cover image Wolves at the Door

Wolves at the Door

Gunnar Staalesen, trans. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-912374-41-0

Varg Veum, whose Old Norse–derived name connotes “an outlaw,” prowls the mean streets of contemporary Bergen, Norway, in Staalesen’s searing 21st novel featuring the world-weary PI and former child welfare officer (after 2018’s Big Sister). Veum abandoned social work because he lost faith in his country’s ability to help children caught up in “pure evil,” but only 16 months earlier, he was arrested then found innocent of possessing child pornography. Now, after being nearly killed in a hit-and-run, he’s stubbornly tracking those responsible for the murders of other men similarly arrested and likely guilty of the same crime. Though often depressed, Veum doggedly pursues “life’s many shadowy beasts,” aided by “new Norwegian” Ghulam Mohammed and Tønsberg lawyer Svend Foyn. Eventually, Veum discovers who’s lying—nearly everyone—in this bleak parable of disintegrating Norwegian cultural values. Raymond Chandler fans won’t want to miss this one. [em]Agent: Anne Cathrine Eng, Gyldendal Agency (Norway). (Jan.) [/em]