*Starred Review* Sheldon Horowitz has outlived everyone he’s known, except his granddaughter, Rhea, who fears he suffers from dementia and convinces him to move from Manhattan to Oslo, where she lives with her Norwegian husband. So the 82-year-old finds himself in a strange land, bemused by placid, orderly Norwegians. When a young woman is murdered in his apartment building, Sheldon shelters her young son and sets out to find a refuge for him. But the killer is a brutal Kosovar war criminal, and Sheldon must rely on his Korean War scout-sniper training to evade the killer. No brief plot outline can do justice to a book that deserves to find a place on a few best-of-the-year lists. Sheldon is a brilliantly imagined character, a true mensch, made of Greatest Generation stuff. His wife and Rhea believed he was a mere file clerk, not a wounded combat hero. Only his son, who died in Vietnam following Sheldon’s example, knew the real story, and Sheldon dreams nightly of being on patrol in Vietnam with him. Miller keeps the reader guessing about Sheldon’s dementia. Might he simply be an old man appropriately focused on past and present rather than the future? Oslo police inspector Sigrid Odegard, hunting the killer, is another wonderful creation, and her phone conversations with her farmer father are often wry, archetypally Scandinavian debates. Miller joins the ranks of Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, and Jo Nesbø, the holy trinity of Scandinavian crime novelists. Norwegian by Night is very different than their work but equally satisfying. --Thomas Gaughan
Best New Crime Writer of the Year: Winner of the CWA 2013 John Creasey Dagger Award "No brief plot outline can do justice to a book that deserves to find a place on a few best-of-the-year lists
"Has the brains of a literary novel and the body of a thriller."
— New York Times
"Truly a page-turner...Norwegian by Night is about past wars and present-day ethnic strife, family, grief, guilt and, ultimately, redemption. Korea (and phantom Koreans), Vietnam, the Holocaust, ethnic identity — Serb, Norwegian, Muslim, and yes, Jewish — these are the true characters of the novel....Funny, moving and thoroughly gripping."
"A stunning examination of how our lives shape our character, and how our allegiances shape our destiny."
— Bethanne Patrick, AARP (1 of "12 Summer Reads for 2013")
"Derek B. Miller's debut novel, Norwegian by Night, is about aging snipers. Or, it's about parenting and loss. Or, the lingering traces of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It feels about as full as life itself, and almost as real."
—Jessica Young, Jewniverse
"[A] beautifully-written contribution to Nordic noir with a twist. It cleverly avoids many the genre’s clichés and pitfalls and emerges triumphant as a fully-dimensional gem."
—From the John Creasey Dagger Award Judges' Citation
"Both an exciting chase thriller and a poignant story about a man who comes into his own again in his dotage." --Library Journal
. Sheldon is a brilliantly imagined character, a true mensch, made of Greatest Generation stuff
...Miller joins the ranks of Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, and Jo Nesbø, the holy trinity of Scandinavian crime novelists
starred "Miller's affecting debut
, about a cantankerous Jewish widower transplanted to Norway who becomes party to a hate crime, is an unusual hybrid: part memory novel, part police procedural, part sociopolitical tract and part existential meditation
. Miller, an American living in Oslo...makes the setting a powerful character...
The novel, first published in Norway, was worth the wait."
"A literate, thoughtful and unusual thriller...
Our image of Scandinavia is one of tolerance — Miller doesn’t disagree with the image, but Norwegian by Night
offers a fascinating fictional exploration
of the meaning and implementation of that tolerance." --The Times (UK)
"Norwegian by Night
has all the ingredients of a top-notch thriller, but it's the superb characterisation of the protagonist that fuels true suspense. Funny and moving as well as thoroughly gripping, this is crime fiction of the highest order." --The Guardian
"Much more than an enjoyable thriller. It is a beautifully written tale of love and loss...One of the best novels of the year."—Jenni Frazer, The Jewish Chronicle (UK) "This highly visual storytelling reads like a first draft of the script for an action-packed, emotionally satisfying movie, one that will appeal to both sexes." —Jewish Book Council Norwegian by
n ot just a great title, it's also a soulful, humane, and sparklingly funny novel. Spend some time with Sheldon and company in the Scandinavian wilderness and you just might make peace with your god, your ghosts, and yourself. --
Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
"Brilliant, serious literary crime and our favorite thing, Scandi-noir, but with a twist..." - Erica Wagner, The Times '100 people to watch in 2013' (UK)
"NORWEGIAN BY NIGHT is an outrageously intelligent thriller
, and its philosopher-sniper hero, Sheldon Horowitz, is a character who'll stay in your brain for decades. You might come for the guns and the ruckus, but by the last page, with your heart still pounding, you'll be crying at all the goddamned beauty and love in the world
." - Patrick Somerville, author of This Bright River
and The Cradle
"Norwegian by Night
shifts along like an inquisitive wind, with characters who enter your mind so easily it’s as if they’ve been there all along, and a voice so confident you would follow it into a leaning house. Generous with its wit, dazzling in its cultural and historical reach, Derek Miller’s novel is the kind of sweep-you-up tale a reader always wants but rarely finds, the kind where you stand in the bookstore reading the opening pages and whisper, This is the one
."—Leif Enger, bestselling author of Peace Like a River
"Have you ever lucked into one of those novels so taut and suspenseful that you can't turn the pages fast enough, yet, at the same time, so magnificently written and psychologically incisive that you find yourself unable to turn those same pages slowly
enough? Such novels are as rare as great comets. Norwegian by Night
, I'm happy to report, is one. Make sure you're in a comfortable spot when cracking this book; you won't be putting it down for an obscenely long while."—Jonathan Miles, author of Dear American Airlines
"Humane, blackly funny, heartbreaking, full of believable people and with a touching, magnificent hero in Sheldon, this is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Verdict: Brilliant."—Herald Sun (Australia)
"Norwegian By Night
[is] ostensibly a Scandinavian thriller yet recalls Saul Bellow and Philip Roth’s more cerebral creations…A remarkably confident debut that is at once a rich psychological study, a political parable that seems to be about America’s compulsion to intervene abroad, and a moving story of an old man’s last chance to slay his demons."—John Dydale, The Sunday Times (UK)
"A stunningly good debut thriller, subtle and moving, with a truly original hero…Literate, elegant and compelling."—Marcel Berlins, The Times (UK)
"From the synopsis, it is impossible to harness all the themes and subtlety of prose that this book conveys to the reader. On one level, not only does the book contain all the quintessential elements of a Scandinavian crime novel, it also encompasses the Korean, Vietnam, and Balkan conflicts, and on a more emotional level, presents a poignant and meditative examination of aging and regret…I would urge everyone to read this exceptional debut, with its powerful and emotive themes…[as well as] all the tension of a totally authentic Scandinavian crime thriller. I cannot praise it highly enough, and Norwegian By Night
could well be one of my top crime reads of the year. Outstanding." —Raven Crime Reads (blog)