Sister – Kjell Ola Dahl
Publication Date: 30 April 2020
Oslo detective Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide…
Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.
Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister who is now on the run.
I would first like to thank Anne from Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour for this book and providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to check out the other stops on the tour, please check out the details at the bottom of this post.
Kjell Ola Dahl is one of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genres, and I now understand why. If you are unfamiliar with this author, he is a Norwegian author who is most well-known for his Oslo Detectives crime novel series. Sister is the ninth book in this series, but it can be read as stand-alone. In fact, I read it having not read any of the other books in the series and it was not an issue at all.
Nordic Noir novels are characterised by being dark, moody, and atmospheric. The writing style is crisp and precise. It is not overly descriptive; every word serves a purpose. All of this combined creates a novel that is quite distinctive from most American and British crime novels. I have only read a few Nordic Noir novels, but they have all stood out to me as being chilling, dark, and intriguing. Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl is no exception; this book is Nordic Noir to its very core.
Sister is a bit of a slow-burn; the plot develops gradually, building up and becoming more and more complex and intriguing as it goes on. I will warn you, it can become a bit confusing at times. This is not a book that you should blow through; it should be read gradually and attentively. If you read this book with a bit of focus then you will realise just how brilliant it is, and how capable Dahl is of creating a certain mood. This is one of the strengths of this genre. I am a fan, and am eager to read more books in the Oslo Detectives series.
If you enjoy dark, chilling thrillers, or Nordic Noir in general, then I highly recommend Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl. This book was translated into English by Don Bartlett, who did an amazing job.
One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thriller featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His works have been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.