Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.
Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…
Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.
I would like to thank the author, publisher Orenda Books and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC of Big Sister in return for an honest review.
I can honestly say that any book published by Orenda Books is guaranteed to be a first class thriller and Big Sister proves this once again. Having read the previous book in the series, I had high hopes for this novel and I was not disappointed. It reads like a dream, is exciting and intelligent.
Why did I love it? So many reasons! I have a little crush on the superb character of Varg Veum, who is brooding and has a strong moral compass. His dedication in this novel to find the missing girl is indicative of the character I have come to know. He is both determined and humble and it is an intoxicating combination. While he way he is written makes me want to read about him for years to come.
The story is perfectly balanced, is cool and unrushed, yet full of twists and turns that left me feeling pole axed at the impact they had on the story. We were submerged into the spectacular and brooding landscape around Bergan which added a connection to the backdrop in which the story is set. I felt like I could feel the tension seeping off the pages as Veum finds his investigation bogged down in a web of lies and deceit. From page one, to its end, I felt myself submerged in the story and not wanting to leave Veum and his world behind.
Before I starting reading thrillers again after years away, flirting with historical drama’s and stunning books like Tin Man, I had it in my head that thrillers were all the same. You had a villain, a good cop, a victim and a host of smaller characters. What novels like Big Sister have shown me, is that there is a richness to this genre and a reason why so many people love them. It is a novel with layers of story and characterisation, that places it right at the top of it game. Gunner Staalesen has delivered a masterclass in storytelling and this book will delight existing fans and I hope draw new readers to Veum’s world.
It is heady stuff and compulsively addictive to read.
You can purchase Big Sister from Amazon
About the author.
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.
The author can be followed on his website.