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The Human Flies (K2 and Patricia series Book 1) by [Lahlum, Hans Olav]
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The Human Flies (K2 and Patricia series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in K2 and Patricia Series (3 Book Series)
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Product Description


Locked-room mysteries used to be a staple of golden-age crime fiction. Now the Norwegian novelist Hans Olav Lahlum has revived the form in The Human Flies translated by Kari Dickson. The novel is set in 1968, when a young detective inspector - Kolbjorn Kristiansen, known as K2 - is sent to an apartment block in Oslo to investigate the murder of a Resistance hero. The victim has been shot in his flat but there is no sign of the weapon and the front door appears to be locked from the inside. It is the start of a brilliant investigation in which K2 is secretly assisted by an enigmatic young woman who is confined to a wheelchair. (Sunday Times)

Prepare yourself for a classic whodunnit of the highest calibre, a deviously challenging murder mystery set in an apartment complex in 1960s Oslo . . . a joy to read. (Crime Fiction Lover blog)

Critics have been lining up to praise this remarkable novel from historian, chess-player and politician Hans Olav Lahlum and it's not hard to see why. (Guardian)

This book is a must read, and really keeps you on your toes. I'm really looking forward to the next instalment in the series. (The Beesley Buzz)

A well-constructed and witty homage to the classic crime fiction of Agatha Christie, set in 1968 Oslo, which has some interesting historical depth. Featuring ambitious young police detective Kolbjørn Kristiansen on his first big case - the murder of a former resistance fighter - readers are treated to an apartment building of intriguing suspects and a page-turning investigation, as well as the considerable intellect of Kristiansen's wheelchair-bound partner Patricia. I hugely enjoyed this 'contemporary classic' and look forward to reading the other novels in the K2 series soon. (Mrs Peabody Investigates)

If you fancy a traditional closed-circle murder mystery but with a left-wing tang to it, try The Human Flies by Hans Olav Lahlum. In 1968, Detective Inspector Kristiansen faces a real baffler for his first-ever murder case when an old resistance hero is found dead in an Oslo apartment block. One of the neighbours must be the killer and since they include an ex-nazi and an OSS agent, the key to the puzzle probably lies in wartime events. With its conscious echoes of Agatha Christie and Rex Stout, this first whodunit by a well-known Norwegian historian and leftist politician will delight fans of both authors. (Morning Star)

Book Description

The first mystery in the hugely compelling, bestselling international crime series from Norway's answer to Agatha Christie

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 886 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle; Main Market Ed. edition (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #165,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Human Flies – Simply Buzzing

Hans Olav Lahlum I am told is a bestselling Norwegian crime writer and famous historian, yup me neither. But then with a population of just under
6 million I am sure even I could be famous or preferably infamous as that would be more fun! Well having read Hans Olav Lahlum’s The Human Flies I am sure he will be pretty famous outside of Norway pretty soon. This is a different Norwegian novel besides the usual noir fair there is a clear nod to the great Agatha Christie in the style of the story which makes it quite a pleasant and enjoyable read.

The Human Flies is set in Oslo 1968 and is narrated by the hero and main star of the novel detective Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen (he is known as K2) who is newly promoted is called to a murder in an apartment block. This is no ordinary murder in that the victim is a legendary hero of the Norwegian Resistance during the occupation and former Cabinet minister in post-war governments.

There is no clear reason to why he would have been killed and even though there is an ex-Nazi worker in the same apartment block even he was not interested in killing Olesen. But when the ex-Nazi in a suicide note admits to the killing K2 realises all is not right. Fortunately for K2 he has the help of Patricia who is one of the most intelligent and brilliant young women in Norway the only problem is that she is confined to a wheelchair and rarely ventures outside.

K2 and Patricia need to unravel a web of lies that exist in the apartment block amongst all Olesen’s neighbours and the further they delve the more they have to go back in to Norway’s dark history of the Nazi Occupation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It begins as a locked room mystery then turns into something else entirely. Setting it in 1968 allows the author to give it a period feel (and not worry too much about forensics) but also to make the German occupation of Norway pivotal to the plot. Through his characters, the author pays homage to Agatha Christie, but he transcends the genre by writing about specific historical events.

With the unlikely pair of detectives and a host of coincidences, it shouldn't work, but somehow it does. The culprit is easy to guess but the way the motive is revealed is poignant and believable. The author's note at the end is fascinating in itself, particularly to anyone who has read Ben MacIntyre's brilliant 'Agent Zigzag' - but leave it until you've read the rest of the book or it will give away too much of the plot.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting novel. Rather like a cryptic crossword in terms of the way the clues finally give only one answer then only after deliberate obfuscation. Then there is the homage to Agatha Christie plot wise and Lincoln Rhyme with the house bound detective with a brilliant intellect.

Beautifully written and translated. The novel also offers some very interesting history on the second world war and the impact of German occupation 60 years on.

If you buy the book and it is definitely worth the investment of time and money pleasemake sure to read the note from the author at the end. Very poignant. (No spoilers here!)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Set in Oslo in 1968,this readable novel is an Agatha Christie type closed room detective mystery.
The young keen Detective Inspector Kristiansen (known as K2),is investigating the murder of a famous war-time resistance hero,
who has been killed in his apartment.All the occupants are under suspicion,but seem to have convincing alibis.K2 enlists the help
of Patricia,a wheelchair bound genius.
Not only is this a good thriller,but the interplay between K2 and Patricia fascinates,and as the enquiries progress, there is focus on
Norway's troubled war-time experience under Nazi occupation.
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Format: Paperback
Reading Hans Olav Lahlum’s historical crime novel, set in 1968 does remind us of what we were lucky never to have to go through in this country, and that is the scars left by occupation. For most of Europe though the War although when finished still left a spectre behind, that of who collaborated, and those who fought in resistance movements.

This story, narrated by Detective Inspector Kolbjorn Kristiansen opens on the night of 4th April 1968. In America on that night Martin Luther King was assassinated, but in Oslo a certain Harald Olesen was found shot in his apartment. Olesen was a former Resistance fighter and ex-minister, to all intents a hero, so who would want to kill him? As Kristiansen arrives on the scene though he finds that this is not going to be an easy murder to solve. Olesen died in his apartment, there is no weapon in sight, and by statements given by the other residents of the building it would seem that no one had left Olesen’s apartment. So in that case where is the murderer?

With a slight variation this is of course a locked room mystery, that most loved type of whodunit by writers and readers. Logic would dictate that the murder must have been carried out by someone else in the apartment building – but whom? As Kristiansen proceeds with his investigations he is offered advice from a very unexpected source, a female eighteen year old paraplegic.

The back cover blurb on this book states that this is an homage to Agatha Christie, which can be I think quite misleading. Yes, this gives a nod to Agatha Christie, in particular to Hercule Poirot, but also to Sherlock Holmes, so don’t expect this to be a fast paced mystery, because it is a bit slow moving.
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