Celebrating East African Writing!

Kjell Ola Dahl – SHFK Guest Profile


The acclaimed and award winning crime writer Kjell Ola Dahl (aka K.O. Dahl), widely recognized as one of Norway´s premier crime writers, has ever since his debut in 1993 maintained a position as one of the best in the genre in Norway. His popular crime series with Detective Chief Inspector Gunnarstranda and his assistant Frølich is rapidly becoming an international success and critics around Europe have labelled him as Norway´s answer to Sjöwall/Wahlöö and Henning Mankell.

Kjell Ola Dahl has been awarded with the Riverton Prize (Riverton-prisen) and nominated for The Glass Key(Glasnyckeln), the Brage Literary Prize (Brage-prisen) and the Martin Beck Award.

K O Dahl Novels translated to English:

The Last fix (Norwegian Title: En liten gyllen ring)

The man in the window (Norwegian Title: Mannen i vinduet)

The fourth man (Norwegian Title: Den fjerde raneren)

Review of The Fourth Man by Karen Meek, England


Paperback: 288 pages (Mar. 2007)

Publisher: Faber and Faber ISBN: 0571230911

Frank Frolich of the Oslo police meets the love, or at least the obsession, of his life when he protects her during a police raid on the shop she was visiting. The young woman is Elisabeth Faremo who also happens to have a brother, Jonny, who is a career criminal.

Naturally things don’t go swimmingly. One night a security guard is attacked and killed and an anonymous tip-off leads the police to Jonny Faremo and his gang. That is until, Elisabeth gives them an alibi and Frolich’s name is mentioned. The gang is freed but Elisabeth disappears.

Frolich is asked to take some time off – his boss Gunnarstranda is not happy with him and believes Frank has been played from the very beginning. When bodies begin turning up, Frolich begins his own unofficial investigation.

THE FOURTH MAN is the fifth in the Gunnarstranda/Frolich series but the first to be translated into English and is more of a thriller than a police procedural. The fact that it’s part of a series, albeit the latest one, does imply that nothing too bad will happen to Frolich even though he exhibits some very unpolicelike behaviour.

After the scene setting of Frolich’s and Elisabeth’s intense relationship which does take a while, the pace begins to pick up with Frolich reeling from one piece of bad news to the next. The plot unfolds in a logical if not totally unexpected way and there is a good sense of place of Oslo – wet, cold and snowy.

I’d like to read more of this series, especially if they are more traditional police procedurals, and I hope the earlier books join this one in translation.

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2010 by in Storymoja Hay Festival 2010.
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