Top positive review
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Entertaining, but a bit stereotypical
on March 20, 2008
One of the latest trends in mystery writing is the Scandinavian mystery series. We all remember (or some of us, who are old enough, do) the series by Maj Sjovall and Per Wahloo from back in the seventies, but since there have only been a couple of writers. Lately, though, it seems every second book in the mystery section comes from the frozen North. This current book, by Norwegian mystery writer K.O. Dahl, is apparently rather typical.
Dahl is a competent writer, though his plot is a bit far-fetched. His main character, Frank Frolich, becomes involved with a witness to a violent arrest in Oslo, and soon is having a torrid affair with her. But she acts very strangely, and after a while this becomes a problem. It soon develops that she's related to a gang of criminals who are robbing Norwegian businesses, and that she used to date one of the gang. Then she vanishes, and Frolich, now under some suspicion from his colleagues, must discover what happened and what her connection to the criminal gang is.
This is a reasonably good book. Foreign detective novels like this almost always, to me, have a dated feel to them, with the main character resembling Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade with a strange accent. In spite of that (or perhaps because of it) I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.