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The Last Fix (Oslo Detectives) Paperback – March 29, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Oslo Detectives (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312672527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312672522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,180,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Dahl’s third novel for an American audience is his longest, but also one of the best. Katrine, a recovering drug addict, disappears a few hours after leaving a party in her honor (celebrating her recovery), and the next day her naked body shows up in a ditch. Oslo detectives fat Frolich and grumpy Gunnarstranda (familiar from The Fourth Man, 2008) doggedly pursue the case despite a lack of clues or suspects. Despite its considerable length, the book moves rapidly, as much of the text is dialogue, either between Frolich and Gunnarstranda, or conversations with suspects and informants. As the investigation continues, characters and events from her past emerge, and Dahl neatly ties them into the ongoing investigation. More a psychological thriller than a police procedural, the novel focuses on Katrine and the people from the recovery center. Dahl has quickly become one of our leading authors of psychological crime fiction, and his books deserve the large audience enjoyed by Ruth Rendell, Minette Walters, and other established masters of the form. --Jessica Moyer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for the writing of K.O. Dahl:
"The new king of detective stories. He combines high suspense with humour. He is the next Henning Mankell.” --Max (Germany)

"[I]n a league of his own." --Aftenposten (Norway)

"Dahl is the shining star of the genre.” --Hamar Arbeiderblad (Norway)

“Recommend to fans of Karin Fossum and Kjell Eriksson. Dahl is a formidable talent.” --Booklist
"The plot of the book is quite complex, but completely engaging.... Each of the possible suspects seems to be hiding something, and virtually no one tells the truth. It's a difficult job for the police in that there are very few leads. Dahl excels at upping the psychological suspense; it is almost impossible to determine who the murderer is." on The Last Fix

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Last Fix" by K.O. Dahl joins the growing inventory of Scandinavian mystery books that are now being translated into English and distributed in the U.S. and other anglophone countries. The best of these crime novels have intricate plots, but also, unusually good character development. While I wouldn't rate "The Last Fix" at the top of the list in this sub-genre (this isn't Nesbo, Larrsen, Mankell, Fossum, etc.), it was ultimately a decent read, and I would definitely give author Dahl another look.

"The Last Fix" is centered on the murder of an attractive young woman, who is recovering from drug addiction and a traumatic childhood. Her last hours are carefully documented in the narrative run up to what will turn out to be her violent death. The rest of the book is spent on a Rashomon-like re-telling of the events prior and after the murder, as well as a detailed description of the young woman's life, including her various dubious relationships. The rehash of the crime and eventual resolution are produced through a very long police procedural by the two Oslo cops assigned to the case, Frolich and Gunnarstranda. The conclusion is relatively satisfying, but as the person(s) responsible for the crime had relatively little character or psychological workup before the final pages, the author strains a bit to provide credible motive (in my opinion.)

The main problem I had with this novel was what seemed like a kind of mushiness in the narrative and slightly off-center dialogues between the characters. The translation into English was done by a Brit who took no pains to avoid UK-slang in order to make the language more accessible to other anglophones. Overall, the book could have used some sharpening from a more astute editor and some compromises on the English translation.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on June 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I find it incredible that this only has one review so far and that so many are giving that one review negative votes.This is actually more of a police procedural than it is noir...the final portion of the book is what gives it more of a noir feel.A recovering addict is apparantly raped and killed after she's been attacked at the travel agency where she's employed and after she's been sick at a party held by her rehab center, a party she didn't really wish to attend but felt obligated to. The resulting police investigation reveals a past involving several men who become suspects and a connection to a twenty year old cold case. Scandinavian crime novels have an unique flavor to them, and this is easily one of the best comparable to the work of those like Fossum and Nesbo.
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Format: Paperback
K. O. Dahl (Kjell Ola Dahl), a prize-winning author in Norway, has just had this third novel published in the U.S., though it was the first of the three books to be published in the series in Norway. Written in 2000, it features pudgy Detective Frank Frolich and his boss, the taciturn Chief Inspector Gunnarstranda. Here Dahl focuses more on the victims and those who surround them than he does on his sleuths, not even giving physical descriptions of his detectives till many pages into the book. This helps create a suspenseful and often dramatic novel which sometimes devolves into philosophical, social, and psychological discussions as his characters meet and interact.

The novel starts simply, then ratchets up quickly when a thug enters a travel agency and physically threatens Katrine, a young employee with a past. That night Katrine, has to attend to a party with her skinhead boyfriend, and she does not want to attend. She has nearly completed three years of a drug rehab program, run by the party's hostess, Annabeth, and her husband, but when she arrives, she discovers that her insensitive host and hostess and the party guests are consuming large quantities of alcohol, and smoking and imbibing in recreational drugs. The author increases the tension by describing the party through Katrine's point of view, revealing her terrified reaction to a sudden fainting attack. She has refused all "substances," and when many of the guests, including her date, leave to attend a nightclub at midnight, she calls a friend for a ride home instead. The next morning her body, cast off from a bridge, is found beside a lake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Norway delivers another impressive writer, Dahl a welcome addition to a growing number who address the universality of criminal behavior. Set primarily in a recovery community in Oslo, a young woman near graduation from the facility is found murdered, the unfortunate victim's colorful past threatening to expose past and present relationships. As dour police inspector Gunnarstranda and his opinionated detective, Frank Frolich, investigate the circumstances of Katrine Bratterud's death, there is no shortage of motives or perpetrators, from Katrine's current boyfriend to an occasional lover, a violent criminal from the past, even the director of the rehab facility, Annabeth As and her husband, Bjorn Gerhardsen, who has purchased Katrine's favors in her pre-sobriety days as a streetwalker. About to enter the world unhampered by addictions, Katrine is excited, on the cusp of discovery, fully conscious of her appeal to the opposite sex. A troubled, drug-riddled youth put behind her, Katrine is high on life and the immediate future, a woman other females envy and men admire, both openly and covertly.

Frolich and Gunnarstranda are a sweet and salty combination, men who intuit each other's direction in investigations, subtly manipulating interviews. Dahl adds literary flavor to an essentially police procedural through the pithy observations of his characters and the complexities of their lives, for instance the philosophical bent of Katrine's sometimes-lover, Henning: "Language and poetry are our way of sensing the incomprehensible." Indeed, part of this novel's pleasure is its detail and provocative perspective, a consideration of more than fact, but human experience and hidden motivations. The result is a crime story, but also a broader treatment of a culture and the changes wrought by time.
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