Tuesday 12 March 2019

#BlogTour The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl, (Translator: Don Bartlett). It's a driven, enthralling combination of crime, spy, political and historical fiction with skewed lines of betrayal, truth and justice.

About the 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.

Follow @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks #TheCourier on Twitter,Visit  kjelloladahl.noBuy The Courier

About the book
In Oslo in 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In great haste, she escapes to Sweden whilst the rest of her family is deported to Auschwitz.

In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife, Åse, Ester ’s childhood best friend.

A relationship develops between them, but ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire. And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He wants to reconnect with his daughter Turid. But where has he been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles across information that forces her to look closely at her past, and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive…

Nicely done! This author plans with such meticulous accuracy it's a pleasure to read how the crime, the solution and whole premise comes full circle from start to fruition. At times the reader is left wondering how on earth all the threads are going to be pulled together successfully or indeed at all.

The author takes the reader back and forth through three timelines. It starts in 2015 when Turid recognises a stolen family heirloom on an auction site and she sets out to retrieve what is rightfully hers. Then we are taken into the year 1942 and the world of the Holocaust, occupied Finland and the men and women of the resistance.

Some of those characters reunite again in the 196os, when a former resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, rises from the dead to return to his daughter. A young woman orphaned as a baby when both parents are killed in the midst of a brutal war.

I was sure of the whodunnit from the get-go, but the author made me doubt the why and often even if I was right about the culprit. For me, although it is at the core a story about one murder hidden in a decade full of murderous atrocities, it's also about the circumstances which lead to the crime. The attempt to let the past and the dead rest in peace, and understanding that sometimes the truth is best left buried.

It's also about whether a leopard changes its spots, especially when it is given the opportunity to prey on more vulnerable targets than ever before. Does fighting against an evil regime, a sense of righteous indignation and need for vengeance give certain people a false sense of brotherhood and trust? The kind of misplaced trust that can kill people perhaps.

It's a driven, enthralling combination of crime, spy, political and historical fiction with skewed lines of betrayal, truth and justice. Kjell Ola Dahl is a scribe who writes with conviction and a simmering passion for the written word.

Buy The Courier at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books: pub date 21 Mar. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl.
Read my review of Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl.

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