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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl translated by Don Bartlett **BlogTour Review **

It's marvellous to be part of the Blog Tour to celebrate the publication of Faithless, the latest novel by Norwegian author, Kjell Ola Dahl. Billed as the Godfather of Nordic Noir, he has continued his series featuring the Oslo detectives, Gunnarstranda and Frølich.

When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her—and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he begins to look deeper into the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda finds another body, and things take a more sinister turn. With a cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway casting a shadow, and an unsettling number of coincidences clouding the plot, Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and the killer – before he strikes again. Dark, brooding and utterly chilling, atmospheric page-turner marks the return of an internationally renowned and award-winning series, from one of the fathers of Nordic Noir.

My Thoughts

I thought that the most impressive thing about Faithless was the way the author controlled the pace of the story. As a reader, I felt as if I was being taken by the hand through the book, with revelations and suspense points punctuating it flawlessly. Without spoiling any of the story, there are episodes where you actually hold your breath in anticipation, just as the character is doing. This really has the effect of putting you in a character's shoes. The creation of suspense and edge of the seat moments is brilliantly achieved. 

    One of the other great strengths of the book is the degree of characterisation. Both of the detectives are drawn with subtlety and lots of light and shade. They are people first and investigators second and the relationship between the two feels authentic. They seem like old fashioned police detectives who actually get out and follow the clues. There is a great dynamic between the two Frølich finds events from his past surfacing and this only makes you more intrigued to find out more about him. The star of the book for me though, has to be Lena Stigersan, their colleague, whose almost pigheaded determination leads her into great peril. She is a risk taker in her private and professional life and has such personality, she seems worthy of her own story.

    This is the first Norwegian Noir which I have read but with luck, Orenda will publish a few more so that I can find out what happens next!

In short: an intriguing psychological crime novel which feels fresh and surprising from the first page to the last. 

About the Author

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

You can follow Kjell Ola Dahl on Goodreads

Thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the blog tour.  

Check out the rest of the Tour!


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