The Fourth Man
Internationally renowned author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Now, with his gripping and intelligent novel The Fourth Man, the master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic.In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frølich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in the crossfire.  Some weeks later, Frølich coincidentally runs into her again—but their ensuing affair is no accident. By the time he learns that she is no stranger—but rather the sister of a wanted member of a larceny gang—it is already too late.In the middle of one night, Frølich receives a call that a young guard has been killed in the course of a robbery. Scrambling to respond, he realizes that Elizabeth is no longer in his bed. In a turn of events cryptic, erotic, and complex, he finds himself a prime murder suspect and under the watch of his doubting colleagues. Led through the dark underworld of Oslo, Frølich must find out if he is being used . . . before his life unravels beyond repair.  The Fourth Man is a sexy, fast-paced psychological thriller that puts a modern twist on the classic noir story of the femme fatale. K.O. Dahl has crafted a dark, poetic, and incredibly complex crime novel for his US debut—the first in a series of detective novels from this rising international mystery star.

The Fourth Man Details

TitleThe Fourth Man
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 18th, 2008
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139780312375690
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Thriller, Fiction, European Literature, Scandinavian Literature

The Fourth Man Review

  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very long haul for me. For months I would pick this up and put it down simply because I could not get up a head of steam. The book jacket producers get full points for making me feel like I was really missing the hottest thing in Scandanavian mystery if I did not read this immediately. I suppose it was the conceit--that a woman comes out of nowhere and seduces a seasoned police detective by breaking into his house and sitting around in her underwear in the dark--that never really rang This was a very long haul for me. For months I would pick this up and put it down simply because I could not get up a head of steam. The book jacket producers get full points for making me feel like I was really missing the hottest thing in Scandanavian mystery if I did not read this immediately. I suppose it was the conceit--that a woman comes out of nowhere and seduces a seasoned police detective by breaking into his house and sitting around in her underwear in the dark--that never really rang true to me. By page 200, when the author finally reveals just what the police detective likes so much about the object of his affection, I could not restrain a snort of disbelief and a sneer of derision. This is male fantasy run amok. Nothing wrong with a little fantasy, but please give us a something to hang our disbelief on.
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    Earlier in the year, triggered by the Steig Larssen trilogy, I've begun a slow campaign of discovering other Scandinavian mystery novelists, including this excellent fellow K.O. Dahl and his almost classic detective Frank Frolich. There is a wonderful plot with interlocking clues that unravel as a result of the driving power of character. Plus, of course, a lot of murders, double-crosses, femme fatales, and a bit of hard drinking. The feel of modern urban Norway is not alien, though from time to Earlier in the year, triggered by the Steig Larssen trilogy, I've begun a slow campaign of discovering other Scandinavian mystery novelists, including this excellent fellow K.O. Dahl and his almost classic detective Frank Frolich. There is a wonderful plot with interlocking clues that unravel as a result of the driving power of character. Plus, of course, a lot of murders, double-crosses, femme fatales, and a bit of hard drinking. The feel of modern urban Norway is not alien, though from time to time one is reminded that this is not LA, NY, London or any other setting we are used to. Villainy is provided by the heartless rich, check, not the neo-Nazi or Russian criminal class. I like it.
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  • Pat
    January 1, 1970
    A Norwegian mystery translated poorly into English. "Froliech took a decision." The plot is very slim, and it reads like he was getting paid by the word. Pedantic, trite, just really bad. It received a Norwegian mystery award. It must have lost a lot in the translation.
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  • Bibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    The Fourth Man is another of the Scandinavian mysteries that I love by new-to-me author K. O. Dahl. When Oslo policeman Frank Frohlich becomes involved with a beautiful woman who just happens to be connected to a criminal gang, the resulting sexual jealousy, violence and murder threaten to destroy Frohlich's career. I thought the premise was interesting and the mystery complex but believable (unlike Henning Mankell or Stieg Larsson, there were no wide-ranging international conspiracies to motiva The Fourth Man is another of the Scandinavian mysteries that I love by new-to-me author K. O. Dahl. When Oslo policeman Frank Frohlich becomes involved with a beautiful woman who just happens to be connected to a criminal gang, the resulting sexual jealousy, violence and murder threaten to destroy Frohlich's career. I thought the premise was interesting and the mystery complex but believable (unlike Henning Mankell or Stieg Larsson, there were no wide-ranging international conspiracies to motivate crimes, just the usual suspects of greed, jealousy and revenge in this one!) The characters, though, were rather thin - I couldn't help but feel I was somehow coming into the middle of a long series (why else would I care about Gunnarsanda's goldfish?) and that left me with an incomplete feeling. Also, the female characters seemed particularly paper-thin, as if Dahl didn't care about them at all other than fitting them into his plot.Still, I'm more than willing to keep reading the series!
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  • Eyehavenofilter
    January 1, 1970
    I think I'd rather go to the dentist. This took far to long, and I felt I had lost too much time ever time I tried I just couldn't get the motor running. The story lacked focus, so did I. I can't even begin to tell you where it was going, in a genre I love I felt tortured, cold and force fed whale blubber. Sad really, it had potential. Too many other good books to read, this fell flat.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    When a book is translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett, and it's got recommendations on the back cover by Karin Fossum, it gives the book high expectations. Which this book did not satisfy.The main police guy and the protagonist, Frank Frølich, is an older guy, who in the middle of a case runs into and falls in love with a beautiful woman, Elisabeth. When he discovers Elisabeth's brother is a bad guy, the problem starts. When later her brother is killed, Frølich finds himself as a suspect of t When a book is translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett, and it's got recommendations on the back cover by Karin Fossum, it gives the book high expectations. Which this book did not satisfy.The main police guy and the protagonist, Frank Frølich, is an older guy, who in the middle of a case runs into and falls in love with a beautiful woman, Elisabeth. When he discovers Elisabeth's brother is a bad guy, the problem starts. When later her brother is killed, Frølich finds himself as a suspect of the crime, h(a)unted by Kripos, and on a leave from his job. Elisabeth disappears, but Frølich remains obsessed about her, and starts to moonlight the investigation while on leave. So far, so good. But the story drags, and Frølich is obsessed, and seldom seems professional in what he does. The actions (mostly his) are more than once completely incomprehensible and highly unprofessional. Frølich's Oslo reminds more of Håkan Nesser's "Sweden-ish, Dutch-ish with a hint of bunch of other countries and cultures" place than of the Oslo I've come to like from other books (like Nesbø's Norway).The unprofessional, obsessed, clumsy detectives would have been bad enough with their odd personal dramas at work. But the language and especially the dialogs were often very odd. If it was any other translator, I could put it down to translation issues. But no, I know Don Bartlett is good (want proof? Read one of the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbø... please read them in order), so the oddities cannot be because of his translation (other than the British expressions and words that I wish would be fixed for the US print. Such as 'boiler suit' in a Nesbø that I had to look in a dictionary... coveralls). How odd can the original be then? Maybe some of the language and the dialogs could be in a dialect? I guess that could do it. Or the language was just smooth and more poetic in the original, which then was translated by the words and meanings instead of keeping the poetic sound to it? I'm just guessing, and trying to relate where it went wrong, and why it left a bad taste. No; I can't blame Bartlett for the odd language. Maybe it was like most Finnish crime books of decades ago: "the man went to a sauna because it was Saturday evening", where the words translate, but the context and the meaning is lost because it's not there, and it's not explained.Other reasons why the book didn't resonate well with me would be the same as with Håkan Nesser's Van Veeteren series: could not like the characters (would you still call it 'psychological thriller' if you didn't understand or like the characters in it?), didn't have enough investigation, and the police was often more interested in what was on their plate in a restaurant than in actually investigating. Who did it was also too easy to guess from early on - definitely not enough action, not enough good suspects, and despite the burned saunas and paintings, most action was just claustrophobic. Mix Håkan Nesser's Van Veeteren with some claustrophobic feel of some Karin Fossum's books, and add a hint of Raymond Chandler in the end, and write it really oddly. 1,5 to 1,75 stars.Frank Frølich series:1. The Fourth Man (2007)2. The Man in the Window (2008)3. The Last Fix (2009) So it can't even have been reading the books out of order - this was the first book.
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  • Margery
    January 1, 1970
    OK mystery but not as well written as mysteries by fellow Norwegian Karin Fossum.
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett. Norway. Gunnarstranda & Frølich, Oslo Detectives **7 of the 11 novels have been published in English, these translations have been published in the reverse order to which they were written.The Fourth Man. # 5. 2005/2009Next, based on date released originally only! Not translation dates. But having read the earlier books the characters have made progress in this book, developed and although my main criticism of way too much description and mulling o Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett. Norway. Gunnarstranda & Frølich, Oslo Detectives **7 of the 11 novels have been published in English, these translations have been published in the reverse order to which they were written.The Fourth Man. # 5. 2005/2009Next, based on date released originally only! Not translation dates. But having read the earlier books the characters have made progress in this book, developed and although my main criticism of way too much description and mulling over, still exists, this is a much better read!Frølich is a main character in this one from the start! He meets her during a crime and later reconnects and falls heavily for Elisabeth.....passion and more crime follow connecting throughout Elisabeth, her brother and two other thugs. Plus extra characters. Frank goes on leave when more deaths happen and soon he is in various situations escaping major injury himself as he attempts to find Elisabeth. Gunnarstranda supports more than he lets on. Eventually the two of them are chasing leads as deaths, disappearances, fires, suicide and more crime past and current connect...... Better character development in this book of both Oslo Detectives...
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  • Allan MacDonell
    January 1, 1970
    Norwegian cop writer K. O. Dahl furthers the Scandinavian tradition of police procedural murder thrillers starring mopey cops seemingly afflicted with cumulative seasonal affective disorder. The Fourth Man has bad weather, a grumpy veteran detective, an element of sexual compromise played out on an active participant in the homicide investigation, an annoying representative of the Nordic wealth class, a protagonist whose story climax is something like a psychotic break, and a satisfying closing Norwegian cop writer K. O. Dahl furthers the Scandinavian tradition of police procedural murder thrillers starring mopey cops seemingly afflicted with cumulative seasonal affective disorder. The Fourth Man has bad weather, a grumpy veteran detective, an element of sexual compromise played out on an active participant in the homicide investigation, an annoying representative of the Nordic wealth class, a protagonist whose story climax is something like a psychotic break, and a satisfying closing twist. The full compliment rushes forward at a pace that all but ensures complete consumption in a single sitting. It would be almost worth catching jury duty, just for the pleasure of taking The Fourth Man along.
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  • Jay Spain
    January 1, 1970
    Some interesting characters, interesting story telling - but the femme fatale was so predictable and the main protagonist was so pathetic, that I wanted to yell at the author. Unable to do that, I complained to people around me instead, thus making myself annoying like the book. The ending was particularly silly. It left us with the threat of the femme fatale returning and the protagonist either a dupe or passive-aggressive accomplice. This has all the appeal of a bad meal returning...and makes Some interesting characters, interesting story telling - but the femme fatale was so predictable and the main protagonist was so pathetic, that I wanted to yell at the author. Unable to do that, I complained to people around me instead, thus making myself annoying like the book. The ending was particularly silly. It left us with the threat of the femme fatale returning and the protagonist either a dupe or passive-aggressive accomplice. This has all the appeal of a bad meal returning...and makes me avoidant of partaking of future installments. However, I will look at the previous books before completely deciding.
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  • David C Ward
    January 1, 1970
    A very intricate mystery that also becomes a horror story involving a criminal gang, a financial mogul with a temper and Frank’s obsession with a young woman with connections to the gang. The crimes all relate to a safe stolen from the mogul which contains something valuable besides a lot of cash. That thing triggers the second wave of crimes - that involve the woman Frank is involved with. The opening sections are overheated but are necessary in order to explain why Frank ignores the obvious. S A very intricate mystery that also becomes a horror story involving a criminal gang, a financial mogul with a temper and Frank’s obsession with a young woman with connections to the gang. The crimes all relate to a safe stolen from the mogul which contains something valuable besides a lot of cash. That thing triggers the second wave of crimes - that involve the woman Frank is involved with. The opening sections are overheated but are necessary in order to explain why Frank ignores the obvious. So does the killer get away at the end?
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  • Karthik Ramesh
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars ( to be precise).Gripping to the very end. Loved every bit of the twists and the turn of events in this book.Never bored at all. The very best mystery or thrilling or crime novel i've read so far. And I would recommend this book first to any reader who is fond of this genres.I am not sure why i took that half star out of it. Maybe this genre deserves so.
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  • Sheila Howes
    January 1, 1970
    Euro Crime reads book for December. I was quite disappointed with the book - I felt it dragged and several parts could be condensed. Whilst the book eventually improved, and the main character of Frank Frolich was eventually likeable, it took far too long to get going. It didn't feel like it was set in Oslo - the setting could have been anywhere.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    This was hard to get into at first, but I made myself keep reading it because I wanted to know who the killer was. I am going to eventually read the next book in the series to see if I can warm up to the not so likable detective, Frolich.
  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    The story itself was good. I had problems keeping up with characters’ names and locations. Perhaps if I had a better working knowledge of Norwegian pronunciation I’d have fared better. As it was, I couldn’t remember who was who throughout most of the book.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Clever plot, but I did not especially like Frank Frolich.
  • Janellyn51
    January 1, 1970
    Frolich was a complete idiot. I could never get into him.....still I thought it was suspenseful.
  • Oliver Dixon
    January 1, 1970
    Workmanlike.
  • Lela
    January 1, 1970
    This mystery starts off slow but don't be fooled, it's a good one. Well worth the time to read the first couple of chapters before the roller coaster ride gets moving. I liked it.
  • Kai Palchikoff
    January 1, 1970
    Award-winning author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Over the last decade he has found audiences in ten other countries and finally, with his gripping and intelligent novel, The Fourth Man, the master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic.In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank FrÌ_åÙlich of the Oslo Police saves the life of Elizabeth Faremo, a dark-haired beauty with mysterious ey Award-winning author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Over the last decade he has found audiences in ten other countries and finally, with his gripping and intelligent novel, The Fourth Man, the master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic.In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank FrÌ_åÙlich of the Oslo Police saves the life of Elizabeth Faremo, a dark-haired beauty with mysterious eyes who was inadvertently caught in the crossfire. Some weeks later, FrÌ_åÙlich coincidentally runs into her again---but their ensuing affair is no accident.By the time he learns that she is no stranger---but rather the sister of a wanted member of a larceny gang---it is already too late.In the middle of the night, FrÌ_åÙlich receives a call that a young guard has been killed in the course of an attempted break-in. Scrambling to respond, he realizes that Elizabeth is no longer in his bed. And all at once, FrÌ_åÙlichÌ_Ì_åÈs life has changed. In a turn of events cryptic, erotic, and complex, he finds himself a prime murder suspect and under the watch of his doubting colleagues.Led through the dark underworld of Oslo and his own soul, FrÌ_åÙlich---suspended from the force, blindly in love, and on the hunt for some hint of truth in a vortex of darkness and lies---must find out if he is being used . . . before his life unravels beyond repair.The Fourth Man is a sexy, fast-paced psychological thriller that puts a modern twist on the classic noir story of the femme fatale. K. O. Dahl has crafted a dark, poetic, and incredibly complex crime novel for his U.S. debut---the first in a series of detective novels from this rising international mystery star.Praise for The Fourth Man:Ì_Ì_ÌÂA Norwegian MankellÌ_Ì_å---Norra Vasterbotten (Sweden)Ì_Ì_ÌÂI have read many clever and thrilling crime novels through my life, but often they have nothing to do with real life. If I donÌ_Ì_åÈt believe in them, they donÌ_Ì_åÈt impress me. But when K.O. Dahl tells his stories, I believe every single word.Ì_Ì_å---Karin Fossum, author of The Indian BrideÌ_Ì_ÌÂAn absorbing study of sexual enthrallment, dogged police work and a harrowing twist or two: Fans of proceduralsÌ_Ì__will snap this one up.Ì_Ì_å---KirkusÌ_Ì_ÌÂRecommend to fans of Karin Fossum and Kjell Eriksson. Dahl is a formidable talent whose books may well become as popular in the US as in Norway.Ì_Ì_å ---BooklistÌ_Ì_ÌÂA crime master of style... DahlÌ_Ì_åÈs original trait, the rich language, is here fully developed. He is perhaps the most literary of our crime writers. He fully masters the use of images and re-takes that serve to emphasize and strengthen the text, the latter a risky business regardless of genre. In addition to this, he is a proper devil at describing emotions, and throughout the entire spectrum at thatÌ_Ì__. Conclusion: Kjell Ola Dahl has again written an excellent crime novel.Ì_Ì_å---Aftenposten (Norway)Ì_Ì_ÌÂEffective and entertaining crimeÌ_Ì__.We let ourselves be both mesmerized and entertainedÌ_Ì__Ì_Ì_å---Adresseavisen (Norway)Ì_Ì_ÌÂElite crime writingÌ_Ì__ Kjell Ola Dahl is one of the big names of Norwegian crime fiction, and The Fourth Man shows why: here, the plot is effectively narrated, the drive forward is dynamic and the reader is served his seconds over and over againÌ_Ì__Ì_Ì_å---Stavanger Aftenblad (Norway)Ì_Ì_ÌÂHigh-shine crimeÌ_Ì__ a crime novel solidly and aptly constructed. Chock full of action, with precise shifts in tempo, sparkling good dialogue and a plot that carries all the way through.Ì_Ì_å ---Bergens Tidende (Norway)Ì_Ì_ÌÂA suspenseful and well costructed storyÌ_Ì__ Stringent and directed towards an astounding denouement.Ì_Ì_å---MÌ__nchner Merkur (Germany)Ì_Ì_ÌÂÌ_Ì__an excellent crime novel has seen the light of dayÌ_Ì__Ì_Ì_å---Hersfelder Zeitung (Germany)
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  • Maddy
    January 1, 1970
    PROTAGONIST: DIs Frank Frolich and GunnarstrandaSETTING: Oslo, NorwaySERIES: #5 of ?RATING: 3.75Set in Norway, THE FOURTH MAN is a combination of psychological suspense and police procedural. Detective Inspector Frank Frolich is in the middle of a police raid of a store when an innocent bystander comes on the scene. He throws himself upon her before the police open fire; ultimately, he and Elisabeth Faremo become much more intimately entangled. Elisabeth and Frank quickly engage in a series of t PROTAGONIST: DIs Frank Frolich and GunnarstrandaSETTING: Oslo, NorwaySERIES: #5 of ?RATING: 3.75Set in Norway, THE FOURTH MAN is a combination of psychological suspense and police procedural. Detective Inspector Frank Frolich is in the middle of a police raid of a store when an innocent bystander comes on the scene. He throws himself upon her before the police open fire; ultimately, he and Elisabeth Faremo become much more intimately entangled. Elisabeth and Frank quickly engage in a series of torrid sexual trysts. Even as the relationship begins, Frank wonders if Elisabeth has ulterior motives. Despite his misgivings, he becomes more and more involved with her, to the point of obsession. She doesn't reveal much about herself which arouses Frank's curiosity. One evening he follows her home, only to find that she is living with another man. His initial reaction is flaming jealousy; however, upon further investigation, he finds that her roommate is her gangster brother, Jonny. That leads him to believe that he is indeed a pawn in an unknown game and that Elisabeth is using him for her own purposes.And then Elisabeth disappears. Frank's obsession takes another direction in his efforts to find her. He uncovers another lover and begins to reveal the elaborate con that he has been the victim of. He's been on leave from his police assignment, but shares some of his situation with his superior, Inspector Gunnarstranda, at which point the narrative becomes more of a straightforward police procedural. I didn't feel Dahl was totally successful at the transformation from psychological study to a police investigation; at times, I found that Frolich's reactions were curiously unemotional considering the depth of his obsession.Frank seemed to me to be a rather ordinary man aside from his relationship with Elisabeth. I particularly enjoyed the character of Gunnarstranda, who struggles with doing his job while attempting to help his temporarily deranged friend and colleague, Frank. At times, Gunnarstranda made some very wry observations which helped leaven the overall dark tone of the book. I found the denouement to be excessively complicated and somewhat hard to follow. In an effort to cover the identity of the true villain, some of the sub-plots became overly twisty.THE FOURTH MAN is the fifth book in this series but the first to be translated into English. Sometimes called Norway's answer to Henning Mankell, Dahl reminded me more of the Swedish writing team of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. I do hope that the other books in this series will be translated, as the characters (especially Gunnarstranda) are ones with whom I enjoyed spending time.
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  • J.R.
    January 1, 1970
    I hate to use the word "okay" here but am pressed to find an appropriate alternative. "Average" perhaps but that word has too much of a statistical feel that does not apply to novels. It wasn't bad enough not to finish but neither was it exciting, enthralling, or hard to put down. At first the story/plot seems to meander a bit. The set up, before the crux of the story enfolds, is a bit lengthy almost as if the author doesn't know where to go with it. The protagonist, a policeman, is extremely na I hate to use the word "okay" here but am pressed to find an appropriate alternative. "Average" perhaps but that word has too much of a statistical feel that does not apply to novels. It wasn't bad enough not to finish but neither was it exciting, enthralling, or hard to put down. At first the story/plot seems to meander a bit. The set up, before the crux of the story enfolds, is a bit lengthy almost as if the author doesn't know where to go with it. The protagonist, a policeman, is extremely naive to become involved with this woman. The props of the plot, raison d'etre so to speak for the story's impetus, are not convincing; that is to say they seem "contrived". A fourth man, a stolen painting, a lesbian lover, a fire, are more of a distraction than an integral part of the novel. The conclusion is consistent however; the policeman ends up being a fool over a relationship with a woman that was never went beyond sexual attraction. Is this really a mystery or a lust story with some mystery thrown in?
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  • Jack
    January 1, 1970
    Obsession, whether a woman or a painting, is the undercurrent running through the novel. A convoluted, yet somewhat perhaps not completely unexpected plot, set in the chilly winters of Norway. My main gripe with the novel is with the translation, which gets awkward at parts. Particularly grating was the passage "new fangled coffee", which really, makes no sense whatsoever. However, for the most part, the translation generally works, even though it falters in parts. The plot, thankfully in some w Obsession, whether a woman or a painting, is the undercurrent running through the novel. A convoluted, yet somewhat perhaps not completely unexpected plot, set in the chilly winters of Norway. My main gripe with the novel is with the translation, which gets awkward at parts. Particularly grating was the passage "new fangled coffee", which really, makes no sense whatsoever. However, for the most part, the translation generally works, even though it falters in parts. The plot, thankfully in some ways, doesn't go in as much with the "deux ex machina" that seems to characterize most noir novels, where the final resolution, while it may make sense, seems to be a bit out of the air. Instead, the conclusion in "The Forth Man" is still a nice twist, but there were some hints earlier on that frame the ending with some more credibility. I did take the main detectives, Frolich and Gunnarstranda as flawed, and sharp-eyed. It doesn't hurt, perhaps, that there a couple of references to Johnny Cash and Ella Fitzgerald.
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  • BJ
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a real fan of Nordic noir, but I never got into this book. The story rambles and the translation is distracting with peculiar word choices and oddly-used American idioms. The main character, Detective Inspector Frank Frølich, is involved briefly with a murder investigation, but he is soon placed on leave because of his connection to a person involved in the case. He is on leave and doing his own investigation throughout most of the story. However, he is so obsessed by a woman that he cannot I'm a real fan of Nordic noir, but I never got into this book. The story rambles and the translation is distracting with peculiar word choices and oddly-used American idioms. The main character, Detective Inspector Frank Frølich, is involved briefly with a murder investigation, but he is soon placed on leave because of his connection to a person involved in the case. He is on leave and doing his own investigation throughout most of the story. However, he is so obsessed by a woman that he cannot think or act sensibly. And it is apparently obsession at first sight. Somehow, even with all his lack of professionalism, he manages to figure out who the "bad guy" really is.Dahl tries to misdirect the reader, but it is not difficult to figure out early on who did it. The "twist" at the end is expected, but how it was managed does tie the story together nicely. The part I liked least was the very last scene, ending on a weird supernatural note.
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  • Lisa Sansone
    January 1, 1970
    Just when I thought I had exhausted all major Nordic crime writers, I stumbled upon this one.The book was okay (very earnest). Though, I have to say that this is one of those books where I was able to pretty much completely figure out the plot's main mysteries as I was reading it (and I'm not one who is always very good at figuring these things out).Also, I actually felt like the secondary character (Gunnarstranda) was better drawn and more interesting than the main character, who remained a bit Just when I thought I had exhausted all major Nordic crime writers, I stumbled upon this one.The book was okay (very earnest). Though, I have to say that this is one of those books where I was able to pretty much completely figure out the plot's main mysteries as I was reading it (and I'm not one who is always very good at figuring these things out).Also, I actually felt like the secondary character (Gunnarstranda) was better drawn and more interesting than the main character, who remained a bit of a blank cypher to me. He never felt "real" to me. This is actually a problem for this book, because the whole story depends on whether or not the lead Detective is being duped by his love interest.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    The Fourth Man is the first book that I have read by Dahl. It was a book lent to me by a friend so I wasn't sure what to expect. I read it pretty quickly and enjoyed the overall story. I did have a problem with the main charcter, Frolich, though because I had a hard time understanding how he let this woman lead him so far astray. A feeling shared by his friend and colleague, Gunnarstranda, a character that I did really enjoy. I did wish that Gunnarstranda had got to play a bigger role in the boo The Fourth Man is the first book that I have read by Dahl. It was a book lent to me by a friend so I wasn't sure what to expect. I read it pretty quickly and enjoyed the overall story. I did have a problem with the main charcter, Frolich, though because I had a hard time understanding how he let this woman lead him so far astray. A feeling shared by his friend and colleague, Gunnarstranda, a character that I did really enjoy. I did wish that Gunnarstranda had got to play a bigger role in the book. Although I did like what we got to see of this character in this book, I wanted to see more. His relationship with Tove was interesting, and his feelings for his pet added an unexpected side to him. I would definitely give this author another chance if I found another book of interest.
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  • Tanja
    January 1, 1970
    My first foray into the Frank Frohlich mysteries. Interesting introduction to the character, even if the character of the inspector is not exactly new, we have seen the flawed hero with personal connection to a case who ends up under suspicion before. The plot -- which takes place all over Europe it seems -- has some nice twists and turns, some that seem a bit far fetched. And it does wrap up so neatly in the end, or does it? Not up to the heights of the Wallander series, but well worth reading.
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  • Minty McBunny
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely quit a book, and I almost always give it at least 150 pages, but I couldn't even do that much here. I dragged myself through 100 pages with a protagonist who had no redeeming qualities that I could see, who was making horrible choices based on nothing more than sexual attraction to an unsuitable and clearly mentally unstable woman and who didn't seem to be much of a police office to start with. That combined with horrible metaphors (comparing subway doors to metal lips parting & spi I rarely quit a book, and I almost always give it at least 150 pages, but I couldn't even do that much here. I dragged myself through 100 pages with a protagonist who had no redeeming qualities that I could see, who was making horrible choices based on nothing more than sexual attraction to an unsuitable and clearly mentally unstable woman and who didn't seem to be much of a police office to start with. That combined with horrible metaphors (comparing subway doors to metal lips parting & spitting him out? Really?) just made me throw up my hands in defeat and chuck it back in the library bag.
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  • Sharron
    January 1, 1970
    The plot was interesting but more than once I wanted to shake the protagonist homicide detective and ask him "are you really as dense as you seem to be? Is that even possible? How do you keep your job?". Fortunately his boss is a much more creditable character. This is the first in a series and I am willing to give the second a try but it will have to show improvement for me to read more by this author.
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  • miteypen
    January 1, 1970
    I think I made a mistake reading this book first because I found it hard to care about the main character and what was happening to him. Maybe if I'd already been introduced to him in earlier books I would have gotten into this more. Also, I thought the mystery was pretty weak. I usually really like Scandinavian writers, so I'm going to give this one another try. Hopefully I'll like the next one better.
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