Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Fourth Man by K.O. Dahl

About the book: In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frølich saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting caught in the crossfire. Some weeks later, Frølich coincidentally sees 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.

First line: Two men had stopped outside the gate.

My thoughts: This Norwegian novel was translated by Don Bartlett and has won the Riverton prize for Norway’s best crime novel. The blurb indicates that this is a dark, noir-ish story and I found it to be a fairly dark police procedural/psychological thriller. The plot is twisty and it held my interest, especially in the second half of the book. I enjoyed the sense of place I felt (snowy and cold,) so different from here in Texas. The translation was good, easy to understand with only a few moments of distracting awkwardness. For example: Frank Frolich took a decision: he put the car into gear and drove off. I didn't feel like I got to know Frank very well, he was hurt and dysfunctional going from one bit of bad news to the next. The end surprised me! I enjoyed reading this book and would like to read more from this author.


Quote: She was the crowning glory of a total work of art: the materialized essence of litter, blaring radio, mess and an aura of liberated indifference.

New Word: millefeuilles - French Vanilla Slices are called 'Mille-feuilles' and are made with puff pastry sandwiched together with jam, cream, or confectioners' custard.

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