cover image Wolves in the Dark

Wolves in the Dark

Gunnar Staalesen, trans. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-910633-72-4

In Staalesen’s stellar 19th novel set in Bergen, Norway (after 2016’s Where Roses Never Die), detective Varg Veum, who’s just starting to drag himself out of near-fatal depression four years after his partner Karin’s death, is arrested on monstrous charges: his computer contains evidence of his participation in an international child pornography ring, and unretouched photos surface that show him assaulting a desperately frightened pre-teen girl. After escaping from police custody, Veum painfully explores the “black holes” from those quasi-lost years of booze-saturated despair, hoping to clear his name. Veum has never before faced a case with so many loose threads, and, in untangling them, he comes to realize that neither politicians nor police officers take the plight of victimized refugee children seriously. Staalesen does a masterful job of exposing the worst of Norwegian society in this highly disturbing entry. Agent: Anne Catherine Eng, Gyldendal Agency (Norway). (Oct.)