Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen, translated by Don Bartlett ** Blog Tour Review**

It is great to be taking part on the celebrations for the publication of Gunnar Staalesen's latest thriller, Big Sister. The latest in his Varg Veum series is published in paperback by Orenda Books on June 20th 2018. 

PI Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office from a woman who introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers and to a shadowy group, whose dark actions are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal… 

Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers. 

Here's what others have to say: 

‘Staalesen continually reminds us why he is one of the finest of Nordic novelists’                        Barry Forshaw, Financial Times

 ‘Chilling and perilous…’                                The Sunday Times 

 ‘Chandler with a Nordic twist’                      Wall Street Journal 

 ‘There is something dark and haunting about this novel that will test every sinew of your emotions’         Last Word Book Review

My Thoughts

This is a beautifully balanced piece of writing which leads you effortlessly through. The character of Varg Veum is as forensic as ever as he relentlessly sets about getting to the truth. This is a case with very personal undertones for him and life for him is complicated with much unsaid. There seems to be a regret for lost opportunities beneath his calm facade, but he shows real compassion.

    As you read on, you feel as though you are unravelling a puzzle which adds to your enjoyment. I enjoyed seeing how Varg dealt with the people he comes across, be they in authority or not. The setting around Bergen and elsewhere is carefully evoked and I love Gunnar's measured style, in this case, superbly translated by Don Bartlett. This is a thriller with quality running through its centre. It is thoughtful, incisive and observational - a real class act.

In short: a nordic thriller with a contemporary edge.
About the Author


 Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947.  He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series.  He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is being filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife. 

You can read my review of Wolves in the Dark and read an author interview with Gunnar, here.

You can pre-order Big Sister here: Amazon UK

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

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