When a woman is found dead in her car in a Norwegian parking garage, everyone suspects an overdose … until a forensics report indicates that she was murdered. Oslo Detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda discover that the victim’s Kenyan scientist boyfriend has disappeared, and their investigations soon lead them into the shady world of international pharmaceutical deals.
While Gunnarstranda closes in on the killers in Norway, Frølich and Lise, his new journalist ally, travel to Africa, where they make a series of shocking discoveries about exploitation and corruption in the distribution of foreign aid and essential HIV medications.
When tragedy unexpectedly strikes, all three investigators face incalculable danger, spanning two continents. And not everyone will make it out alive…
Exploding the confines of the Nordic Noir genre, Little Drummer is a sophisticated, fast-paced, international thriller with a searingly relevant, shocking premise that will keep you glued to the page.
Another hugely enjoyable slice of Nordic Noir, Little Drummer is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a fast paced storyline and some intriguing side plots that kept me turning the pages and proves that when it comes to choosing writers in translation, there’s no-one like Orenda.
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 Little Drummer to review I was really in the mood for some Nordic noir and this definitely hit the spot! Thanks so much to the lovely Anne Cater for keeping my spirits and my TBR high and ensuring that we all come together to share the love for these amazing books
Little Drummer certainly has got touches of so many of my favourite genres: I love the chilly and dark elements of Scandinavian crime and I love the fact that this time we get to travel to warmer climes too, and explore an African element to the unravelling tale. Add all of that together and add in the fact that it’s a clever and complex narrative that keeps the reader on their toes and you can see that I was immediately in my element as this all combined to make for compelling reading
Detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda are plunged into this mystery when a woman is found dead in her car in a Norwegian parking garage – everyone suspects an overdose, until a forensics report indicates that she was murdered and that’s where the story really takes a dark turn. Despite the fact that this is number 8 in a series of their adventures, you don’t need to have read the previous novels to thoroughly enjoy Little Drummer, it can absolutely be read as a stand-alone. Although, I guarantee that if you do, you’ll be immediately tempted into ordering 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 make me feel like I’ve got to know the country that they’re set in and this book gives you two for one. While Gunnarstranda closes in on the killers in Norway, Frølich and Lise, his new journalist ally, travel to Africa, where they make a series of shocking discoveries about exploitation and corruption in the distribution of foreign aid and essential HIV medications. Orenda books always make me so grateful that we have amazing publishers bringing us books in translation so that we can gain access to such a wide range 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 develop our reading palette and I’m spoiled for choice thanks to the wonderful array of Orenda books published this year
The insight into the different ways that the criminal investigations unavel in these two very different locarions added a diverse and moreish element to this novel that was satisfyingly different and kept me immersed in it as I did my Sunday afternoon read last week. Many novels in this genre are all plot and display a real disregard for the writing itself. Not so Kjell Ola Dahl as his writing is precise and well-paced, showing a real talent for creating a sense of place and time and taking us there alongside him. The parts of the novel which take us to Africa stood out for me as some of the most well evoked that I’ve encountered in this genre and made me turn the pages long into the night to find the threads linking these events and stringing them together to draw the threads of this mystery together.
This is a stone-cold classic within the Nordic crime genre and makes for a satisfying, gripping and unsettling read that drew me in completely. Don Bartlett has done an outstanding job with the translation and the two settings certainly spring to life off the page due to his talents. I can’t wait for Mr OnTheShelf to finish reading it so we can talk about it together as I found its atmosphere so compelling The fact that he’s also engrossed speaks volumes as he’s not generally a fiction reader and Little Drummer 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 #LittleDrummer buzz
Praise for Kjell Ola Dahl
“This is a must for fans of Nordic noir.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Dahl’s straightforward, absorbing prose smoothly negotiates the case’s complexities.” —Booklist Online
“Superb. . . . Dahl highlights social issues in contemporary Norway. . . . The action comes to a climax in an utterly convincing chase through Oslo’s sewage system. The translator’s stripped-down, muscular prose is a plus.” —Publishers Weekly starred review of Faithless
“Expertly crafted unravelling of mixed loyalties, love, lust, lies and trust, set against the background of a world increasingly on the edge of all-out war” –John Harvey, Author of Charlie Resnick series
“Dahl deftly controls the narrative, wielding irony to create bittersweet noir tension.” — Booklist
“Well written, quickly paced, Dahl’s series fits the traditional police detective model (think Michael Connelly, and Karen Slaughter), including the hint of despair that a high-alcohol profession brings along. Good reading.” —New York Journal of Books
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 thirteen 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.