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Wolves in the Dark

Published Date: 5th March 2017

Available in

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EBook
9781910633731
£5.99
15 June 2017
Paperback
9781910633724
£8.99
15 June 2017

Description

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.
When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

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‘Once again Staalesen proves with this book why he is at the height of his powers, adapting Varg Veum to the age that story is set in. Once again, his gritty writing, conscious of the current fears of society as a whole, and touches the darkest parts of a person’s soul.  His storytelling draws you in and leaves you breathless all the way to the end, and like a fine wine, always leaving you wanting more, but you know you blood pressure could not take it.’ Atticus Finch

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“Easily the darkest book in the Veum sequence; Staalesen continually reminds us he is one of the finest of Nordic novelists.” Wolves in the dark was recommended as a summer book in the Financial Times.

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‘While Staalesen is a great inventor of plots, he remains very loyal to his protagonist and he has written countless stories about him. Huge numbers of readers follow Varg Veum and his adventures; so much so that in Bergen he has his own bar (which is in the building where his fictional office is located). I enjoy all Gunnar’s books, and it feels unfair to highlight just one; but maybe the first is the one I like the best. Gunnar’s books are recommended in Reader’s Digest as part of a 7 must read books in the Nordic Noir genre.’ Reader’s Digest

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‘This is at times an uncomfortable read, yet fascinating, thrilling, and action packed too. Varg sits on the edge of official, and dangles his legs over lawful, yet his morality is clear to see and feel. ‘Wolves in the Dark’ is another profound, dark, yet enjoyably readable tale from Staalesen and I can thoroughly recommend joining this series.’ Liz Robinson, Love Reading

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‘Varg Veum, and all his flaws, make for a dark, gripping thriller. The self-inflicted gaps in his memory keep the reader guessing right along with him, as to what he is and isn’t capable of. Dipping back into Veum’s cloudy memories of the last few years throws up so many possibilities, one of which is his own guilt. The pace slows a little in places, but by the end, all the strands twist back together to make for a satisfying ending to a compelling read.’ Shots Mag

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‘A twisting, complicated plot that shows both the freshness of unique ideas and the experience of a fantastic crime writer – a page-turning, must-read thriller. As a detective thriller and a complex mystery, I have to absolutely recommend WOLVES IN THE DARK; I know that I will be adding more of the Varg Veum series to my reading list this summer!’ The Crime Review

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Wolves in the Dark is a lean, existential, touching and heart-pounding tale that exemplifies why a fuss is and should be made regarding Scandinavian crime fiction. If you are new to Staalesen, Wolves is a great place to start, and if you are a fan well then buckle up because this a thrilling ride. Crime Fiction Lover

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‘The grand-daddy of Nordic noir has had detective Varg Veum on the go since 1977. Poor old Varg has gone from top Norwegian copper to boozed-up private eye, and things just got worse: he’s been arrested for having child porn on his computer. He scrolls back through his memory to work out who might have had the motive (and the IT smarts) to fit him up, with chilling and perilous results — all told in a pleasingly dry style’ The Sunday Times

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‘Mr Staalesen’s lastest – ably translated by Don Bartlett – employs Chandleresque similes with a Nordic twist: He “took out a tissue and started to clean his glasses as if that would help him see backwards in time.” Wolves in the Dark may yield a few shocking coincidences too many to be entirely credible, but in this case the journey seems more important than it’s direction.’ Wolves in the Dark is recommended as one of The Best New Mysteries in The Wall Street Journal

Author

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. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers.

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

‘The story itself is a page turner although it is very dark and covers a difficult subject matter. At some points I had my head in my heads thinking, oh my lord.  There are some quite distressing scenes in the book as Varg processes his memories but what a puzzle Staalesen has written. I honestly couldn’t guess who was involved, I’ll admit I was wrong so many times but that’s what I loved about this book, it wasn’t in the slightest bit predictable. This really is a thrilling Nordic Noir.’ It’s all about the books

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‘As I’m finding with translated fiction, the pace of book is slower than I am used to with an intricately woven plot, full of twists and red herrings, with a number of undesirable characters with shady pasts!’ Have Books Will Read

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‘The tension was kept high throughout and it was like walking along a knife edge at times. Staalesen knows how to write chilling drama into his crime novels and his experience and in depth knowledge of his popular character really delivered for me. And it looks like there’s plenty more to come!’ My Chestnut Reading Tree 

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‘The sense of setting, of place, of character, that I drew from this novel was superb. It is no wonder that Staalesen has had such a prolific career and is heralded as a true statesman of Nordic Noir. His writing is truly masterful; careful crafted and honed over forty years of writing, and Staalesen has created, for me, one of the most immediately compelling and intriguing characters I have read this year.’ Jen Med’s Book Review

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‘The underworld of Norway never fails to prove a complex and riveting backdrop in Nordic Noir and Staalesen spins a delightfully well plotted story that delivers a hugely satisfying read as all the strands come together toward a denouement that left this reader gobsmacked …  I cannot recommend Staalesen enough and even though it’s only June, Wolves In The Dark may well be the best book I read this year.’ Mumbling About

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Wolves in the Dark is a sinister depiction of the criminal underworld and the inherent dangers and risks of internet hacking, but the incredibly heavy subject matter is lightened throughout the book with Veum’s dry sarcasm and witty reflections. Released on 15th June, Wolves in the Dark is an often uncomfortable, gritty read; which will appeal to those who like their crime more complicated than clean-cut.Earl Grey and Cupcakes

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Wolves in the Dark has a complex plot with a large cast of characters which demonstrates Staalesen’s story-telling skills as he intricately weaves each thread together … Compelling, dark and perfectly plotted with a protagonist that shines, Wolves in the Dark is a great read that will appeal to those who yearn for a more complex storyline than their usual crime thriller.’ Bloomin Brilliant Books

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‘The subject matter is distasteful, and it is quite a brave man who would choose to write in such areas. Staalesen does, though, pull it off. Wolves in the Dark is an exciting and well constructed thriller, covering pretty dark subject matter. A great addition to the world of Scandi Noir.’ Trip Fiction

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Wolves in the Dark is a dark, heart-wrenching, suspenseful and utterly brilliant novel … The writing in this book is just outstanding. Rich and intuitive. The descriptions vivid and insightful, easily giving us a picture of Bergen to marvel at … Wolves in the Dark is an unforgettable, addictive novel that will have you waiting with bated breath for the next in the series.’ Ronnie Turner

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‘The story is fast moving and full of blood rushing, adrenalin pumping scenario’s, it’s finished off with a fantastic twist that has you thinking back over the story to see if there were any clues you had missed, I for one definitely did not foresee the ending. This is an absolute 5* review from me.’ Wrong Side of Forty

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‘An enjoyable and thrilling Nordic noir with a chilling plotline, written in a cynical style and the utterly disturbing topic of paedophilia.’ Bits about Books

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‘This is a hard-hitting, dark thriller with difficult subject matter that is very well handled. It is a well-paced thriller with excellent dialogue and the short chapters keep the pages turning long into the night. If you like your thrillers dark and intense with a hard-boiled protagonist, Wolves in the Dark will definitely appeal.’ Reading Writes

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‘Gunnar Staaleson focuses on the characterisation and imbuing his novel with a taunt sense of atmosphere.  It reels you in and makes the reader feel they are within the pages of his story, right next to the hero Varg Veum. Masterfully he reveals the threads of his novel slowly, never once trying to give his readers an easy opt-out clause. Once you have started reading Wolves In The Dark, you won’t want to put it down, because it’s deliciously addictive.’ Books are my Cwtches

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‘Abrupt, damaged and dark, Staalesen uses his character centred narrative technique to drive the plot and hook the reader. And let me tell you, this worked. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how Veum was going to get out of this mess and hoping there would be no truth to it.’ Clues and Reviews

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‘Jo Nesbo describes the author as a Norwegian Chandler and I find the description is accurate. However, I feel that Veum is a more damaged character than Marlowe … The ending left me eager to know what happens next, I hope it isn’t a long wait. I’m also optimistic that the earlier books will be translated. I would love to get to know more about Veum.’ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘This tale kept me guessing all the way through – I really had no idea who had set Veum up … I really like Staalesen’s writing, I don’t know if it’s because of his own personal style or he writes in a Scandinavian/Nordic style, but it’s very different to my normal read of more anglicised authors.’ Crime Book Junkie

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‘This novel is shocking. It is about child pornography and not always easy to read. I always think it is brave and ambitious when an author tackles such subjects and I was intrigued to see how it was handled in this novel. As I said, it is shocking at times but it is also well managed and ultimately a very gripping and well paced, plot driven narrative.’ Bibliomaniac

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‘There are twists and turns aplenty, enough to have kept me glued to my chair until the end. Fairly short chapters and the changing back between past and present made this book move along at a great pace, and just enough crumbs of clues etc meant that I was reading faster and faster to reach the conclusion.’ Reflections of a Reader

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‘The character is complex and interesting, the characterisation strong, the writing excellent and the fact that this case gets very close and targets Varg Veum himself intrigued me from the off. It’s a tricky book to read due to the subject matter and I admit I felt uncomfortable more than I did intrigued. The old Varg Veum is there and he is desperate to learn how he got involved in this hideous case and since I felt I know Varg well from other books, I needed to know as well!’ The Book Trail

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‘Staalesen is a master at what he does and, after reading Wolves in the Dark it reminded me exactly how much I want to read all of the other Veum novels … it’s a hard read in places due to the subject matter.  Don’t let that put you off though as Veum is an addictive character and Staalesen is a master of the thriller.  And aren’t books supposed to make us all feel a little uncomfortable at times?  I, for one, am looking forward to the next instalment and meeting up with Veum once again.’ Damp Pebbles

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‘It’s bleak and depressing in many ways, and a reminder that even when crimes are solved there are still victims for whom there isn’t a simple happy ending. Wolves in the Dark is an intelligent and insightful novel and I’m looking forward to reading more of Gunnar Staalesen’s books, I hope this pioneer of Scandinavian crime fiction continues to enjoy well deserved success in the UK too.’ Hair Past a Freckle

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‘This latest instalment of Staalesen’s long-running Bergen-based Varg Veum series is equally intense, with a brutal plot and at least one genuine sharp intake of breath moment … This is a tightly, expertly written, thrillingly satisfying tale – as you’d expect from a writer who has been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies worldwide.’ Book Lover’s Booklist

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‘It’s an engrossing book, and it was interesting to see how the story that started out with Veum trying to remember his past then everything started slowly getting more clearly as the story progressed. The ending, well, gave some answers, but not everything was resolved. And, the cliffhanger was excruciating and now I want the next book to read!’ Bookaholic Swede

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‘I loved every single razor sharp edge it presented. What a blindingly great Scandinavian novel full of the complexities of human behaviour. Seriously, I mean what is it with Scandinavian authors? It’s like they’re a whole cut above everyone else. Amongst them all, the level of talent is just ridiculously immense.’ Page Turner’s Nook

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Wolves in the Dark is perhaps the most thriller-like of my Varg Veum novels. It opens with Varg being arrested by the police, because they have found illegal material (children pornography) on his computers. It is soon clear (I hope) that this material is put there by someone who is out after revenge on Varg for something in the past.’ Gunner takes part in a Q & A session as part of the blog tour. From First Page to Last

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‘I don’t really think that this story suffered anything for me not having read the previous 20. Wolves in the Dark can comfortably stand alone on its own merits as a self contained story. I have really enjoyed my first foray into Varg Veum’s complicated world, and if my reading time ever allows I would like to head back to the beginning and see where he started out.’ Jaffa Reads Too

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‘The Norwegian setting adds to the atmosphere and Gunnar Staalesen has created a wonderfully dark and dramatic landscape on which he paints out this plot. Wolves in the Dark is a powerful, engaging and compelling thriller which has lost none of its punch in translation. Would I recommend you read it – well that will be a HELL YEAH!’ Chapter in my Life

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‘Wolves in the Dark is indeed a dark and repugnant tale of child pornography, criminal enterprise, murder and betrayal … It is a searing indictment of and strong social commentary on everything we understand today about this kind of crime. It carries a strong and bitter relevance for the reader. Outstandingly told, and with Veum’s real human frailty exposed, Staalesen has created a complex and riveting tale with real power and authority which deserves to be read.’ Live and Deadly

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‘I write crime fiction because I have always loved reading crime stories – ever since I first read the Hardy Boys books, and then experienced my first ‘adult’ crime mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles.’ Gunner takes part in an interview as part of the blog tour. Criminally Good

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‘Brilliantly descriptive and I can’t praise the writing highly enough. With a nod to the translator Don Bartlett. The story of how Varg discovers the truth by revisiting and examining events from his past is very skilfully told. Of course he has a chequered past – don’t they all but it all adds to the story in this case.’ Mrs Bloggs Books

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‘There is a solidity to the story, so densely plotted, which gives you as a reader, complete confidence in the novel … Forensic in his work, he is relentless yet you sense his feelings of confusion and helplessness and even horror at his situation. I’ve seen Gunnar Staalesen decribed as one of the fathers of Nordic Noir and he certainly gives a masterclass in how to write a socially aware yet chilling thriller.’ Books Life and Everything

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‘I really believe that the true skill of an author shows when he can write a book about such a terrible crime and yet have the ability to lead you to a point that lets your own imagination take you further and doesn’t feel the need to etch images himself into the mind of the reader through graphic descriptions. Perfect!

The characters had real depth to them that allowed me to free all my emotions while I read, from outrage and disgust to sympathy and empathy. This is a real gripping story that I just wanted to go on and on to the next. So looking forward to more of this authors books being translated really soon.’

 Books from Dusk Till Dawn

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Wolves In The Dark has to rank as one of my favourite books in the series to date, immersing Varg Veum in a real personal trauma , which dents his natural humour and bonhomie, and causes him to question and reassess an incredibly dark period of his history, barely functioning under the weight of grief. The book is infinitely more downbeat than Staalesen’s usual fare, but interestingly plays with the themes of grief, recollection, guilt and morality through Veum himself, and those central to the previous cases that become integral in the search to clear his name. Thoughtful, introspective, and, as usual, completely absorbing. Highly recommended.’ Raven Crime Reads

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‘Don’t be put off by this being such a long series and thinking that you need to start right at the beginning, these books can all be read as a standalone, although chances are that when you’ve read one Varg Veum book you will want to read more. A giveaway of all three Varg Veum books published by Orenda Books is taking place as part of the blog tour.’ If only I could Read Faster

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‘I did enjoy this foray into Scandi-Noir and it’s obvious the author has many years of experience in writing crime fiction under his belt. The plot is truly intricate, keeping you hooked as various threads seem to shoot off in different directions as you try to work out the clues. There are more than enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end and Veum makes for one excellent narrator.’ Novel Deelights

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‘The author has yet again created a story that will have the reader racing through the pages to see whether Varg can prove his innocence. My heart was literally in my mouth wondering if he would be able to get himself out of this appalling situation. It certainly makes for a tense and exciting read.’ By The Letter Book Reviews

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‘As a crime writer, from time to time you have to sink yourself into dirty water and look into a dark world. When I wrote Wolves in the Dark, I had to search for background material for a very ugly theme. It used to be called children pornography. In Norway the police have now changed the vocabulary and call it abuse material. Gunner writes a guest post as part of the blog tour.’ Being Anne

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Wolves in the Dark is one of those fast-paced sweaty palm sort of books; you could feel the net closing in and the clock ticking down whilst the hunted man is still struggling to prove his innocence.  It’s a book that makes me simultaneously want to reach for the back-catalogue as well as seeing when the next instalment is coming out – now that I’ve been introduced to Varg mid-series I definitely want to know more.  A brilliant introduction to the Varg Veum series; giving us a glimpse of such a well established character certainly left me thirsty for more.’ The Book Magnet

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‘This is classic Nordic Noir with a subtle pace, but it did have several heart pounding moments. There were also some jaw dropping surprises that threw me for a loop. The ending was satisfying but still left things wide open for the next book and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Fans of this series will be pleased and new readers will be fans as well by the end.’ Novel Gossip

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Wolves in the Dark is Nordic Noir at it’s absolute best! Although Staalesen has written twenty-one other books, and there is clearly some cross-over from previous books, I didn’t feel that I had missed out in terms of this book’s plot … Staalesen is a wonderful writer and the translation is excellent … Wolves in the Dark is an atmospheric and compelling read, although the subject matter is difficult at times, it is certainly dealt with sensitively … I would strongly recommend you get this one folks! It’s a flipping belter!!!’ Emma the Little Book Worm

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‘I can not express how easily this book is to dive into. And it’s also the kind of book that you can walk away from for a while and come back to and remember what was happening as it is so unique in it’s plot and storyline. I am very intrigued as to where this book will take me and how it will all come together and I cannot wait to finish it. Until then, I would already highly recommend it!’ Daydreamer’s Thoughts

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‘This is a hard hitting novel that truly encapsulates the very essence of Scandi Noir and I can see why this series and character have been so successful.  There’s an elegance in the writing, the plot is so intricate and clever that it challenges the reader, it’s not the sort of book to half look at whilst cooking the supper that’s for sure … The skill in bringing Veum to life was astounding, the more I read of this book the more I felt that he was real and found myself enjoying his sense of humour.’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘Tense and enjoyable, littered with some fairly abhorrent individuals and crimes which are thankfully never explored too graphically. What Staaalesen depicts is enough to feel disgust, anger and shame that adults can derive satisfaction from the abuse of those too young and vulnerable to protect themselves.’ Col’s Criminal Library

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‘The story is pretty fast paced and we are keeping up with the action taking place while Veum stalks around his home town, interviewing key players, whilst trying to piece together the puzzle as to his arrest. We are left on a pretty big cliff-hanger, which I am sure has been left this way intentionally in order to set the scene for the next novel! A cracking read!’ P Turner’s Book Blog

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‘There’s a palpable sense of place as Veum crisscrosses city streets while ducking away from the police and Staalesen introduces enough twists, turns and dead ends along the way to keep intrigue levels smouldering nicely. Gripping and satisfying, Wolves in the Dark is proof that this father of Nordic noir has lost none of his enduring powers.’ Claire Thinking

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Wolves in the Dark takes the reader on a snapshot ride through Veum’s past, focusing on some key cases that he never managed to resolve due to his drunken state at the time. Now, as he sobers up, he’s in a far better position to search for the truth. But the cases are more convoluted than he remembers … As expected, the book is beautifully written and also beautifully translated. The subject matter is not just dark but uncomfortable too, yet it’s not graphic at all. The writing flows, and you really get inside Velum’s muddled head.’ Off-The Shelf Books

‘It’s the most intense crime fiction I’ve read for a long, long time – and I’ll warn you, in places, doesn’t make for comfortable reading at all, as you might expect, given the subject. Dark, dark, dark. But also audacious and showing that this series and this author are still able to surprise, to take risks, to reinvent themselves and press the boundaries. Shocking, nail biting and tense, this is THE thriller of the summer.’ Blue Book Balloon

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‘This was a great read containing everything you need for a satisfying crime mystery. I loved the character of Varg. He has many flaws but you have to admire his dogged determination and his relentless desire to search for the truth. The book is full of twists and turns (not just in the streets of Bergen) and interrelated stories creating a complex web for Varg to untangle.  The author is clearly a master of his art because the story is set up perfectly for a next book (we hope!).’ What Kathy Read Next

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‘I would like to think at some point I will go back and read early books in this series, but if I don’t get the chance it’s definitely a series I will read from here on in. Superbly paced with a disturbing plot Gunnar Staalesen has written an outstanding book in Nordic noir, it has so many elements that made this a gripping read. If you like your thrillers dark and gritty then this is definitely the book for you.’ The Book Review Café

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Gunner writes a guest post as part of the blog tour. Anne Bonny Book Reviews

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‘There’s a fine thread of humanity which runs throughout the novel, which helps make us feel we’re on Team Veum throughout, even as we yell at both drunk and sober Veum, questioning the former’s life choices and the latter’s willingness to wander into dangerous situations. Dark, melancholic and menacing, this is a book that asks us searching questions. Top notch.’ Café Thinking

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‘In terms of the pacing, I really loved how Staalesen upped the action in this story, especially about a third of the way in when Varg makes a snap decision to take matters into his own hands, going rogue so to speak! I loved this aspect as it made for suspenseful, action packed reading … If you like gritty, noir mysteries with compelling, layered characters I think you should definitely put this book, or any of the other Varg Veum’s at the top of your tbr.’ It’s Book Talk

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‘The plot is tightly constructed and written with a droll humour that offers relief from the sickening subject matter and page turning tension … There are the requisite twists and turns with blind alleys and dubious characters. Few of those he encounters emerge untainted in some way … A dark thriller that uses its setting in Norway to fine affect. This is a gritty, gripping read.’ Never Imitate

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Wolves in the Dark delves deep into the dark and seedy world of pornography and paedophilia. It addresses the deceit that keeps it going and the lengths to which people will go to keep it hidden. A really complex story, with many different threads, Wolves in the Dark is a gripping crime thriller. If you enjoy Scandinavian crime fiction, especially Nnordic Noir, then this is definitely one to add to your list. Staalesen is undoubtedly one of the best authors in this genre! Highly recommended!’ Bibliophile Book Club

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‘Despite the heaviness of the events, the author managed to keep the right balance so I wouldn’t have to put down the book to take a break … This was only my second encounter with Varg Veum. I was greeted by an amazingly descriptive and powerful writing, a revolting and riveting plot masterfully weaved, and the ticking of the clock to save a man from his past and his present.’ Chocolate N Waffles

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‘A knock comes at the door in the night and police detective Hamre arrests Veum for a crime he can’t remember if he committed or not. What follows is fast-paced page turner with a sharp, first-person narrative, and a shocking, troubling, existential and heart poundingly emotional tale. Wolves in the Dark is a treat for fans and a great place to to start if you are new to the series. A must read.’ Wolves in the Dark is selected as a recommended read on Crime Fiction Lover

Reviews