Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Varg Veum
Beautifully written thriller with private eye Varg Veum in great form. The writer puts the reader into the shoes of the character and descriptions of Bergen are so good you feel as though you are there. A great plot and keeps the reader enthralled throughout right through to the end. Why are all of Staalesen`s books not available in English as they are of a higher...
Published 16 months ago by Mr. P. A. Royle

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Read
In January, the lovely Arcadia Books sent me a HUGE package filled with books and this was one of them. As all of the books have been published in 2013, I’m going to take my time with the collection and read them in between review copies.

As most of you will know, I’m more of a Fiction/Romance/Chick-Lit reader but every now and then, I like a good...
Published 9 months ago by EmmaLouBookBlog


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Varg Veum, 2 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. P. A. Royle "Phil" (Derby UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cold Hearts (Paperback)
Beautifully written thriller with private eye Varg Veum in great form. The writer puts the reader into the shoes of the character and descriptions of Bergen are so good you feel as though you are there. A great plot and keeps the reader enthralled throughout right through to the end. Why are all of Staalesen`s books not available in English as they are of a higher standard than the well-known Scandinavian writers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another staalesen page-turner, 28 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cold Hearts (Paperback)
Another enjoyable read following Varg Veum, Staalesen's private eye, around Bergen. Clearly defined characters and a believable plot set in the seedier areas of this lovely town are woven skilfully together. A terrific yarn from yet another top-class Scandinavian thriller writer. Bergen isn't just Grieg, Floien, and Hanseatic houses and be very careful where you crawl in your vehicle ....!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as good as ever, 28 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cold Hearts (Paperback)
Gunnar Staalesen and his creation the Norwegian PI Varg Veum are undeservedly little known in this country. Staalesen's style is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler at his best.
The story begins with Veum being asked to investigate the disappearance of a client's sister. Asimple request which leads him into a labyrinthine mess involving murder, drugs and child abuse. The plot is littered with twists and surprises which are tempered by Veum's dry wit and wry observations.
It is a crying shame that only a few of the Varg Veum novels are available in English.
The DVD's are worth watching too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'On the exterior, everything looked nice and proper, but who had any idea what corruption was hidden..., 29 May 2014
By 
L. H. Healy "Books are life, beauty and truth." (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cold Hearts (Paperback)
'On the exterior, everything looked nice and proper, but who had any idea what corruption was hidden - not only behind these walls but any such walls anywhere in the world?'

Cold Hearts is an excellent crime read featuring Norwegian private investigator Varg Veum looking into the case of a missing woman in Bergen, and uncovering crimes as well as a dark history of sadness and a web of lies as his search develops.

I liked the opening chapter which gave a little background to Veum's life. Then we are taken back six months to a case involving a missing woman. Her friend Hege comes to him to ask him to help find her. Margrethe was a prostitute and, after turning away from a car one night, she was evidently very frightened. The woman who went in the car in her place returned injured. Margrethe's whereabouts are now unknown, and then shortly afterwards it is discovered that her brother Karl, who was in prison, is also missing.

The book has a great lead character in Veum, a former social worker who puts this background to good use here when it comes to understanding and handling dysfunctional families, and individuals who haven't had a great start in life and/or those whose lives have taken a bad path. He uses his experience to dig deep and unravel the murky secrets of the past and discover how they have influenced the present. I enjoyed his interactions with the police and others as he pursued the truth.

This is a well-plotted page-turner of a crime story with a firm sense of place. I really enjoyed the first-person narration by Veum; I liked getting to know his ways of thinking and his methods; when it comes to the investigation, he 'was impatient to get started. I knew from bitter experience that time was a thief. When you arrived where you wanted to go it was often too late.'

There's a dark tone to the tale, there is brutality, and there is a real feeling of sadness about the lives that some people endure and the bleaker aspects of society. Veum ponders '...what was it that caused lives to veer off in different directions? Was it possible to predict, or was it simply woven into your destiny from a very young age? Such fragile boundaries,...'

I am sometimes a little hesitant to read a novel that's part of a series when I haven't read the previous books. I found that despite not having read any other books in this series, I didn't have any problems enjoying this one or understanding anything.

I thought the translation by Don Bartlett was really well done and read well. I love the blue/turquoise tones of the cover, and the image fits the story. I really enjoyed reading this one, for me it was a really good introduction into what seems to be a strong detective series; I will definitely be looking out for more of this series now.
4.5 stars
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Read, 24 Feb 2014
In January, the lovely Arcadia Books sent me a HUGE package filled with books and this was one of them. As all of the books have been published in 2013, I’m going to take my time with the collection and read them in between review copies.

As most of you will know, I’m more of a Fiction/Romance/Chick-Lit reader but every now and then, I like a good crime book, after all, I am a fan of Pretty Little Liars. It allows me to step away from the regular and change it up a little bit.

The opening chapter introduces the private investigator Varg Veum to the readers in the future whilst he’s at his son’s wedding. I found that this opening was a little bit pointless and didn’t lack any particular purpose but once I was half way through the book, it all made sense.

As a man in general, Varg is well aware of his surroundings and describes them in great detail to the reader. What he sees – we see. However, the narrative lacked detail on Varg’s features. For me, he’s bald with a bit of a tummy. To the author, he could look completely different, but I’ll never know because there was no description.

The narrative did take a while to kick in but in the middle, the pace really picked up and I raced through the book. My cup of tea went cold – that’s how you know I was hooked!

I have another of Gunnar Staalesen’s novels to read so stay tuned for that.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly dated though enjoyable, 27 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The series clearly has its fans and the translation works well. Again nice sense of place and of time though perhaps many of the key elements in the plot were a bit predictable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Staalesen Cold Hearts, 11 Nov 2013
By 
Madsen Bertil "Leser" (Landskrona, Schweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cold Hearts (Paperback)
This book is one of the best detective stories I have read. The towwn of Bergen is accurately depicted, the characters convincing, and the strands in the story is a good puccle work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Solid PI story., 11 Mar 2014
By 
Roger Cave - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Picked up this one while it was on offer and it was a good choice. It follows a PI Veum, who is hired by a prostitute to find a missing colleague.
The investigation, the detail and the twists were all good. I really did enjoy this book, it was a really good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start, 2 Mar 2014
By 
Elaine Tomasso (Troon. Uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found this novel of the search for a missing prostitute hard to get in to until about half way through, not because of the subject matter but because it was a bit slow and lethargic, but after dipping in and out I read the second half in one sitting. This is a sad tale of human frailty, abuse and failed idealism but Varg Veum is a modern day knight errant - helping others to a better life. I like his relationship with the police - they are nice people and he feels no compulsion to hold anything back, which is extremely unusual in detective fiction. This is a good read if you can get past the slow start.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Hearts, 2 Feb 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cold Hearts (Paperback)
Fairly enjoyable read although I was expecting a more Scandanavian feel as far as atmosphere and characters were concerned. This story could have taken place in New York or London, or indeed, any other big city, with only slight changes. It largely reads like it was written for a one-off television mystery or a possible series. The lead is Varg Veum, a private eye, who is hired by a prostitute looking for her missing friend. There are the usual bad guys and suspects one would expect with no great twists or turns.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Cold Hearts
Cold Hearts by Gunnar Staalesen (Paperback - 1 Jun 2013)
£8.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews