- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Orenda Books; Tra edition (1 Jun. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1910633097
- ISBN-13: 978-1910633090
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Where Roses Never Die (Varg Veum) Paperback – 1 Jun 2016
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'Gunnar Staalesen is one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors. Operating out of Bergen in Norway, his private eye, Varg Veum, is a complex but engaging anti-hero. Varg means 'wolf' in Norwegian, and this is a series with very sharp teeth' - Ian Rankin
'A Norwegian Chandler - Jo Nesbo
'Gunnar Staalesen was writing suspenseful and socially conscious Nordic Noir long before any of today's Swedish crime writers had managed to put together a single book page... one of Norway's most skilful storytellers' - Johan Theorin
'Razor-edged Scandinavian crime fiction at its finest' - Quentin Bates'Not many books hook you in the first chapter this one did, and never let go!' - Mari Hannah
'With its exploration of family dynamics and the complex web of human behaviour, Staalesen's novel echoes the great California author Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer mysteries... mature and captivating' - Herald Scotland
'Norwegian master Staalesen is an author who eschews police procedural narratives for noirish private eye pieces... with some abrasive social commentary' - Barry Forshaw, Financial Times
'Staalesen shares a similar style and concerns with Fossum, and there is a world-weary existential sadness that hangs over his central detective. The prose is stripped back and simple, and both writers like to leave the deep emotion bubbling under the surface the real turmoil of their characters' lives just under the surface for the reader to intuit, rather than have it spelled out for them' - Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue
'This masterful first-person narrative is very much character-driven, as Varg's tenacious personality drives his destiny and the events that lead up to the surprise-laden finale. We look forward to more translations of this series' --Crime Fiction Lover
About the Author
One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1947. He made his debut at the age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over twenty titles, which have been published in twenty-four countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim. Staalesen has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and Where Roses Never Die won the 2017 Petrona Award for crime fiction. He lives with his wife in Bergen.
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Those expecting a fast paced and thrilling rollercoaster read will be sorely disappointed though. This book unravels its secrets steadily and carefully-it's like unwrapping a beautiful box of chocolates where each one is individually packaged and you have no idea what it is until it slowly melts in your mouth. The plot involving the disappearance of a 3 year old little girl is handled calmly and delicately by the private investigator Varg Veum as he methodically works through a cold case that is about to reach its statute of limitations after 25 years. The co-op habitat that Mette disappeared from, and where her mother still lives, seems to hold the key and Varg is prepared to delve deeper than the previous police investigation to find out what happened back in 1977. I took a little while to work out who was who in the co-op but once I did I was absolutely enthralled by their lives both in the past and present and watched intently as all the threads started to knit together.
I loved Varg and found myself not only cheering him on in his investigation but also in his private life. Although I have joined the series very late I didn't feel that I was missing out on too much backwards story as all I needed to know was there and I picked up clues to the past quickly and easily. I am now desperate to discover more about this man and his life and will eagerly await the next book in this series. The combination of the wonderfully translated prose and the darkly atmospheric setting were a perfect fit for this richly plotted novel and I absolutely loved it.
Although the character of Veum is partly original and partly a cliche (a divorced ex-social worker whose subsequent partner has died and who is struggling with a drink problem), 'Where Roses Never Die' is so well-written that this is entirely acceptable, and I have no hesitation in allocating it 5 stars. Veum is hired by a woman whose young child disappeared nearly 25 years ago to try to solve the case before the statute of limitations takes effect. He manages to track down all the people who had been her neighbours at the time, and as he starts to ask questions, he uncovers some uncomfortable truths.
'Where Roses Never Die' is thoroughly enjoyable and I'm looking forward to getting to know Varg Veum a lot better.
Well translated easily readable if crime is your thing I,d happily recommend.
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