Ever-dogged Bergen PI Varg Veum has to dig deep into his own past as he investigates the murder of a former classmate. Vintage, classic Nordic Noir from international bestselling author Gunnar Staalesen.
When Bergen PI Varg Veum finds himself at the funeral of a former classmate on a sleet-grey December afternoon, he’s unexpectedly reunited with his old friend Jakob – guitarist of the once-famous 1960s rock band The Harpers – and his estranged wife, Rebecca, Veum’s first love.
Their rekindled friendship is thrown into jeopardy by the discovery of a horrific murder, and Veum is forced to dig deep into his own adolescence and his darkest memories, to find a motive … and a killer.
Tense, vivid and deeply unsettling, Fallen Angels is the spellbinding, award-winning thriller that secured Gunnar Staalesen’s reputation as one of the world’s foremost crime writers.
Another hugely enjoyable slice of Nordic Noir, Fallen Angels 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 Fallen Angels to review I was really in the mood for some clasic noir and this definitely hit the spot! Thanks so much to the lovely Anne Cater for keeping my spirits and my TBR high during this second entry into Lockdown the sequel, and ensuring that we all come together to share the love for these amazing books across these winter nights
Fallen Angels certainly has 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 classic murder mystery too. Add all of that together and add in the fact that it’s got a musical twist in the introduction of The Harpers and you can see that I was immediately in my element as this all combined to make for compelling reading
PI Varg Veum returns to his hometown to attend an old friend’s funeral, and that’s where the past and the future start to collide in a way that he could never have predicted– despite the fact that this is the latest in a series of Varg’s adventures, you don’t need to have read the previous novels to thoroughly enjoy Fallen Angels, 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 classic PI Crime fiction…
I love novels that make me feel like I’ve got to know the country that they’re set in and I loved being taken back in time to hear about Varg’s past and how it has influenced him as a detective. Varg means wolf and it is clear to see that he prefers standing out from the pack. I loved the setting and if anything, it’s made me even more determined to start visiting places I haven’t been once this period is over. 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 cleanse and develop our reading palette and I’m spoiled for choice thanks to some of the back catalogue I piled up during #Orentober
The insight into the investigation was compelling and I loved getting insights into the way Bergen has changed through the decades and the combination of elements within the story – which touches on sexism, nostalgia and friendships as well as the crime elements to boot 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 Staaalesen 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 back in time 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 in Varg’s past and stringing them together to draw the threads of this mystery together.
This is a stone cold classic within the Nordic crime genre make for a satisfying, gripping and unsettling read that drew me in completely. 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 Fallen Angels 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 #FallenAngels buzz
My partner on the #BlogTour today is the lovely @mm_cheryl and here is the link to her blog so that you can check it out too
To buy yourself a copy of Fallen Angels , click here on Hive and join us in celebrating another book in this first class series full of Nordic magnificence.
Writer on The Shelf
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) and Where Roses Never Die won the 2017 Petrona Award for crime fiction, and Big Sister was shortlisted in 2019. He lives with his wife in Bergen.
Translator On The Shelf
Don Bartlett completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbø and Gunnar Staalesen’s Varg Veum series: We Shall Inherit the Wind, Wolves in the Dark and the Petrona award-winning Where Roses Never Die. He also translated Faithless, the previous book in Kjell Ola Dahl’s Oslo Detective series for Orenda Books. He lives with his family in a village in Norfolk.