The Man in the Window
It is Friday the thirteenth, and with the Norwegian capital enveloped in freezing cold, seventy-nine-year-old Reidar Folke Jesperson passes what will be the last day of his life. In the early hours of the following morning he is found stabbed to death in his shop, his naked body exposed in the shop's window, a red string tied round his neck, and three crosses and a number - 195 - written across his chest. Police officers Gunnarstranda and Frolich - the team who were so deeply embroiled in the search for The Fourth Man - are called to the scene. Questions of love and betrayal, loyalty and guilt consume the investigation, just as they fill the private lives of the investigators. What will be uncovered is a country where victims, perpetrators and even police officers are haunted by the past, still trying to cope with the dark memories of the Nazi occupation of the country.

The Man in the Window Details

TitleThe Man in the Window
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 1st, 2008
PublisherFaber Faber
ISBN-139780571232918
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Fiction, European Literature, Scandinavian Literature, Scandinavian Lite..., Nordic Noir, Thriller, Detective, Novels

The Man in the Window Review

  • Guy
    January 1, 1970
    Not exactly action-packed, and a bit more interested in the detectives than in the perpetrators, but a solid, atmospheric, old-fashioned puzzler with complicated relationships and a back-story reaching back to Occupied Norway. For me, the denouement was a little convoluted, but all-in-all a worthy contribution to the Nordic crime genre.
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  • Catherine Woodman
    January 1, 1970
    I have been on a run of Scandanavian murder mysteries of late, and they are all very good--this is the second book that I have read by this author, and it is a very good mystery--with alot of plot changes, and people not who they at first appear to be. The inspector is a dour, glass-is-half-empty sort of guy who is strangely engaging.
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  • Luana
    January 1, 1970
    3,5All'inizio ero tentata di dare quattro stelline, ma ho trovato il finale un po' troppo macchinoso e arzigogolato per i miei gusti. Peccato, perché mi stava piacendo anche più del primo volume.Infatti "L'uomo in vetrina" è la seconda indagine che vede per protagonisti il commissario capo della polizia di Oslo Gunnarstranda e il suo assistente Frank Frølich, chiamati a intervenire quando un'addetta alla consegna a domicilio dei giornali trova esposto nella vetrina di un negozio di antiquariato 3,5All'inizio ero tentata di dare quattro stelline, ma ho trovato il finale un po' troppo macchinoso e arzigogolato per i miei gusti. Peccato, perché mi stava piacendo anche più del primo volume.Infatti "L'uomo in vetrina" è la seconda indagine che vede per protagonisti il commissario capo della polizia di Oslo Gunnarstranda e il suo assistente Frank Frølich, chiamati a intervenire quando un'addetta alla consegna a domicilio dei giornali trova esposto nella vetrina di un negozio di antiquariato un cadavere. La vittima è Reidar Folke Jespersen, uno dei proprietari del suddetto negozio, che viene ammazzato e poi messo in bella mostra nudo, con tre croci disegnate sulla fronte e una strana combinazione numerica scritta sul petto (J195). Ma chi poteva voler morto questo anziano signore, vicino agli 80 anni, che sembrava godere di una salute di ferro e che non era mai stanco di lavorare? A quanto pare i sospettati e i relativi moventi sono diversi, anche perché Jespersen non era proprio un santo, ma aveva un carattere difficile, autoritario e prevaricatore, oltre ad un passato abbastanza ingombrante legato al periodo dell'occupazione nazista della Norvegia.E così la lista dei sospettati comprende (in ordine sparso): la seconda moglie più giovane di 30 anni, che da tre anni ha una relazione extraconiugale (di cui Reidar era a conoscenza); i due fratelli minori, decisi a vendere l'attività e il negozio per incassare soldi e passarsi la vecchiaia tranquilli; un figlio sempre vissuto all'ombra del padre e soffocato da una moglie dispotica, che in realtà vorrebbe fare lo scrittore; un ex dipendente che vorrebbe veder saldato un vecchio debito; la coppia di compratori che ha fatto l'offerta per il negozio; e un tassista ossessionato da una giovane ragazza che, una volta al mese, si presentava da Reidar per mettere in piedi una "piccola recita improvvisata" (per dirla così). Le cose si fanno ancora più interessanti quanto il duo di investigatori scopre che il giorno della sua morte, la vittima aveva annullato il suo testamento e aveva ricevuto brutte notizie riguardanti le sue condizioni di salute.In molti avevano un motivo per farlo fuori, ma come si sono svolti veramente i fatti?In mezzo a questo ginepraio di indizi, bugie e mezze verità, seguiamo anche le vite private dei due protagonisti, con Gunnarstranda che sembra aver trovato un po' di compagnia per riempire il vuoto lasciato dalla morte della moglie, mentre il povero Frølich è diviso tra due donne e si sente incastrato in una storia che lo annoia e lo irrita.Non siamo ai livelli della mia personale triade scandinava (Kurt Wallander, Harry Hole e Carl Mørck), ma alla fine sono curiosa di vedere cosa ne sarà di questi due geni del male nei prossimi volumi.
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  • Martina
    January 1, 1970
    The man in the window was a mediocre read. It's visible from my rating that the novel didn't provoke much emotion in me. The plot and the idea behind it is interesting, but the main problem for me was the slow pace. The plot unfolded so slowly that it didn't motivate me to keep on reading the book. Not even the underlying motive of WW2 and potential Nazism provided an impetus for reading. With all that said, I felt as if the plot could have been developed better and made more engaging, like in - The man in the window was a mediocre read. It's visible from my rating that the novel didn't provoke much emotion in me. The plot and the idea behind it is interesting, but the main problem for me was the slow pace. The plot unfolded so slowly that it didn't motivate me to keep on reading the book. Not even the underlying motive of WW2 and potential Nazism provided an impetus for reading. With all that said, I felt as if the plot could have been developed better and made more engaging, like in - you know I'm gonna say it - The redbreast. Not knowing that The man in the window was just one in the series of novels devoted to the investigations of inspector Gunnarstranda and Frank Frolich, I formed my opinions of the detective duo based on the information provided in this book. Frolich came across as rather sleazy. On top of that, he didn't floor me with his detective skills. In comparison with him, the snarky, middle-aged Gunnarstranda was more likeable. His curt answers and snippy attitude made him interesting as a character, and that's not taking into account that he is the Sherlock Holmes of the pair. All in all, I wouldn't mind reading another novel of K.O. Dahl, but I won't go out of my way to procure it.
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  • Maddy
    January 1, 1970
    PROTAGONIST: DI Frølich and DCI GunnarstrandaSETTING: Oslo, NorwaySERIES: #3 of 8RATING: 3.0WHY: Octogenarian Reidar Foke Jespersen is found dead posed in the front window of the antique dealing store he owns with his family. He was a disagreeable man, manipulating his wife when he confronts her over an affair and refusing approve the sale of the shop when his brothers find an appropriate buyer. V investigate. It felt like they kept going over the same ground repeatedly. I found this to be a slo PROTAGONIST: DI Frølich and DCI GunnarstrandaSETTING: Oslo, NorwaySERIES: #3 of 8RATING: 3.0WHY: Octogenarian Reidar Foke Jespersen is found dead posed in the front window of the antique dealing store he owns with his family. He was a disagreeable man, manipulating his wife when he confronts her over an affair and refusing approve the sale of the shop when his brothers find an appropriate buyer. V investigate. It felt like they kept going over the same ground repeatedly. I found this to be a slow and plodding read. I enjoyed the other books I've read in this series far more.
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  • Troels Giversen
    January 1, 1970
    Rigtigt godt indtryk af Kjell Ola Dahl - spændingen opretholdt til sidste side. Jeg vender bestemt tilbage il denne serie.
  • Gloria.RainyRose
    January 1, 1970
    I actually had high expectation when I picked up this book because I've been into Norwergian murder mysteries lately. Unfortunately this didn't meet them. It was a slow read, I wasn't expecting it to be action-packed but the amount of dialogue and descriptions were too much for me. The way he characters talked to each other, outside of the interrogations, felt forced, flat and not real at times. And this happened to characters that knew each other for quite a while as well. The characters in the I actually had high expectation when I picked up this book because I've been into Norwergian murder mysteries lately. Unfortunately this didn't meet them. It was a slow read, I wasn't expecting it to be action-packed but the amount of dialogue and descriptions were too much for me. The way he characters talked to each other, outside of the interrogations, felt forced, flat and not real at times. And this happened to characters that knew each other for quite a while as well. The characters in themselves didn't do much for me as I could not bring myself to care for almost any of them and, although there were moments were 2 or 3 characters have caught my attentions this moments were short and I stopped caring for them almost immediately.Another thing that made the book feel slow were the filler chapters and half chapters in which the emphasis was on the love life of the two inspectors, which again I could not bring myself to be interested in. What irked me the most about the book was the portrayal of women. One of them was so badly done that it got me screaming and wanting to throw the book against a wall. Because of this I initially intended to give this book 2 stars but the conclusion of the murder, the motives because of which the crime was committed and one of the female characters [ her portrayal redeemed the rest, yesss ] made me give it a 3 star.
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett. Norway. Gunnarstranda & Frølich**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 Man in the Window, Oslo Detectives #3. 2001/2009Next, based on date released originally only! Not translation dates. The writer has excelled with this book. Finally Good Reading! Gunnarstranda & Frølich don’t come into this storyline until chapter 9. Until then, it’s a tig Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett. Norway. Gunnarstranda & Frølich**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 Man in the Window, Oslo Detectives #3. 2001/2009Next, based on date released originally only! Not translation dates. The writer has excelled with this book. Finally Good Reading! Gunnarstranda & Frølich don’t come into this storyline until chapter 9. Until then, it’s a tight good story. Interesting format to write well about the various victims making the reader connect with them before violence befalls them!! The mystery and murders take the Oslo Detectives right back to WWII and the various characters past and present are eventually connected. Everyone has personal issues but the storyline is well built and solved. Very good reading.......
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  • Michael Springer
    January 1, 1970
    I first heard of K.O. Dahl at the London Book Fair last March, and this was the first one of his translated books I was able to find. He is an outstanding writer in the fine Norwegian Noir tradition. In this story, a World War II hero, now in his elder years, is found murdered, stripped and branded in the window of his antiques store. Was it his son, who stands to inherit the business? His much-younger wife, who was having a tryst that afternoon when the husband followed her? Or was it someone w I first heard of K.O. Dahl at the London Book Fair last March, and this was the first one of his translated books I was able to find. He is an outstanding writer in the fine Norwegian Noir tradition. In this story, a World War II hero, now in his elder years, is found murdered, stripped and branded in the window of his antiques store. Was it his son, who stands to inherit the business? His much-younger wife, who was having a tryst that afternoon when the husband followed her? Or was it someone who knows something about his war time actions that was buried until now? Excellent writing. I look forward to more.
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  • David C Ward
    January 1, 1970
    A very baroque and complicated murder mystery whose cause goes all the way back to the War. There are a lot of suspects and a subsidiary murder just to confuse things even more. It also contains more than enough dialogues on love/sex and marriage and guilt/ innocence. Also the police don’t make enough of the public, almost ceremonial display, of the corpse of the murdered antique dealer/resistance hero/patriarch. Something else - revenge, humiliation etc - is obviously going on. And finally, it A very baroque and complicated murder mystery whose cause goes all the way back to the War. There are a lot of suspects and a subsidiary murder just to confuse things even more. It also contains more than enough dialogues on love/sex and marriage and guilt/ innocence. Also the police don’t make enough of the public, almost ceremonial display, of the corpse of the murdered antique dealer/resistance hero/patriarch. Something else - revenge, humiliation etc - is obviously going on. And finally, it relies on an unreliable narrator and withheld evidence which is never satisfactory.
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  • Alison S
    January 1, 1970
    I love Scandi Crime so I'm really happy to have discovered a new author and series in this genre. This was a well written (and translated) story with plenty of incident, sardonic wry humour and quirky original characters, that kept me turning the pages with interest and enjoyment. An excellent start to a new year of reading.
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  • Katherine A. goodspeed
    January 1, 1970
    Almost NesboNot quite as dark as Nesbo, this crime procedural does evoke similar quintessential Norwegian characteristics. The protagonists are well drawn and elements of Norwegian history are tangled in the plot. I will read more in this series.
  • Alfonso López
    January 1, 1970
    No engancha, no sé si es lo lenta que va la acción o la temática en sí. No lo recomiendo porque es largo y si realmente no te gustan las investigaciones criminalísticas, no te gustará. En definitiva, prescindible
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Okay butRelatively enjoyable to read but the plot line towards the end became far too convoluted. Will probably still finish the series though.
  • John H. Corbin
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe a bit too many red herrings, but still worth the read.
  • Marisolera
    January 1, 1970
    Es una novela policíaca ambientada en Noruega, que tiene por protagonistas a dos policías completamente distintos, el comisario Gunnarstranda y su ayudante Frank Frolich, encargados de la investigación del asesinato de Reidar Jespersen, el anciano dueño de una tienda de antigüedades. Todos los miembros de su familia parecen tener motivos para asesinarle: su mujer, su hijo, sus hermanos...Además de la trama de la investigación policial, se trata también la vida de las personas que aparecen en la Es una novela policíaca ambientada en Noruega, que tiene por protagonistas a dos policías completamente distintos, el comisario Gunnarstranda y su ayudante Frank Frolich, encargados de la investigación del asesinato de Reidar Jespersen, el anciano dueño de una tienda de antigüedades. Todos los miembros de su familia parecen tener motivos para asesinarle: su mujer, su hijo, sus hermanos...Además de la trama de la investigación policial, se trata también la vida de las personas que aparecen en la novela, sus amores y sus infidelidades, y todo ambientando en una ciudad a muchos grados bajo cero que te hace pensar (desde el punto de vista mediterráneo) cómo se puede vivir en un sitio tan frío, en el que la nieve y el hielo son tan protagonistas como el tráfico en Madrid.No deja un cabo suelto, y te quedas con las ganas de leer más de esta serie, publicada por Planeta. Habrá que ver si se publican en el orden en el que fueron escritas o harán como con los libros de Henning Mankell.
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  • Alessandro Giuliani
    January 1, 1970
    Non c'è quasi azione, è tutto piuttosto statico e la storia non brilla per originalità, ma alcuni personaggi sono descritti bene (personalmente ho apprezzato Gunnarstranda) e la lettura scorre piuttosto bene. Insomma, non un capolavoro, ma nemmeno un'opera da evitare
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  • Joje
    January 1, 1970
    I always like the scenes where some official (or not) tries to hold off some disaster, as does Gunnarstranda at the end, otherwise there is little suspense in the book, except to see if the possible lovers go somewhere with it, as often as not. The irony that follows the repeated citation is one subtlety I appreciate, since it ties in something that is a mystery before that, and tying something in is rare enough in this understated world of understated characters. Even the final explanation fits I always like the scenes where some official (or not) tries to hold off some disaster, as does Gunnarstranda at the end, otherwise there is little suspense in the book, except to see if the possible lovers go somewhere with it, as often as not. The irony that follows the repeated citation is one subtlety I appreciate, since it ties in something that is a mystery before that, and tying something in is rare enough in this understated world of understated characters. Even the final explanation fits that description. In that it excels.The citation: "Quand l'essentiel se reduit à quelques souvenirs, ce sont toujours des fragments des bons côtés des choses. C'est le bon côté qui survit et qui fait de la memoire la qualite la plus importante que tu puisses posseder. La capacité de se souvenir, non seulement pour revenir au passe, mais aussi pour conserver qui tu es, et ton âme." If the man's words, then it fits, but it could be the woman's in this relationship misused by both. Interesting question at the end, if that phrase is remembered at all. This matches well enough with one of several conversations with the same tone or spirit, e.g., --C'est la vie...--C'est incomprehensible.--Mozart est mort dans la misère. Il y a beaucoup de choses incomprehensibles...--Mais certaines choses doivent aussi avoir une explication.--Comme quoi?They sure do have polite cops and robbers in Norway.
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  • Marilyn Shea
    January 1, 1970
    As the author was tying up all the many strands of the story at the end, I felt overwhelmed and confused. So much of the story went by before substantial back stories were added, so it seemed that the last half of the book was weighty with detail. Still, I found the story intriguing, especially the dissection of the personality of Reidar Jespersen. I have known men of his generation (in the story, he is seventy-nine years old) who seem to enjoy an unemotional strength that we might label today a As the author was tying up all the many strands of the story at the end, I felt overwhelmed and confused. So much of the story went by before substantial back stories were added, so it seemed that the last half of the book was weighty with detail. Still, I found the story intriguing, especially the dissection of the personality of Reidar Jespersen. I have known men of his generation (in the story, he is seventy-nine years old) who seem to enjoy an unemotional strength that we might label today as patriarchical, or, less generously and more accurately, bullying. The antecedents of these behaviors are different for each person, but in Jespersen's case, are tangled up with his role in the Second World War. The family that deals with a person like him find themselves hiding so much of themselves because calm and fair discussion of issues is never an option. Once a person like Jespersen adopts the strong man persona, he may feel he, too, must keep his motivations secret. So a label like "bully" doesn't begin to describe what is actually behind the behaviors and most people like Jespersen die without anything of themselves being revealed. It is only when outsiders, such as police detectives, are drawn in by a violent event that the whole saga becomes known. I read this book rapidly and liked it.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    I used to think that Germany was the main place tortured by its Nazi past. But I'm beginning to think Norway runs a close second.I've read only two Norwegian mysteries so far (the other was Nesbro's Readbreast) and both had the Nazi occupation as an underlying theme. This story recounts the bizarre murder of an antiques dealer who had been a resistance member during the war. Reidar Folke Jespersen's naked body is found propped in his store window with a strange inscription carved into it, stabbe I used to think that Germany was the main place tortured by its Nazi past. But I'm beginning to think Norway runs a close second.I've read only two Norwegian mysteries so far (the other was Nesbro's Readbreast) and both had the Nazi occupation as an underlying theme. This story recounts the bizarre murder of an antiques dealer who had been a resistance member during the war. Reidar Folke Jespersen's naked body is found propped in his store window with a strange inscription carved into it, stabbed to death by a bayonet that had been in the shop.The lead investigator, Gunnarstranda, is the usual satisfying dour Nordic murder specialist. He is widowed, he has a new relationship he is unsure of, everything is covered in frost and snow and he smokes wherever and whenever he wants. His partner Frolich is also going through relationship issues.With these side plots spinning away, they set out to figure out why Jespersen was killed not long after he upended a deal with his two brothers to sell the store to an outside couple. That becomes one important clue, but it is only part of the solution, much of which is buried in the past.The pacing, the characters, the scenes, all kept me moving at a satisfying clip through the story. Recommended.
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  • Ron
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this is certainly evidence that not everyone writing police procedurals that take place in Oslo are excellent crime writers. One of the dullest murder mysteries I have encountered in a long time, with uninteresting characters (both cops and suspects), a hugely tedious middle section in which the two faceless and characterless cops drive around and interview various persons of interest, and get pretty much nowhere, and a connection to the past, to the Nazi occupation of Norway, which pretty Well, this is certainly evidence that not everyone writing police procedurals that take place in Oslo are excellent crime writers. One of the dullest murder mysteries I have encountered in a long time, with uninteresting characters (both cops and suspects), a hugely tedious middle section in which the two faceless and characterless cops drive around and interview various persons of interest, and get pretty much nowhere, and a connection to the past, to the Nazi occupation of Norway, which pretty much fizzles as a motive for the crime. And poorly translated, to boot – plodding, full of ridiculous Norwegian street names and no sense of pace or suspense.Somehow, the situation of the murder was interesting enough in its initial formulation, and in its potential, to keep me reading, but it all came to pretty much nothing in the end, including a very poorly written hostage scene with the "bad guy" taken out by a swat team sharpshooter.I will remember to keep away from any more novels by this Dahl guy in the future.
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  • Doug
    January 1, 1970
    Another Nowwegian story taking place in Oslo in the winter. Not many warm fuzzy chapters but the story is good. An aging antique dealer is found stabbed to death and sitting in a chair in the window of his store. AS Frolich and Gunnarstranda investigate they encounter a family that has many secrets and conflicts. But as the story develops WWII and the conflicts between Germany and Norway and the people of both countries becomes a factor in solving the crime.One thing I find interesting when read Another Nowwegian story taking place in Oslo in the winter. Not many warm fuzzy chapters but the story is good. An aging antique dealer is found stabbed to death and sitting in a chair in the window of his store. AS Frolich and Gunnarstranda investigate they encounter a family that has many secrets and conflicts. But as the story develops WWII and the conflicts between Germany and Norway and the people of both countries becomes a factor in solving the crime.One thing I find interesting when reading fiction by authors from Sweden, Norway, and Iceland is the recurring there of WWII even though the authors were born in the 50's, 60's and 70's.
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  • Linda Branham Greenwell
    January 1, 1970
    A great mystery. I do admit I had a difficult getting into the story at first because I hsd a difficult time with the names :) But then I became comfortable with the names and really enjoyed the actual story.There was history of WWII as seen from a european perspective - I really enjoyed that. And there was a mystery of who killed "the man in the window" - and whyThe police detectives were interesting in how they questioned the facts and how they proceeded with the investigation. All in all a go A great mystery. I do admit I had a difficult getting into the story at first because I hsd a difficult time with the names :) But then I became comfortable with the names and really enjoyed the actual story.There was history of WWII as seen from a european perspective - I really enjoyed that. And there was a mystery of who killed "the man in the window" - and whyThe police detectives were interesting in how they questioned the facts and how they proceeded with the investigation. All in all a good mystery with interesting and believable characters
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  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    Good mystery set in Oslo, Norway. Two police detectives seek the killer of an aging antique dealer. Several good suspects provide them with a challenging investigation. They include his much younger wife, a resentful son, two jealous younger brothers, his wife's lover, and a disturbed taxi driver.
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  • Mary Kurtz
    January 1, 1970
    I think what I liked most was reading a crime story in an Oslo setting and culture. The plot was interesting but I found myself wanting it to progress more precisely. I would still recommend the novel.
  • Shall I Download A Black Hole And Offer It To You
    January 1, 1970
    i'm warming up to Frolich and Gunnarstrada... this was an exellent mystery with a lot of possible suspects... nothing cornball or 'twisty', just an intriguing story melding the sad present with a sordid past...
  • Sharron
    January 1, 1970
    This is my second mystery by this particular author and I enjoyed it enough that I would read the others in this series assuming they are translated into English. Happily, it was much better than his first.
  • Dragoş
    January 1, 1970
    In spite of what the others believe, I found it to be captivating after I got used with the Norvegian names and the finale was actually thrilling as I couldnt deduce the real murderer. I'm looking forward in reading more K.O.Dahl literature.
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Love a Norwegian murder mystery set in Oslo during the middle of winter. It has all the elements i love, detectives with private lives and a slowly evolving partnership, murder suspects with lovers and secrets and of course, if an old bloke is involved, inevitably,WW2 also becomes a factor.
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  • WR
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this better than The Fourth Man by the same author. Started a little slow, but got pretty gripping about halfway through. I liked the layers in the plot, peeling back mystery after embedded mystery..
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