Blog tour - Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl

Faithless blog tour

Fans of Nordic Noir will love this.

This is book seven in the Oslo Detective series. Since the series was written in Dahl’s native Norwegian, the whole series hasn’t been translated into English as yet. Thankfully, this book also works as a standalone so there is no need to read the rest of the series before this one.

The story is centred around Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich. To me, the plot was rather unique and put one of the main characters in a very interesting situation to the point where it tested Frolich’s morals. I also thought the relationship between the two, and the rest of the team was humorous and similar things are what I imagine actually takes place in real life.

I’m still not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but the police didn’t appear to be all that effective. If you’re looking for a team of supercops, look elsewhere. I think it’s a good commentary on the expectations of police forces everywhere who have too many cases on at once and lots of other stuff to balance.

Writing

Dahl’s writing is crisp and allows the story to move forward at pace.

In the main, Don Bartlett does a good job of translating the book into English. There are a few strange sentences here or there but it’s hard to tell if these were translation mistakes or style choices that Dahl made. I felt this worked in the book’s favour as it creates a unique reading experience. There is an overuse of popular sayings within however.

Notable issues

For me, there is a huge thing missing from this book and that’s Norway. Writers like Jo Nesbo, Val McDermid, Michael Connelly and Ian Rankin are able to transport you to a different place (albeit McDermid and Rankin usually transport me to places one or two miles away from where I live) and capture the essence of that place through the description of the surroundings or interactions with local people. They are able to make location a character in its own right. Dahl doesn’t achieve much of this here. You get the names of places which are, obviously, in Norwegian but the atmosphere of the setting didn’t come through the pages for me.

Also, there wasn’t much in the way of description in terms of what the characters looked like. A fairly minor point as it’s something I usually prefer, I hate when authors describe the looks of their characters in minute detail but I think we need something to go on.

I’ve no idea why the book is called Faithless either.

Final thought

If you like Nesbo or any Nordic / Crime Noir stories, then this series should float your boat. As I mentioned, the full series isn’t translated yet but that shouldn’t stop you from diving right in.

I thought the ending was fantastic. It has made me want to check out the next book. A very enjoyable and unique read.

Blog tour

This is my first ever blog tour and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing what other bloggers on the tour thought of this. Be sure to check out @OrendaBooks and follow @annecater and the #faithless tag to see more throughout the month of April.
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