Description Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet.
Firstly I would like to thank the author, publisher Orenda books and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC copy of this book, in return for an honest review.
This was my first foray into Nordic crime fiction and what an introduction! It’s a first class story from a masterful storyteller.
It’s strengths lie in the way that Gunnar Staaleson focuses on the characterisation and imbuing his novel with a taunt sense of atmosphere. It reels you in and makes the reader feel they are within the pages of his story, right next to the hero Varg Veum. Masterfully he reveals the threads of his novel slowly, never once trying to give his readers an easy opt-out clause. Once you have started reading Wolves In The Dark, you won’t want to put it down, because it’s deliciously addictive. Just like constructing the pieces of a puzzle, Gunner Staaleson slowly reveals pieces of the story to you and invites the reader to construct the puzzle with him. Slowly, but thrillingly, you start to understand the reasons why Veum now faces a fight for his career and freedom.
In Veum he has a leading character who is stoic and determined. He has a dark side, but that just makes him a more rounded and intriguing as a character. Hero’s who are tormented by demon’s from their past, are so much more fascinating and Veum is a perfect example. Like Mr Rochester, who is haunted by his mad wife, Veum, is haunted by the murder of the women he loved, making his quest for redemption all the more fascinating. He is complex and beautifully constructed and I found myself warming to him as the story progresses.
Like the title suggests Wolves In The Dark, has darkness at its very core, as Veum is set up by a child pornography ring and is forced to fight for his life and career. Socially aware, the writer, brings this terrible perversion to the front of our conciousness. He uses his hero to illustrate what hides away often just below the veneer of polite society. Its a difficult subject, but he handles it well, blending it into his story, exposing it for the unforgivable crime it is.
Wolves In The Dark is part of a series of novels featuring Veum, saying that, it reads well as a stand alone, which is how I came to read it. I would recommend it both to new readers of Nordic crime books and dedicated fans of this of this Norwegian Chandler.
Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers.