cover image We Shall Inherit the Wind

We Shall Inherit the Wind

Gunnar Staalesen, trans. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-910633-07-6

Set in 1998, Staalesen’s moving, uncompromising 17th novel featuring Bergen, Norway, PI Varg Veum (after 2013’s Cold Hearts) finds Varg, a former missing-child investigator for a government agency, sitting by the bedside of Karin Bjørge, whom he has recently asked to be his wife. The two met in 1971, when Karin’s 14-year-old sister disappeared; they became romantically involved in 1987. Karin is now at death’s door, and Varg believes that he’s responsible. In a flashback to a week earlier, Karin asks Varg to help a friend locate her missing spouse, Mons Mæland. Mons, a developer, vanished just days before a survey to explore the feasibility of constructing a wind farm on the island of Brennøy. The case quickly becomes a murder investigation, with the crime’s roots possibly connected to the disappearance of Mons’s first wife. The plot, which contains multiple emotional gut punches, will satisfy fans who enjoy seeing noir themes play out in other countries. (Apr.)