Book Title: Faithless
Author: Kjell Ola Dahl
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: Oslo Detectives #7
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
Date Read: 04/19/17
Pub Date: 09/01/17 (Paperback)
When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her—and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he begins to look deeper into the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda finds another body, and things take a more sinister turn. With a cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway casting a shadow, and an unsettling number of coincidences clouding the plot, Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers—and the killer—before he strikes again.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record while singing the praises of Orenda’s books and telling you to go buy them, but I can’t help it; they’re just so good! While Faithless is technically book #7 in the Oslo detectives series, you can easily pick this up as a standalone, as all the characters and places bring you up to speed. We all know that I love a good police procedural, but I think the reason this one was so tight was that Nordic Noir element; the setting seems to read as a character all it’s own and the slow building, steady suspense is masterfully done. This particular novel is heavy on the slow burn and I would not suggest picking this up when in the mood for a fast paced, action packed book; however, if you’re looking for heavy characterization and a dark atmosphere, you won’t go wrong diving into this one.
If I really think about it, the reason Faithless worked so well for me was because of it’s classic feel. The story is very traditional in the sense that it solves a case the old fashioned way, with detectives working slowly through the investigation and footing their own leg work in lieu of relying heavily on technology and miraculous lab work. In a sense, these elements brought a realness to the story that other flashier tales just can’t nail down; I can truly see why the author is considered one of the fathers of Nordic Noir. Without giving away any plot details, I was really hooked by the way the story ended; the finale truly had me clamoring for the next book in a need it now sense. I’m keeping this review brief as the story itself is brief (my copy came to around 250 pages), and I’m hoping not to blabber on and give too much away or spoil the book for another reader. Highly recommended for those looking to expand their tastes in the genre and add another winning series to their collection.
* Many thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for providing my gorgeous copy; the cover is stunning and multi-dimensional in person. It’s always a pleasure to be a part of the blog tours!
Born in 1958, Dahl’s first novel was published in 1993. He is best known for his series about Oslo detectives Frank Frølich and Inspector Gunnarstranda.
Also publishes as K.O. Dahl.