The Oslo Detectives are back in another chilling slice of Nordic Noir … Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide…
Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.
Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run…
A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart, cementing Kjell Ola Dahl as one of the greatest crime writers of our generation..
Just when I think that the last Orenda book I read was the best one yet, she finds another book that blows me away! When I received Sister to review I couldn’t keep my hands off it – even though my TBR pile was even higher than usual. Thanks so much to the lovely Anne Cater for keeping my spirits and my TBR high during this unprecedented time in history and ensuring that we all come together to share the love for these amazing books across the lockdown.
Lots of reviewers have commented on the way that Sister defies categorisation and that is exactly right. It’s got touches of so many of my favourite genres: it’s set in Norway so it’s got many Nordic elements and it’s got plenty of elements of a fantastic murder mystery too. Add all of that together and add in the fact that it’s got a political element in its treatment of asylum seekers and you can see that I was immediately in my element as this all combined to make for compelling reading
Detective Frølich has been suspended from duty and turns his hand to being a Private Investigator – despite the fact that this is the latest in a series of The Oslo Detectives, you don’t need to have read the previous novels to thoroughly enjoy Sister, it can absolutely be read as a stand-alone. Although, I guarantee that if you do, you’ll be immediately tempted into buying up all the rest of the series as you will go far to find a more compelling and well written slice of crime fiction.
I love novels that transport me right into their setting and I loved being thrust into the middle of this twisty and thrilling case in gorgeous Oslo and it’s made me even more tempted to book a visit once this lockdown is over. Orenda books always make me so grateful that we have such wonderful publishers bringing us books in translation so that we can gain access to a whole new wold of crime fiction as we all know that Scandinavians do it so very well. Again, I’m grateful to Karen for working so hard to expand and develop our reading palette and I’m so delighted to read that she’s on the mend as we’ve all been thinking about her and wishing her well at this time.
The insight into the investigation was hugely enjoyable and the combination of elements within the story – which touches on abuse as well as murder and a cold case to boot added a disturbing, dark and addictive element to this novel that was satisfyingly chilling and definitely not for the faint-hearted. If you find yourself getting triggered by subjects like this then you might find this a traumatic read – but I genuinely feel that Kjell Ola Dahl’s writing is so good that the sense of menace is never gratuitous or distasteful.
Many novels in this genre are all plot and display a real disregard for the writing itself. Not so Dahl as his writing is precise and elegant showing a real talent for spinning beauty out of bleakness and even depravity. The section of the novel which transports us across Norway in pursuit of a solution stood out for me as some of the most chillingly beautiful that I’ve encountered in this genre and made me turn the pages long into the night to find the thread linking these events to solve the mystery
The original flourishes that Dahl adds to the Nordic crime genre make for a satisfying, gripping and harrowing read that drew me in completely. I can’t wait for Mr OnTheShelf to finish reading it so we can go over elements of it together as I found its chilling and menacing atmosphere so compelling The fact that he’s also engrossed speaks volumes as he’s not generally a fiction reader and Sister had him as gripped as I was.
#TeamOrenda Bloggers have produced a series of amazing blog posts about this novel and if you haven’t read them already then you’re in for a treat. Check out the #BlogTour poster to see who else is creating the #Sister buzz
My partner on the #BlogTour today is the lovely @booksbybindu and here is the link to her fantastic review that she also published today
To buy yourself a copy of Sister, click here and join us in celebrating another book in this first class slice of Nordic magnificence.
‘Impossible to put down’ Guardian
‘Absorbing, heart-rending and perfectly plotted’ Denzil Meyrick
‘A masterclass in plotting, atmosphere and character that finely balances shocking twists with the coppers’ complicated personal lives’ Sunday Times
Writer On The Shelf
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.