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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

Sister by kjell Ola Dahl translated by Don Bartlett #Review #Giveaway #nordicnoir

 We are back with The Oslo Detectives for another satisfying slice of Norwegian Noir. Kjell Ola Dahl's Sister was published on 29th February by Orenda Books. I also have the chance for you to win a paperback copy of the book. Details on how to enter the giveaway are at the foot of this post. 
Oslo detective Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide… 

Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.

 Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run… 

A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart, cementing Kjell Ola Dahl as one of the greatest crime writers of our generation. 

 My Thoughts

Once again, Kjell Ola Dahl has produced a masterly plotted crime novel which is beautifully paced. You are led on a complicated journey as Frohlich unravels a murder mystery, a case of a missing sister and an old case of a cruise ship disaster. Although part of a series, this stands up on its own and its ending is surprising as you are kept guessing. 

    Frohlich's character is now well established and I found his independent spirit and highly honed sense of morals to emphasise his depth and doggedness. I appreciated his reactions at certain points where he was only too aware of what his role would have been if he was serving as a police officer. With some current story threads concerning immigration, this is a dark tale crafted in detail, with a strong authorial voice, beautifully translated by Don Bartlett, as before.

In short: Nordic noir at its best.

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 read my review of  The Courier  |    Faithless 
                                          |  The Ice Swimmer 

You can follow Kjell Ola Dahl on Goodreads  |  Twitter
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!

Giveaway (Worldwide)

To win a paperback copy of Sister, just Follow and Retweet the pinned Tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!

 Closing Date is 10th April 2020 and there is one winner.

*Terms and Conditions –  Worldwide.  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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