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Saturday 15 November 2014

‘Forty days without Shadow’ by Olivier Truc

Published by Trapdoor,
1 Apri 2014.
ISBN: 978-1847445858

Klemet and his new partner Nina are the Reindeer Patrol Officers for their region of Norway’s most northern territory.  They deal mostly with disputes between Sami herders – unti a priceless artefact is stolen, and a reindeer herder murdered ...

This novel had a plot that was traditional in the best sense: a mysterious object, tensions between natives and incomers, corruption higher up, and a race to find treasure.  The plot moved briskly, with a particularly satisfying finale that drew in unexpected threads.  The two police officers were well contrasted: older Klemet, fighting the tensions between his Sami heritage and his own past, and his city rookie, Nina, who takes feminism for granted and is keen to try out her detective skills.  I’d want to meet them again.  However what really made this novel stand out was the setting: the world without sun for forty days, where the police get about on snowmobiles; the tension between the traditional small herder and the modern breeders; the politics; the fight to retain an ancient culture, shown particularly in the shaman Aslak and his tragic wife.  Truc has been a Le Monde’s Nordic and Baltic reporter for over a decade, and his analysis of this strange, beautiful world comes across as completely authentic.

A excellent traditional police procedural with an unusual and vividly-evoked setting.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Olivier Truc was born in France in 1964. He has worked as a journalist since 1986, and has been based in Stockholm since 1994, where he is currently the Nordic and Baltic correspondent for Le Monde and Le Point. As a reporter, Olivier Truc covers subjects from politics and economics to social issues like immigration and minorities. He has also produced TV documentaries, including one that portrays a group of Norwegian policemen in Lapland.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this appreciative review, Marsali! Hopefully, you'll get to meet Klemet and Nina again: the French sequel is out now, and the UK/S publishers are considering a translation. Keeping my fingers crossed, as I'm eager to do more :)