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Thursday 7 December 2017

‘Wolves in the Dark’ by Gunnar Staalesen

Published by Orenda Books,
30 June 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-910633-72-4

It’s a nightmare situation: Varg Veum has been woken up in a dawn raid, and told he’s been identified as one of a ring of paedophiles. He knows he’s been set up … but who has taken this revenge on him, and why?

This thriller grips you from the first page. The stakes are high, and you identify with Veum’s increasing horror as he realises the strength of the evidence against him: downloads, photographs and film footage. The novel’s told by Veum himself, and the first third shows him thinking back through the last three years to cases which might be involved: debt collecting from a former policeman whose neighbour had died in a drowning accident, a warning from two men carrying computers, a wife he’d been asked to follow by her suspicious husband, and a strange incident from which he could remember only two names, Bonni and Karsten. Gradually the characters in the plot are set out, and then Veum takes the chance to escape, so that he can investigate for himself. From then the pace quickens even more, with Veum encountering each set of suspects in turn, and discovering how their lives have changed since his last encounter with them. The plotting is intricate, the action fast, and the characters are described with compassion and toughness.

A page-turning Nordic PI, with a strong plot and vivid characters.
Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Gunnar Staalesen was born 19 October 1947 in Bergen, Norway. 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 four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife.


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.

A review of her recent book Ghosts of the Vikings can be read here.

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