One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl, also known professionally as K O Dahl, was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eighteen novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals-cum-psychological thrillers (The Oslo Detectives series) featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he also won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. The Courier was longlisted for the CWA International Dagger and was a number-one bestseller in ebook. His work has been published in fourteen countries, and he lives in the Norwegian countryside. Follow Kjell Ola on Twitter @ko_dahl.
K. O Dahl told Barry Forshaw (Nordic Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Film and TV, 2013) that ‘in the UK, my novels have been published in wrong order – something I know has happened with several of my colleagues’, and he continued adding that: ‘These three books [Lethal Investments (1993); The Fourth Man (2005) and The Man in the Window (2001)] would be my own choices from my work.’
To the best of my knowledge, his bibliography include the following crime fiction books (all English translations by Don Bartlett): Dødens investeringer (1993) English title: Lethal Investments (2011); Seksognitti (1994); Miniatyren (1996); Siste skygge av tvil (1998); En liten gyllen ring (2000) English title: The Last Fix (2009) Also available in Spanish: La muerte en una noche de verano (2006); Mannen i vinduet (2001) English title: The Man in the Window (2008) Spanish title: Un muerto en el escaparate (2008); Lille tambur (2003); Den fjerde raneren (2005) English title: The Fourth Man (2007) Spanish title: Un paso en falso (2010); Svart engel (2007); Kvinnen i plast (2010) English title: Faithless (2017); Isbaderen (2011) English title: The Ice Swimmer (2018); Kureren (2015) English Title: The Courier (2019); Søsteren (2018) English title: Sister (2020); and Assistenten (2020) English title: The Assistant (2021).
All this is relevant because the nice people at Orenda Books have been kind enoygh to send me, among others, a copy of Kjell Ola Dahl latest book, The Assistant, and I’m most grateful for their attention. Thank you Karen!
Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there’s a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.
When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity.
But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.
Both a fascinating portrait of Oslo’s interwar years, with Nazis operating secretly on Norwegian soil and militant socialists readying workers for war, The Assistant is also a stunningly sophisticated, tension-packed thriller – the darkest of hard-boiled Nordic Noir – from one of Norway’s most acclaimed crime writers.
(Source: Orenda Books)
I look forward to reading The Assistant this weekend. Stay tuned!