Lethal Investments
An apartment building. A woman clearing up the mess her three-year-old son has made on the stairway. A child staring into an open doorway. The naked leg of a woman sticking out of that doorway. Blood. A woman’s scream. Reidun Rosendal’s murder presents Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich with their most intriguing case yet. And the mystery deepens when the chief suspect, Reidun’s lover, is also found murdered.As the investigation proceeds the focus shifts to Reidun’s place of work, Software Partners, where the business and the private lives of the characters intermesh in ways that become lethal.K. O. Dahl’s stories are propelled by compelling narratives where the final twist is always satisfying.

Lethal Investments Details

TitleLethal Investments
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 1st, 2011
PublisherFaber Faber
ISBN-139780571232970
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Scandinavian Lite..., Nordic Noir, European Literature, Scandinavian Literature, Thriller

Lethal Investments Review

  • Barbara ★
    January 1, 1970
    There are much fewer male authors I like than female authors. Unfortunately this isn't one of them. Though in all honesty part of the problem could be the translation but I'll never know as this isn't an author I'd read again. Even without knowing K.O. Dahl was a guy, I knew just from the writing style and how he portrayed and described his female characters. Check out this..."A babe in a tart costume inched her way out of a taxi, revealingly. Legs first." If there is another way to climb There are much fewer male authors I like than female authors. Unfortunately this isn't one of them. Though in all honesty part of the problem could be the translation but I'll never know as this isn't an author I'd read again. Even without knowing K.O. Dahl was a guy, I knew just from the writing style and how he portrayed and described his female characters. Check out this..."A babe in a tart costume inched her way out of a taxi, revealingly. Legs first." If there is another way to climb out of a vehicle, this reader isn't aware of it.And a sentence later..."both wriggled their way sideways from the queue, the woman with bashful, downcast eyes, as though she were walking topless on the beach."This is the same woman barely five minutes later. Now which is she...shy or a tramp?
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  • Silver
    January 1, 1970
    I had to put down this book at page 96. I feel like someone's puked on me. This book is incredibly misogynist. Every woman is described by her sexual attractiveness, physical attributes, and favorite sexual position. If it weren't a library book, I'd throw it in the recycling bin. Ugh. Descriptions of five different women:P.95: A bowl of jelly fleeing a children's party, he thought and braced himself... Black leggings at bursting point over the stomach. Her whole body pitched and rol I had to put down this book at page 96. I feel like someone's puked on me. This book is incredibly misogynist. Every woman is described by her sexual attractiveness, physical attributes, and favorite sexual position. If it weren't a library book, I'd throw it in the recycling bin. Ugh. Descriptions of five different women:P.95: A bowl of jelly fleeing a children's party, he thought and braced himself... Black leggings at bursting point over the stomach. Her whole body pitched and rolled."P.90: "Controlled. Proper. Breasts camouflaged in a loose-fitting blouse. Long, slim legs under shapeless culottes, and her face made up in a cultivated manner to emphasize personality."P.79: "Lisa Stenerson's face was smooth and girlish. Nevertheless, now that she was wearing her outdoor clothes, her age came clearly to the fore. That, and two flat, slipper-like shoes, made her look like a revue act."P.68: "She seemed uncomfortable in her office clothes. They clung too tight. The result was a physical ungainliness that was not at all necessary."P.33: "'Our young filly.' He winked at Frank. 'Pert pear-shaped tits, the type that bounce around! High buttocks. Rounded, and ginger pussy hair."It goes on, ad nauseam.
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  • Curt Buchmeier
    January 1, 1970
    Inspector Gunnarstranda of the Oslo Police, middle-aged, widowed and cynical, and his younger #2, Frank Frolich, are entertaining, unique and believable. One of the best teams in the genre I've read in a long time. This is technically a prequel to Dahl's previous books with this same team (as far as I know). Written in first person with biting insights that, to author K O Dahl's credit, give this novel a leg up on the rest of the Nordic Noir writers. Along with a small apartment in the Cap Inspector Gunnarstranda of the Oslo Police, middle-aged, widowed and cynical, and his younger #2, Frank Frolich, are entertaining, unique and believable. One of the best teams in the genre I've read in a long time. This is technically a prequel to Dahl's previous books with this same team (as far as I know). Written in first person with biting insights that, to author K O Dahl's credit, give this novel a leg up on the rest of the Nordic Noir writers. Along with a small apartment in the Capital, Gunnarstranda owns a cabin in the woods an hour or two out of Oslo. His wife got sick and died a couple of years prior to the setting of the novel(early/mid 90's). The cabin and it's garden was his wife's, and is now the Inspector's, passion. He doesn't get to spend much time at his refuge due to his round the clock crime-solving occupation/obsession. Early in the book, he does get down there for one night. A neighbor, name of Sorby, approaches the policeman as he pulls up and is just getting out of his car. The following excerpt is indicative of the entire novel. "Sorby belonged to a coterie of pensioners who stuck together out here, partied, played accordion and dressed in rags. The policeman did not like him. The man was an old windbag. Talked about his kids as if he were confiding state secrets. Gunnarstranda couldn't give a flying fart about people's children or grandchildren. Least of all those this fat bastard was responsible for begetting." I recognize these people; can relate to the emotion and I admire the ability to weave it into the narrative. Gunnerstranda is small of stature, too thin, bald, chain-smokes and is a wickedly accurate judge of people and their motives. He's short with words and doesn't suffer fools. Puts me in mind of a Hammett antagonist without the macho/romantic undertones. His main (only?) trusted team member in the homicide dept. is Detective Frank Frolich. Younger, large, intimidating when need be, street-smart, has a girlfriend, likes a drink or two and can talk to Gunnarstranda like noone else. Kind of a ying to Gunnarstranda's yang; Watson to Holmes (Hardy to Laurel?). You get the idea. He's dependable and believes in the Inspector's abilities and hunches. They are a tight-knit team and trust and confide in each other exclusively. The novel opens with a 20-something female sales person found stabbed to death in her small flat in a posh housing area of Oslo that used to be the warehouse district. None of the neighbors heard or saw anything; or so it seems. Very late one night the two detectives are again at the murder scene, the apartment has been gone over and the forensics team is long gone. Gunnarstranda turns out the lights and notices another apartment, above and across the way, that still has a light on. Shades of Rear Window here. Gunnarstranda takes off with a bewildered Frolich in tow to find out what, if anything, the night owl neighbor with a bird's eye view saw. Turns out the neighbor is no Jimmy Stewart but he saw a lot. And the game is afoot. Plenty of suspects, a couple of unexpected twists, a couple more murders winding up in a clean, believable ending with no loose ends that I could think of. Very entertaining; an incredible ability to build believable characters and a terrific ride. With this first read of Dahl, I have to say he is one of the best of the genre and I highly recommend.
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book I wanted to read but was slow getting down to read it.This a Police procedural with a couple of forgettable detectives, Gunnarstranda and Frølich. Not as engrossing as more modern reads but part of the wider genre so worth a read. However,the Sjöwall-Wahlöö's Martin Beck Police Mystery series is closer to this novel and that is where the comparison ends. This book has a reasonable plot but the author losing it in the telling. The reader is as much in the dark as the investig This is a book I wanted to read but was slow getting down to read it.This a Police procedural with a couple of forgettable detectives, Gunnarstranda and Frølich. Not as engrossing as more modern reads but part of the wider genre so worth a read. However,the Sjöwall-Wahlöö's Martin Beck Police Mystery series is closer to this novel and that is where the comparison ends. This book has a reasonable plot but the author losing it in the telling. The reader is as much in the dark as the investigators and they rely on chance to help solve the mystery when a lack of solid police work initial leaves the case stalled with more victims adding to the body count.The book wasn't evenly paced and a lack of final momentum meant you didn't rush to the end of the story. Some good points and character notes to take forward into other stories in this series so I'll eventually seek these out.A good book but in a competitive genre can't be heard to shout out "read me".
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  • Lili
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first of Oslo detectives Frank Frølich and Inspector Gunnarstranda series to be translated into English. The pair set out to investigate the murder of a young woman. This book started well with interesting first chapters; it lost its way a little, mainly because the nuts and bolts, i.e the plot and the narrative throughout the book was not developed interestingly enough to keep my attention.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Tho Dahl is compared to Mankell, I'd say no comparison. A good read - but his detectives are not very interesting in their procedures or their personalities. Also, little about Norwegian society. Little sense of what it means to be a Norwegian these days - which is what I usually like about Scandenavian mysteries. Still - a good read and I had no idea "who done it."
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  • Ken Fredette
    January 1, 1970
    It may be the translator but the beginning was rough to read. It had nice concepts and it was a good plot but it didn't have the staying power to keep you reading.
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett. Norway. Gunnarstranda & Frølich**6 of the 11 novels have been published in English, these translations have been published in the reverse order to which they were written.Lethal Investments #1. 1993/2012 .......iBook 2018. NOT often that I read a book that I have no connection, empathy or interest in any character!!! And that is just so long winded and slow to move along! Granted first in a series can mean introduction to ch Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett. Norway. Gunnarstranda & Frølich**6 of the 11 novels have been published in English, these translations have been published in the reverse order to which they were written.Lethal Investments #1. 1993/2012 .......iBook 2018. NOT often that I read a book that I have no connection, empathy or interest in any character!!! And that is just so long winded and slow to move along! Granted first in a series can mean introduction to characters and location but that isn’t the case.... 3/4 through the storyline finally picks up. Thank goodness as there are more in this series and they need to improve. I was keen because of the well known translator, so it’s not the issue! Nicely wrapped up ending with even more dead......think violent Christie rather than Noir!
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  • Randal
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Don't be fooled by the publisher's attempts to market this book as a "prequel" to Dahl's "Oslo Detectives" series. This book was written and published in Norway as the first book in the series, introducing series regulars Gunnarstranda and Frolich. However, it was the fourth book to be translated into English (the first four books in the series were translated in reverse chronological order for some unknown reason). That said, the first book that I read in the series, The Fourth Man ( 3.5 stars. Don't be fooled by the publisher's attempts to market this book as a "prequel" to Dahl's "Oslo Detectives" series. This book was written and published in Norway as the first book in the series, introducing series regulars Gunnarstranda and Frolich. However, it was the fourth book to be translated into English (the first four books in the series were translated in reverse chronological order for some unknown reason). That said, the first book that I read in the series, The Fourth Man (actually the 4th in the series, but the 1st in English), was a stronger book than this one, but the foundation for the series is set here.
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  • Nyssy
    January 1, 1970
    The beginning was hard to get into because the sentences ran on and there were no pause to catch your breath. One minute you’re reading about the guy leaving her bed then the next he’s yelling I didn’t do it. I had to go back and make sure I didn’t skip pages. It didn’t have a flow to it, I felt like I skipped chapters when I didn’t.
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  • Sherry Mackay
    January 1, 1970
    DNF. Got halfway thru and thought 'life's too short'... is it just bad translation or bad writing? I think a bit of both. A lot of it is incomprehensible; characters I just can't fathom, and a story that just meanders. Weird stuff.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Only okayI had a hard time getting into this one. I found myself putting it down and picking it up a week later which is not normally the case with crime novels and definitely made the plot unnecessarily hard to follow.
  • Michael Springer
    January 1, 1970
    An OK effort by KO Dahl as his Oslo detectives look into the murder of a young businesswoman. Was it a crime of passion, or is it tied to some shady dealings at the company? A decent read, not quite as good as The Man in the Window.
  • David C Ward
    January 1, 1970
    Quite good. A sex crime turns into a financial crime turns into both and then something else. Low key and flatly described but very good on the exhaustion of the police, both physical and morale. Also has a background motif of body descriptions and body functions: hangovers, sex, vomit etc as well as lines, false teeth, wrinkles and rolls of fat.
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  • Oliver Dixon
    January 1, 1970
    Hard to follow and, yes, misogynist. Part of the problem with the book's being confusing may be the translation.
  • Carol Jean
    January 1, 1970
    Pleasant enough...but a week later, I remember next to nothing about it!
  • Jack
    January 1, 1970
    Crime novel with an interesting plot. The characters were thoroughly described but I couldn't really engage with them.
  • Carfig
    January 1, 1970
    A little rough, but it is the first in the series. Just now reading it.
  • Ray Palen
    January 1, 1970
    These days, every single crime and thriller writer emerging from the desolate tundra known as Scandinavia owes a debt of thanks to the late Stieg Larsson. If not for the incredible international success (posthumously) of his GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO trilogy Western readers might never have been introduced to terrific talents like Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg and Anne Holt.Seeking to add his name to this growing list is Norwegian author, K.O. Dahl. He has already won These days, every single crime and thriller writer emerging from the desolate tundra known as Scandinavia owes a debt of thanks to the late Stieg Larsson. If not for the incredible international success (posthumously) of his GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO trilogy Western readers might never have been introduced to terrific talents like Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg and Anne Holt.Seeking to add his name to this growing list is Norwegian author, K.O. Dahl. He has already won a handful of literary awards in his home country and now is attempting to breakthrough to American readers. LETHAL INVESTMENTS is actually the fourth novel in the series that features Inspectors Frolich and Gunnarstranda.Set primarily in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, this novel is not set against a cold and mysterious phone call at her apartment where no one appears to be on the other end of the line. Shortly thereafter, her dead body is spotted through her slightly ajar apartment door by the child of her neighbors.Just prior to being killed she had spent the evening with a young man named Sigurd. Once they learn of his existence, Frolich and Gunnarstranda immediately push him to the top of their list for potential suspects. After questioning him and detaining him they have no choice but to let him go until they can produce more evidence. This becomes complicated when the body of Sigurd is found with his throat brutally slashed.Frolich and Gunnarstranda now realize that the pair was murdered because of something they knew or may have seen in Reidun’s apartment. This leads them to Reidun’s place of business --- a highly suspicious and sparsely populated software company aptly named, Software Partners. The few employees all seem to have something to hide and most of the men appeared to have had a physical relationship with Reidun. Which way to go?Further investigation into Software Partners reveals the organization to be a complete sham. They would acquire capital from investors without actually producing any work. The businessmen duped into partnership with the organization would reveal a small amount once the company went under while those behind its’ creation would become quite wealthy.Reidun Rosendal must have had some documentation or other item of significance about Software Partners that was worth killing over. When another employee is found murdered, Frolich and Gunnarstranda must step up their investigation before all potential witnesses are eliminated and a clever killer is allowed to walk away untouched. LETHAL INVESTMENTS is a quick-paced read that gets bogged down slightly in the middle with a few extraneous plot-lines and extra characters. However, Frolich and Gunnarstranda make a good team and the novel is at its’ best when they are hammering through suspects to find the murderer. Reviewed by Ray Palen for New Mystery Reader
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    I have read a number of authors this year who I had not read before who I subsequently did not think were particularly worth reading, despite, in some cases, good reviews on Goodreads. However, several authors were a very pleasant surprise, one of which was K.O. Dahl and Lethal Investments. It is a standard police procedural with some unique characters. The main protagonist, Inspector Gunnarstranda, realizes that, to the public, he does not readily project the image of police authority. He is ab I have read a number of authors this year who I had not read before who I subsequently did not think were particularly worth reading, despite, in some cases, good reviews on Goodreads. However, several authors were a very pleasant surprise, one of which was K.O. Dahl and Lethal Investments. It is a standard police procedural with some unique characters. The main protagonist, Inspector Gunnarstranda, realizes that, to the public, he does not readily project the image of police authority. He is about 5'3" tall, is bald with a slight comb-over, his face of 57 years shows all of its age and then some, he is an incessant smoker and he is generally curt and rude with most people around him. Or at least he has been that way since his wife died four years previously. His subordinate and partner, Frank Frolich, is pretty much just the opposite, a bear of a man, has a long time girlfriend, is open with people. Yet Frolich admires a number of Gunnarstranda's traits, most notably his tenacity and insight as a detective. They seem to have a very good working relationship. This was a pretty good mystery with just enough red herrings and false clues to keep the reader guessing. Dahl does have a certain psychological element to his writing, something that I generally appreciate in mysteries that I read. I see Dahl as somewhat of an anti-Nesbo, Nesbo having pretty much gone Hollywood and over-the-top in his writing and, unfortunately, not having written much of merit since the Redbreast (there have been a few exceptions). Dahl is more ground in reality and, to me at least based on this one book so far, has more convincing plotting and explores peoples' psyches much more meaningfully. Recommended.
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  • Mandy Tanksley
    January 1, 1970
    The fourth installment of KO Dahl's Olso detective series to land on American shores did not disappoint. It wasn't my favorite outing with Frolich and Gunnarstranda, but was just as intriguing as the other three. The boys are investigating the murder of a young woman who was found stabbed in her home which has also been ransacked. The problem is that nothing was stolen and there isn't anything to tie anyone to the crime scene other than the fact her lover had been spotted leaving earlier the mor The fourth installment of KO Dahl's Olso detective series to land on American shores did not disappoint. It wasn't my favorite outing with Frolich and Gunnarstranda, but was just as intriguing as the other three. The boys are investigating the murder of a young woman who was found stabbed in her home which has also been ransacked. The problem is that nothing was stolen and there isn't anything to tie anyone to the crime scene other than the fact her lover had been spotted leaving earlier the morning of the murder. Could he have been the one to do her in? Was it one of the other suspicious people Frolich and Gunnarstranda have interviewed? This was a well written mystery/detective novel from one of the best out there. I'll continue to read this series as it comes out here.
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  • Jo-anne Atkinson
    January 1, 1970
    Back to some Scandi-crime and a rather routine offering unfortunately.A young woman is killed rather brutally and the crime is linked firstly to her one night stand. However when he is also killed then the clues point to her employers. She works for a small IT company who are clearly operating a scam. The owner has a track record of setting up bogus companies and disappearing with the investments. He had also had an affair with the first victim.There is some good characte Back to some Scandi-crime and a rather routine offering unfortunately.A young woman is killed rather brutally and the crime is linked firstly to her one night stand. However when he is also killed then the clues point to her employers. She works for a small IT company who are clearly operating a scam. The owner has a track record of setting up bogus companies and disappearing with the investments. He had also had an affair with the first victim.There is some good characterisation in the book but the outcome is easily worked out by about halfway. Having said that it is a logical conclusion and a believable plot, unlike many in this genre the novel does not go into the realms of extreme fantasy.This is a sound example but does not set the pulse racing.
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  • Marilyn Shea
    January 1, 1970
    I just love the cadence of Dahl's stories. It's detective fiction that isn't stylish or witty but rather is as gray and somber as Norwegian weather. GunnarstranIda, the head detective, smokes incessantly and seems to enjoy making people feel uncomfortable with it. The plot revolved around (yawn!) fraudulent business deals, but Dahl puts so much personality into each of his characters that I found myself fascinated with their interactions, even though most of them were dead by the story's midpoin I just love the cadence of Dahl's stories. It's detective fiction that isn't stylish or witty but rather is as gray and somber as Norwegian weather. GunnarstranIda, the head detective, smokes incessantly and seems to enjoy making people feel uncomfortable with it. The plot revolved around (yawn!) fraudulent business deals, but Dahl puts so much personality into each of his characters that I found myself fascinated with their interactions, even though most of them were dead by the story's midpoint. That made conjecture essential, since these people were no longer around to tell any more lies. The police seem to automatically refer to the murderer(s) as male, as in, "We'll get him!" when that isn't necessarily the case.
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  • Bruce Hatton
    January 1, 1970
    The first of Mr Dahl's novels I've read will almost certainly be my last. A cast of cliched characters who were neither likeable nor interesting; a predictable, linear whodunnit revolving around a tedious financial scam, coupled with an adolescent obsession with irrelevant sexual matters. The only saving grace about this book was its brevity. At least I only wasted a couple of evenings getting through it.
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    The procedural stuff was interesting, but almost all of the characters, including most of the cops, are people I was sorry to have met and would just as soon not encounter again. The exception is Gunnarstranda, the senior cop, a widower tending his dead wife's garden. I will be working at forgetting the murder victim, victim number two, (her one night stand) her scamming boss and his brutal sidekick and her repulsive peeping tom elderly neighbor. Icky.
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  • Godzilla
    January 1, 1970
    Picked up on a whim, but this is no Millennium trilogy.The story limps along, and the only sympathetic character dies very early!The two main detectives have little spark between them, and the descriptions of locations and journeys feel strained and repetitive.This is the first in a series, and the books may get better, but I'm not going to be actively seeking out the next one....
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  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    It took me a while to get into Lethal Investments, and I never really cared about any of the characters other than Gunnarstranda and Frolich, but once I figured out how they worked - their humour, their pleasure in letting the bad guys stew in their own juices, their wit - the book became worth finishing.
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  • Shall I Download A Black Hole And Offer It To You
    January 1, 1970
    seems to be altogether too much focus on the two detectives personal quirks than the actual mystery... possibly i've just read better books than this... great plot but way too many sidesteps to relationships and habits... probably would work well as a TV show/series... not bad, but not stellar either...
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  • Linda Branham Greenwell
    January 1, 1970
    It is a good crime novel - kept my interest.A woman is found murdered in her apartment - shortly after her boyfriend left. Was it her boyfriend or someone else?It turns out the woman worked a company that seems to have some interesting characters... and what exactly are they sellingLots of questions
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  • Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    Dahl takes me back to my first love: Georges Simenon. This is a quiet, introspective police procedural a la Mankell's early Wallender books or Indridason's Erlendur. If you are expecting a mystery/thriller like Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series, forgetaboutit. Read something else. In your disappointment you will give Mr Dahl a lousy one, two, or three stars and he deserves better.
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