you will undoubtedly enjoy this latest addition to the Oslo Detectives series!
The Ice Swimmer is available in ebook now!
One of the godfathers 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 sold over two million copies.
He lives in Oslo.