cover image Faithless


Kjell Ola Dahl, trans. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-910633-27-4

In Dahl’s superb fifth series procedural to appear in English (after 2012’s Lethal Investments), Oslo police inspectors Gunnarstranda, a beekeeping sourpuss with a keen intellect, and Frank Frølich, a ladies’ man with a cynical side, team with detective Lena Stigersand, who sports a black eye she won’t explain, to pursue three murky and eventually related cases. Frølich traces a missing university student, Rosalind M’Taya, who just arrived from Uganda; Gunnarstranda goes after psychologist Erik Valeur, who’s a suspect in two rape-homicides; and Lena agrees to act as bait to trap a demented killer who preys on troubled women. Dahl highlights social issues in contemporary Norway, revealing the unsavory results of sexual obsession and obsessive greed, along with the personal cost that police officers pay to protect the public. The action comes to a climax in an utterly convincing chase through Oslo’s sewage system. The translator’s stripped-down, muscular prose is a plus. (Sept.)