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We Shall Inherit the Wind

Published Date: 22nd December 2014

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EBook
9781910633083
£6.99
May 2015
Paperback
9781910633076
£8.99
June 2015
Audiobook
B013KE3DJW
£14.99
August 2015

Description

1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he’s made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then, in one of the most heart-stopping scenes in crime fiction, the first body appears…

A chilling, timeless story of love, revenge and desire, We Shall Inherit the Wind deftly weaves contemporary issues with a stunning plot that will leave you gripped to the final page. This is Staalesen at his most thrilling, thought-provoking best.

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‘The characters in the book are drawn with more nuances and more psychological insight than in most crime novels … there is generally something Ibsenian about this detective novel in which past sins play such an important part in the present’ 
Bergens Tidende

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‘Gunnar Staalesen is one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors. Operating out of Bergen in Norway, his private eye, Varg Veum, is a complex but engaging anti-hero. Varg means “wolf” in Norwegian, and this is a series with very sharp teeth’ Ian Rankin

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‘A Norwegian Chandler’ Jo Nesbo

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‘Gunnar Staalesen was writing suspenseful and socially conscious Nordic Noir long before any of today’s Swedish crime writers had managed to put together a single book page … one of Norway’s most skillful storytellers’ Johan Theorin

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‘Razor-edged Scandinavian crime fiction at its finest’ Quentin Bates 

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Not many books hook you in the first chapter – this one did, and never let go!’ Mari Hannah

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Gunnar Staalesen Q&A: ‘Most crime writers are very nice people, although I am not entirely sure about Chandler’ Irish Times

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Feature in New Zealand Listener

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‘With its exploration of family dynamics and the complex web of human behaviour, Staalesen’s novel echoes the great California author Ross MacDonald’s Lew Archer mysteries. There are some incredible set-pieces including a botched act of terrorism that has frightening consequences, but the Varg Veum series is more concerned with character and motivation than spectacle, and it’s in the quieter scenes that the real drama lies.’
Herald Scotland

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‘Staalesen shares a similar style and concerns with Fossum, and there is a world-weary existential sadness that hangs over his central detective. The prose is stripped back and simple, and both writers like to leave the deep emotion bubbling under the surface – the real turmoil of their characters’ lives just under the surface for the reader to intuit, rather than have it spelled out for them’ Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue

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‘Bergen may be a beautiful city, but it has its less salubrious side – and Gunnar Staalesen’s volatile detective Varg Veum knows every inch of it. Norwegian master Staalesen is an author who eschews police procedural narratives for noirish private eye pieces such as We Shall Inherit the Wind, with Veum topically on the trail of a missing windfarm inspector and encountering the usual battery of hostility and non-cooperation, along with (more dangerously) environmental terrorism and religious fanaticism. Staalesen dislikes Scandinavian parochial in his writing, and continues to work — bravely, some would say — in a traditional US-style genre, drawing on such writers as the late Ross Macdonald. Nevertheless, he is a contemporary writer; there is some abrasive Scandicrime social commentary here; as Veum says: ‘How could so many people who worked all day for the same admirable purpose – to create a better global environment – end up in their own camp, beneath their own flag, with impassable territorial lines?’’ Barry Forshaw, Financial Times

Author

One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, 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 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. The next instalments in the Varg Veum series – Where Roses Never Die and No One Is So Safe in Danger – will be published by Orenda Books in 2016 and 2017.

 

Website (in Norwegian): www.vargveum.no

Translator

Don Bartlett lives with his family in a village in Norfolk. He 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 Karl Ove Knausgård. He has previously translated The Consorts of Death and Cold Hearts in the Varg Veum series.

Online Reviews

‘In Staalesen’s deft yet unhurried style, numerous plot threads are interwoven around the kernel of suspense established in the beginning: how Varg’s fiancée came to be harmed. Personal betrayals, shady deals and the true motives of the vying parties are laid bare in the suspenseful final confrontation we’ve been waiting for, with Veum in the thick of it. This masterful first-person narrative is very much character-driven, as Varg’s tenacious personality drives his destiny and the events that lead up to the surprise-laden finale. We look forward to more translations of this series’ Crime Fiction Lover

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The finale is unexpected, shocking, and incredibly sad. I hope the rest of the books in the Varg Veum series are soon translated into English. This Norwegian private investigator is a welcome addition to crime fiction’ Crime Squad

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It is written and translated beautifully. The setting is stunning and breathtaking. There is an old classic crime feel to it or rather Veum has. His manner and his speech pattern reminded me of books I used to read when I was younger. He is dedicated and stubborn.’ Rebecca Bradley

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Review after author event with Kati Hiekkapelto at Derby Waterstones

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Mention in review of Edinburgh Festivals: Culture Compass

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Gunnar Staalesen gives his thoughts on Agatha Christie Irish Times

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Norwegian Embassy in Ireland puts Gunnar Staalesen in their TOP 5 Norwegian Noir crime authors

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Gunnar Staalesen’s Five Favourite Classic Crime Writers Crime Fiction Lover

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‘I enjoyed how the tensions between on one-hand the unearthed family conflicts, the past and present are entwined and the ecological and layered economical conflicts; I am intrigued to read more about Varg and probably need to get some more books from Staalesen … highly recommended’ La Crème de la Crème Crime

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Gunnar Staalesen’s Top 10 Fictional Detectives Waterstones Blog

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In conversation with EuroDrama’s Andy Lawrence Bloody Scotland Blog Tour

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‘Gunnar Staalesen is clearly a master-at-work by now, having first introduced the world to Varg Veum back in 1977. The prose is richly detailed, the plot enthused with social and environmental commentary while while never diminishing in interest or pace, the dialogue natural and convincing and the supporting characters all bristle with life. A multi-layered, engrossing and skilfully written novel, there’s not an excess word in We Shall Inherit The Wind. It’s a slow-building exercise in suspense that’s 100% addictive, one that gets you in the wolf’s jaws with the first few lines, sinks its teeth in and won’t let go until long after the finale’ Tony Hill, Mumbling About Music

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‘This is a land of fjords, islands, bridges and ferries. Travel invariably requires a ferry or a boat. And our detective isn’t an ex policeman but a retired social worker – but don’t let that give you the impression he’s any kind of pushover. “Varg” means “wolf” and Veum bares his teeth serveral times in the book, including facing up to a thug with the memorable phrase “Tell your mongrel to stay on its mat!” which I am determined to use myself one day’ Blue Book Balloon

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‘There is a strong social message within the narrative which is at times chilling, always gripping and with a few perfectly placed twists and turns that make it more addictive the further you get into it – the author has a great way with words and a real old school talent for storytelling – there is a reason he is known as a Father of Nordic Noir’

Liz Loves Books

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‘Staalesen’s greatest strength is the quality of his writing. The incidental asides and observations are wonderful and elevate the book from a straightforward murder investigation into something more substantial. It’s soberly written but compelling story of passion and revenge’ Sarah Ward, Crime Pieces

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Meet the Translator: Don Bartlett, The Book Trail

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We Shall Inherit The Wind is a story that needs to be read. Huge plaudits are due to Don Bartlett who translated the original novel from Norwegian and captured the beauty of Staalsen’s prose’ Grab This Book

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‘Layers of intrigue and subterfuge unfold in a tension filled novel that adroitly combines a melancholic tale of loss and regret with a gripping narrative which addresses Norway’s financial ties to the energy industry’

Andy Lawrence, EuroDrama

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‘With his cynical and witty asides, an unflinching attitude to those who would thwart his investigations, and his dogged moral determination, Veum is a hugely likeable and vivid character. The comparisons to Chandler’s Marlowe are not amiss, as Veum navigates his way through different classes of people, and stratas of society with consumate ease, with his easy charm and utter professionalism, but, most importantly, with the all too natural human failings when his investigations strike too close to home’ Raven Crime Reads

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‘The characters and settings are brilliantly drawn and the novel pulls you in so that you keep turning the pages and race to the conclusion. By the time the truth is revealed and you are returned to Karin’s bedside in hospital you are willing her to survive, crying out for her to wake up and embrace whatever future might unfold for her and Varg Veum. This isn’t just a crime novel that you pick up, read and then cast aside. It is a life that you have been given a glimpse of so that you want to see more. Oh for the opportunity to sit opposite Varg Veum, a bottle of aquavit set between us, to hear more of his tales’ Live Many Lives

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Guest post: My Life with Varg Veum Crime Thriller Girl

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Guest post: On endings and the role of good crime fiction Shots Blog

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‘The reason why Staalesen is considered the best Crime Writer in Norway and has a stash of International Bestsellers to his name is packed in to We Shall Inherit the Wind; a love story, revenge and desire all the things a thriller needs. He proves why he is one of the best storytellers alive with a deft touch and no wasted words he is like a sniper who carefully chooses his target before he takes aim’ Atticus Finch

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‘The plot is compelling with new intrigues unfolding as each page is turned. I had not anticipated the denouement. Although somewhat shocking in nature it was a satisfying conclusion. This book is already an international bestseller and it is easy to see why. A distinctive and welcome addition to the crime fiction genre, I look forward to reading more of Varg Vaum’s adventures’ Jackie Law, Never Imitate

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‘Missing people, wind farms and murder make We Shall Inherit the Wind a spectacular read. It is a marvelous Norwegian translation and is vividly descriptive’ Tracy Shephard

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‘The mystery is gradually revealed and, as with all great crime stories, each fresh revelation fills in another facet of the picture. Rumours are confirmed, secrets uncovered … At heart it’s a story of relationships, and how far people are willing to go to preserve the natural habitat and the consequences of their actions. Families and community are neatly portrayed and dissected by the lone wolf, Varg. Tidbits of information are teased out of people, revealing an unsettling dark side to a lot of the characters’ Espresso Coco

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‘As with all great Scandi crime the novel slowly teases out a family tale of secrets and lies that have remained buried but come to light as Varg investigates the disappearance of Mons Maeland and his past.  Surface issues are not as clear cut as they seem’ Crime Scene

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‘This is a proper page turner, that I sped through really quickly. I really felt for Varg and his situation and completely fell in love. An excellent story, with a sort of old fashioned feel to it and for me, a wonderful introduction to Varg Veum’ Northern Crime

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‘The storyline seizes the attention of the reader since the very first pages. Besides, it never fails to surprise us right up to the end. To conclude, it’s also worth to mention the excellent portrait of all the characters. It is well possible that for some readers the ending is quite astounding and even depressing, but we cannot forget that Gunnar Staalesen can best be ranked as a hard-boiled writer. Highly recommended.  My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)’ J Escribano, A Crime Is Afoot

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‘A well-paced, thrilling plot, the usual topical social concerns we have come to expect from Staalesen’s confident pen. The author is a classic in his own country: there is even a statue of Varg Veum leaning against a wall and staring moodily into the distance in Bergen … his stubborn, wisecrack-filled hero reminds me of Arjouni’s Kayankaya or Harry Bosch’ Finding Time To Write

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‘We Shall Inherit the Wind brings together great characterisation, a fast-paced plot and an exceptional social conscience … The beauty of Staalesen’s writing and thinking is in the richness of interpretations on offer: poignant love story, murder investigation, essay on human nature and conscience, or tale of passion and revenge. I choose all options.’ Ewa Sherman, EuroCrime

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‘The translation is excellent, wonderfully descriptive writing. Varg Veum is an enigma of sorts, the fact he’s mature was different within itself and a welcomed change. He possesses enough charisma fascinating the reader, professional with a strong sensitive side without being overly dramatized. A slight edginess makes this a standout, between plot, characters and presentation more than satisfying read’ The Discerning Reader

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‘Right at the beginning, we learn that Veum has made mistakes that have endangered his fiancée. Throughout the book, there is a menace in the background: we know something will happen to Karin – and the narrator knows we know he thinks it’s his fault. We know that, unusually for this kind of noir, the protagonist will become truly involved. This detective won’t be free just to quip and flirt aimlessly with the leading lady while exercising an heroic solo whisky habit. As a result, we’re kept guessing, not just by what Veum tells us, but by what he doesn’t say’

Café Thinking

Reviews