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The Ice Swimmer

Published Date: 6th November 2017

Available in

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EBook
9781912374083
£5.99
28 February 2018
Paperback
9781912374076
£8.99
30 April 2018
Audiobook
Coming soon

Description

When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder.
With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.
Dark, complex and nail-bitingly tense, The Ice Swimmer is the latest and most unforgettable instalment in the critically acclaimed Oslo Detective series, by the godfather of Nordic Noir.

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‘A masterclass in plotting, atmosphere and character that finely balances shocking twists’ The Times Crime Club

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‘Kjell Ola Dahl’s novels are superb. If you haven’t read one, you need to – right now’ William Ryan

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‘A chilling novel about betrayal’ Sunday Times

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‘More than gripping’ European Literature Network

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‘The perfect example of why Nordic Noir has become such a popular genre’ Reader’s Digest

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‘Utterly convincing’ Publishers Weekly

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‘If you have never sampled Dahl, now is the time to try’ Daily Mail

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‘Dramatic, fast-paced and character-focused’ Crime Review

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Skilful blend of police procedural and psychological insight’ Crime Fiction Lover

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‘Fiercely powerful and convincing’ LoveReading

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‘Crisp and current’ My Chestnut Reading Tree

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‘Vividly described’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews

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‘Elaborately plotted, well-constructed and gratifying’ Claire Thinking

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‘Killer ending’ Liz Loves Books

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‘Burning with tension and haunting in its lingering prose’ Book Drunk

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‘Intelligently crafted and infused with a truly unique personality’ Crime by the Book

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‘A shocking conclusion that left me reeling’ Novel Gossip

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‘Befor you realise it you have raced through half the book’ The Last Word Book Review

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‘Flawlessly plotted, with a beautifully nuanced translation’ Raven Crime Reads

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‘A darkly entertaining thriller that kept me guessing to the end’ Never Imitate

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‘Chilling and compulsive reading’ Life of a Nerdish Mum

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‘Some of the chapters had me gripping my seat, shocked’ Ronnie Turner

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‘Unbelievable amount of talent and beautiful prose’ Mumbling about…

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‘Dahl masterfully leads his readers on a journey of misdirection’  The Quiet Knitter

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‘A slow-burning and subtle story’ Bibliophile Book Club

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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.

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Translator

Don Bartlett completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbø and Gunnar Staalesen’s Varg Veum series: We Shall Inherit the Wind, Wolves in the Dark and the Petrona award-winning Where Roses Never Die. He also translated Faithless, the previous book in Kjell Ola Dahl’s Oslo Detective series for Orenda Books. He lives with his family in a village in Norfolk

Online Reviews

‘This is an excellent police procedural with a taste of the murky waters of global financial share dealings. It all makes perfect sense in today’s world where lives are expendable if money can be made and the Ice Swimmer makes it all too clear how that can happen. I love a crime book with a firm grasp on the real world and this is a fine example and a terrific read. Kjell Ola Dahl does not over-complicate his prose and the clarity of his writing is a hallmark of this stupendous series. The Ice Swimmer can easily be read as a stand-alone book, though the series concerns the same group of Norwegian detectives. Suspenseful, beautifully and clearly written, with a sure-footed plot, this is a book that thrills’ Live and Deadly

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Kjell writes a guest post about his writing and habits as part of the blog tour. Princess and the Pen

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‘This book certainly keeps its reader on their toes with the cleverly plotted investigation full of threads that eventually come together for both the reader and the police. There is also an interesting angle to this book as we also get to know Detective Lena Stigersand and privy to the challenges she’s having personally alongside the challenging investigation she has. This is a slower pace of thriller but is full of leads and red herrings. Kjell Ola Dahl writes wonderfully and it’s clear why he is regarded so highly within the genre of Nordic noir’ Have Books Will Read

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‘This is the first novel in the Oslo detectives series I have read but even so, I felt it could be read as a stand-alone as I was still able to follow previous events. Kjell Ola Dahl has been described as the godfather of Nordic Noir and I can see why. This is definitely a must read. This is a dark, emotive and twisty mystery which has been tightly woven, full of surprises and lovable characters – such a fab treat for fans of Nordic Noir!’ Chillers, Killers & Thrillers

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‘It’s easy to see why Kjell Ola Dahl is so highly regarded in this genre … The reveals left me completely blindsided. The Ice Swimmer is a twisty and incredibly well written story, full of suspense and intrigue and it had me glued to the pages. Of course, I must also mention the seamless translation by Don Bartlett. If you’re a fan of the Nordic Noir genre, you will undoubtedly enjoy this latest addition to the Oslo Detectives series!’ Novel Deelights

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‘The plot was intricate in classic Scandi Noir style, with a number of characters and sub plots, however in the vein of The Millenium Trilogy this flowed well, I was able to comfortably keep track of what was going on and who was who, with very little referring back.  As a book it had me gripped, the chapters were chronologically set by day with sub chapters detailing different characters actions on that particular day, the chapters were pretty short and it was very easy to read just one more… Crime and conspiracy, secrets and lies in the biting cold of Oslo. Perfect!’ I Loved Reading This

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The Ice Swimmer is a wonderfully written Police Procedural, fronted by Lena who is a whip smart and strong female detective. Gripping from the start, it works wonderfully as a stand alone novel – this was the first book I’d read in The Oslo Detective series and I didn’t feel lost, or like I was missing any information. Full of plot, twists and tales this kept me intrigued from the first to last page – I wanted to keep going until I found out what had happened. If you’re into your Nordic Noir, I’d recommend this clever, twisty tale’ Harry’s Book Club

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Kjell takes part in a Q & A as part of the blog tour. Always Trust in Books

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‘I loved the character of Lena. She’s complex and human and feels very real. I know that might sound like an odd thing to say – aren’t all characters supposed to be real? But I felt that she had something extra, an added depth to her character that I really enjoyed. The Ice Swimmer is a great police procedural, with an added dash of political intrigue, shady goings-on at an international level but with a real, personal undercurrent. It’s a later book in the Oslo Detectives series, but could easily be read as a standalone. If you like your Noir of the Nordic variety (and hey, who doesn’t?), this is an excellent addition to the genre. Highly recommended’ Espresso Coco

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‘I found the opening chapter extremely gripping and the rest of the book followed suit. This is one of those novels where you can read the first few pages and just know it’s going to be brilliant. It’s fast paced and exceptionally tense yet it also features a detective with her own personal problems and battles to overcome which for me added an extra dimension to the plot. It’s an excellent police procedural with a bit of a psychological thriller twist which I really enjoyed. Overall, I’m giving The Ice Swimmer 4 out of 5. It’s dark, tense and gripping and I’ll look forward to reading the rest of the series’ Misti Moo Book Reviews

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‘The story itself is fast paced with a huge amount of twists and turns, yet it was easy to follow. The novel is the sixth in the Oslo detective series however it works as a standalone and although I would like to know more about the detectives, that’s because I enjoyed the characters so much rather than I felt I was missing anything. One thing that I also really liked was that to me this didn’t actually feel like it was a translation … If you like novels where the story is gripping and the writing is so good that you actually feel like you are in the place it is set then I would highly recommend The Ice Swimmer. I will definitely be reading the rest of Kjell Ola Dahl’s novels’ A Crime Readers Blog

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Kjell talks about ‘music and writing’ as part of The Ice Swimmer blog tour. Off-the-shelf books

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The Ice Swimmer is written well, fast paced and had me hooked from the start! I enjoyed reading this story… I found Lena to be a strong, determined main female character, who besides facing her own personal issues alongside a rocky love life does not give up to solve the case. Someone must know something about these deaths? But who is telling the truth and who is lying… A gripping story with an unexpected outcome. Highly recommend. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future’ Gemma’s Book Review

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‘There are enough twists, turns and high powered people blocking their way in this case to keep most people intrigued and made me want to keep reading through to the end. I felt that the book was brilliantly written and, as far as I can tell, was translated well by Don Bartlett’ Black Books

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‘This had been a very interesting case, starting like a simple accident our detectives will discover a web of lies and secrets behind the “simple” deaths that will make us re-think about how much weight the money has in the political life… Do the politicians really have values or they were sold a long time ago with their credibility? A question sometimes I really don’t want to know the answer…  Be prepared to be glued on this interesting and twisted case where the cold will be running through every page… Ready?’ Varietats

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‘I found myself burning through the pages and racing my way through the pages to its highly satisfying conclusion. There were also a number of great characters in this book, but I don’t want to give too much away on certain individuals for fear of ruining the story for you all. Suffice to say, not everybody should be taken at face value and may have motives that aren’t immediately clear. Anyway, I absolutely loved this book. Definitely one for all you police procedural lovers out there, and those of you who love your Nordic Noir. There were absolutely no spoilers for the previous books in the series, so I will definitely be making a point of working my way through them in the very near future. Highly recommended!!!!’

 Bookie Wookie

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‘This is a twisty tale with red-herrings and clues dropped like breadcrumbs through the snowy streets of Oslo. I had no idea where it was going, which isn’t a criticism at all, the plotting is exemplary and the twists, when they come, are neither unrealistic nor sensational. This is good old-fashioned storytelling at its best … Kjell Ola Dahl is known as the Godfather of Nordic Noir and after reading The Ice Swimmer I can see why.  This book is wonderfully and expertly translated by Don Bartlett who also translated Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole books (which are some of my absolute favourites) and if you too liked them then you will love The Ice Swimmer. I am a little annoyed at myself for waiting so long to read a Kjell Ola Dhal novel. I love Nordic Noir and I love well-plotted books which hold my interest and The Ice Swimmer has both in spades. On the bright side I have a whole series to devour now. Excellent’

Beverley Has Read

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‘I don’t want to say much more because I’d hate to give anything away but she is such a fabulous character! It’s so lovely to be back with Detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich. Sometimes you can just tell straight away if you’re going to love a book and I felt this way as soon as I started reading Faithless! It’s impossible not to fall for with these characters. Kjell Ola Dahl has once again gripped me from start to finish, hooking me whole-heartedly with his beautiful writing and complex plot. I loved the first book I read by Kjell Ola Dahl and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! The Ice Swimmer is a dark, tense, fast-paced tale that will submerge you in a world of murder, lies and deceit. Fully recommend this wonderful book. Bravo Dark. Complex. Gripping’ Ronnie Turner

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‘The pacing truly brakes for no one, and fans of thrillers will appreciate the speed at which this novel moves. Kjell Ola Dahl also creates some very quick-moving action sequences, so THE ICE SWIMMER has far more punch than your standard whodunnit. It’s nice to see an active, human, female lead get to participate in these sequences as well. THE ICE SWIMMER is a fantastic addition to the Oslo Detectives series, and a worthy stand-alone. Pick it up for an engaging, diverting read!’ The Crime Review

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The Ice Swimmer has positive similarities with the first book published by Orenda Faithless.  The tale is a police procedural with a touch of psychological thriller.  The tension builds steadily and Kjell Ola Dahl takes his readers the complex way round his imagination however the chapters are short making it easily manageable for bedtime readers.  Kjell has a great skill in balancing the story with getting to know his detectives deeply which I really like’ Nordic Noir

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‘Kjell’s writing is amazing as it keeps you tense throughout and you just never know where it is going to end and who is going to be arrested for the murder. Also, Lena soon becomes involved in the case but not in an investigation way but her life could potentially be at risk. But, who wants to kill her and why? If you like your crime books, this should be on your book shelf’ The Secret World of a Book Blogger

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Kjell writes a guest post about his first novel and writing the oslo detective series, as part of the blog tour. Mumbling About

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‘While he has long been one of the mainstays of the Scandinavian crime genre, the veteran Kjell Ola Dahl has (in this country at least) not quite captured the readership that is his due – and that some of his less talented colleagues have enjoyed. The Ice Swimmer (Orenda £8.99) will hopefully right that egregious wrong, particularly as the translation here is by the doyen of the Nordic noir genre, Don Bartlett. A dead man is recovered from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour, and detective Lena Stigersand’s life becomes ever more complicated – as do those of her more seasoned colleagues Gunnarstranda and Frølich. Very persuasive on the level of the plotting, The Ice Swimmer also manages to incorporate social commentary – a sine qua non of the Scandinavian crime genre’ The Ice Swimmer is recommended in the Crime Time roundup

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‘The aspect of this novel which I found to be the most compelling turned out to be the simplest aspect of the book: the author’s style of writing. I could hear the author’s voice clearly and I loved it …  It has all the hallmarks of nordic noir and I was not disappointed. Tension built throughout the story and I was not frustrated by the ending. I did find this to be the type of story which you had to concentrate on- it  was full of detail- but doubly satisfying for all that. In short: nordic noir which is brim full of tension and intrigue’ Books, Life and Everything

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‘Overall it is a fast-paced, well-plotted story with Gunnarstranda and Frølich taking more of a supportive back seat role, as the strong impulsive Oslo detective, Lena Stigersand, takes more of a one-man team approach to solving the crimes. Kjell Ola Dahl likes to create the crime with a focus on the intricacies of his characters and their personal lives … The author moves his characters across the chess board with a tactical efficiency. It gives the Ice Swimmer the feel of a modern crime with a flair of Nordic Noir, and the overall sense of ultimate command over everything. Each move is planned, no loose ends are left to ponder over, and the intimacy between the characters and the reader makes you want to come back for more’ Cheryll MM’s Book Blog

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‘This is the second book I have read by Kjell Ola Dahl and the eighth in the Oslo detectives series. The first was faithless. I was new to Nordic noir before faithless and Kjell had me hooked. Ice swimmer can be read as a stand-alone book … Kjell’s style of writing is relaxed and allows you to get to know the characters, but don’t be fooled, ice swimmer had my heart pumping. I found myself trying to work out the mission g pieces of the jigsaw to solve the crime. If you have never read Nordic noir before I would strongly advise you read one of The Oslo Detectives as your starting point and I promise you will be hooked!’ Wrong Side of Forty

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‘Kjell Ola Dahl is interested in developing his characters and we see them reel, metaphorically as well as literally … This is strictly thriller as entertainment, not a study in the way people live. None the less, I enjoyed The Ice Swimmer. It was/is an ideal companion to the commute. And although I try to avoid the term ‘page-turner’ in my reviews, that’s precisely what The Ice Swimmer is’ Café Thinking

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‘I can sometimes be a little wary about translated fiction, does a translated book read as well as it does in its original language? I wonder if we’re missing little subtleties or are there some bits that just don’t translate well from the original language. In the past I’ve found them to be a little hit and miss – fortunately for me The Ice Swimmer fell into the former category. For me although it took a little time to get going it was definitely worth persevering through, suddenly little things started coming together and the plot really took off. Over the years Nordic Noir has become such a celebrated sub genre within crime fiction in the UK and The Ice Swimmer sits comfortably in there with some other great reads. I’d definitely recommend picking it up! I’ll be investigating some of the earlier books in the series’ Sarah Withers Blog

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‘Pacing is not always fast, I wouldn’t expect it of this kind of novel and it is highly typical of the genre to be fair. There are moments when it picks up, when the stakes are significantly raised for more than one character, but the rest of the novel is steady and measured, exactly as it needs to be. The case itself is twisty, the facts being slowly uncovered even as the tension gradually mounts. There are moments which will give you chills, and not just as you imagine the cold pre-Christmas climate around Oslo. There is an ongoing sense of menace which pervades the text, an unnerving undercurrent of mystery and a sense that the truth is right there under your nose if only you could sniff it out. Altogether it combines to form a compelling and complex case which will have you chomping down on your nails, waiting to see what happens and if our intrepid team will eventually come good. Take nothing at face value as all is not quite as it seems. Brilliant stuff’ Jen Med’s Book Review

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‘With ‘The Ice Swimmer’ Kjall Ola Dahl has delivered a complex, tightly plotted noir crime book, full of tension, suspense, twists and atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Orenda Books have reignited my love of Scandi-crime and every book I read from them is an utter gem, this one is no exception’ Emma’s Bookish Corner

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‘Just last year I was introduced property to the Nordic Noir genre and have fallen greatly in love.  Despite my vast hunger to try and read all things in this genre, this is my first Kjell Ola Dahl.  I was a little hesitant like I always am, walking into a series without reading from book one… and this is 8th in the Oslo Detectives series.  No worries though! For those who may be hesitant, DON’T BE – this actually reads extremely well as a stand alone! … I can most certainly see why this author is considered one of the godfathers of Nordic Noir.  He spins his tale with ease and keeps you guessing up until the very end.  Intricately plotted, this police procedural leaves no stone unturned and closes the case with a satisfying ending that leaves you satiated’ Where the Reader Grows

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‘I was gripped, as I delved into this novel: a tangled web of politics, secrets and lies. As the plot is political, it does become complex at times, but this only made me want to read more as I tried to work out who had done what and their motives for doing so … I liked Lena, particularly her determination and quick thinking, and I look forward to seeing how her character is developed’ Portable Magic

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‘The author’s style of writing and pace is very easy to read.  I enjoyed how the author tells the story from various points of view. This really helped add to the tension, particularly when something was discovered in one story that could impact on another character’s investigation.  The facts of the case are gradually revealed with lots of twists and turns that helped increase my enjoyment and kept me turning the pages.  I particularly loved the setting of the Oslo underground and the descriptions of what it’s like underground … This is the first book by Kjell Ola Dahl I have read and I so look forward to reading more from him.  If you are a fan of Nordic Noir or like intriguing crime mysteries then you will love this book’

Over the Rainbow Book Blog

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‘There is an evocative richness to Kjell Ola Dahl’s writing as his detailed descriptions evoke the chill of the Oslo streets and the tangled lives of the characters in the book. The Ice Swimmer is imbued with a real sense of the subtle melancholy that effects many of us during the long winter months … The complexities of the plot may demand the reader’s full attention but in return they are rewarded with an engrossing and beautifully crafted novel … it is a book that captivated me from the very first page through to the startling finale. Highly recommended’ Hair Past a Freckle

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The Ice Swimmer is a well plotted police procedural that keeps readers guessing throughout. There’s a darkness that this book exudes, it’s so cleverly twisted and and full of suspense. Whilst the pacing may not be breakneck speed, it works perfectly with the plot, complimenting it.  The investigation is thrilling and complex, but the glimpses into the lives of the team are what really makes this a such an enthralling read.  There’s something so realistic about the characters, but more so when you see the looks into their personal lives, this authenticity makes them come alive, even if their names are almost impossible to get your tongue around. The atmospheric setting is beautifully written, Oslo is so crisp and vivid’

The Quiet Knitter

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‘I really loved how Dahl made these characters breathe as each one really came to life in my imagination. From the intense fear felt by Stigersand that literally turned my hands cold while I was reading, to my loathing for some characters that really made my skin crawl. The translation flowed perfectly with only the characters names being new to me. This is really a domino effect story that brings together very different people from all walks of life making them all part of one event. Very clever. A terrific read’ Books from Dusk Till Dawn

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‘I loved the plot in this book and the writing style was excellent! I loved how I was thrown straight in to the story and I was gripped from the first few pages, it was definitely a great way to start a book!  The characters were superb and really suited the story. Whilst this is the 8th in the series, it is the first book I have read by the author, although I do have a lot on  my TBR mountain that have just been bumped up to the top after reading this one!  I loved the writing style. A thorough enjoyable read, 4.5 stars from me’ Donnas Book Blog

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‘I thought Dahl got the pacing of the novel just right, hooking me into the story from the very first page. What I liked above all was his skill at managing several plot strands and dropping little clues along the way before finally pulling everything together into a dramatic and fraught final few pages … It is a book that I found utterly engrossing with an ending that did not disappoint and after resisting the pull of the whole Scandi Noir book scene I can now say I am a convert and will definitely be reading more by Kjell Ola Dahl’ My Bookish Blogspot

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‘The latest installment in Kjell Ola Dahl’s Oslo Detective series follows Lena Stigersand and her steadfast detective colleagues Frølich and Gunnarstranda after a body is pulled from the freezing harbour just before Christmas. Part intricate psychological thriller, part tense police procedural, The Ice Swimmer further cements Dahl as the Godfather of Nordic Noir, reminding readers why they fell in love with the genre in the first place’ The Ice Swimmer was recommended as one of 10 crime and thriller books that will keep you on the edge of your seat at Culture Fly

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Reviews