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The Courier Kindle Edition
The international bestselling godfather of Nordic Noir takes on one of the most horrific periods of modern history, in a stunning standalone thriller … NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE PETRONA AWARD FOR BEST SCANDINAVIAN CRIME NOVEL**
**LONGLISTED FOR THE CWA INTERNATIONAL DAGGER**`
‘The Courier is a stylish stand-alone thriller from the godfather of Scandi noir … Ola Dahl ratchets up the tension from the first pages and never lets go’ The Times
‘Absorbing, heart-rending and perfectly plotted. Kjell Ola Dahl’s The Courier passes seamlessly from the present to the dark past of WWII. Fabulous!’ Denzil Meyrick
‘Cleverly braiding together past and present, the who and why of murder and betrayal are unpicked. The detail is impressive’ Daily Mail
In 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In a great haste, she escapes to Sweden, saving herself. Her family in Oslo, however, 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, who helped Ester get to Sweden. Their burgeoning relationship 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. 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…
Written with Dahl's trademark characterization and elegant plotting, The Courier sees the hugely respected godfather of Nordic Noir at his best, as he takes on one of the most horrific periods of modern history, in an exceptional, shocking thriller.
‘A dark but richly described backdrop and a relentless, underlying tension drive this sad story to its bittersweet conclusion. Fans of Nordic noir will be satisfied’ Publishers Weekly
‘Skilfully juggling three Oslo timelines — in 1942, 1967 and 2015 — Dahl starts his story with Germany’s occupation of Norway and the work of those who tried to resist, then brings his characters forward to a post-war unravelling of what really happened in those dangerous days — and the traumatic rewriting of personal stories’ The Times
‘A fascinating, intricate, provocative read, set in motion by events in 1942, and brilliantly highlighting human need and emotions … ‘The Courier’ sent a shiver coursing through me, it is a truly eloquent and rewarding tale, and oh that ending!’ LoveReading
‘Written with Dahl’s trademark characterisation and clever plotting, The Courier sees one of Norway’s most critically acclaimed authors at his best … This stunning and compelling wartime thriller is reminiscent of the writing of John Le Carré and William Boyd’ New Books Magazine
‘Kjell Ola Dahl’s novels are superb. If you haven’t read one, you need to – right now’ William Ryan
‘The kind of masterful, detailed plotting that Dahl is known for … the power of The Courier is how Dahl has given a complex, human face to such an inhuman tragedy’ Crime Fiction Lover
'The Courier is a stylish stand-alone thriller from the godfather of Scandi noir ... Ola Dahl ratchets up the tension from the first pages and never lets go." --Times
"Skilfully juggling three Oslo timelines -- in 1942, 1967 and 2015 -- Dahl starts his story with Germany's occupation of Norway and the work of those who tried to resist, then brings his characters forward to a post-war unravelling of what really happened in those dangerous days -- and the traumatic rewriting of personal stories." --Times Crime Club
"A chilling novel about betrayal." --Sunday Times
"Excellent . . . Fans of Scandinavian noir will be eager for Dahl's next book." --Publishers Weekly starred review of The Ice Swimmer
"If you have never sampled Dahl, now is the time to try." --Daily Mail
"Kjell Ola Dahl's novels are superb. If you haven't read one, you need to--right now." --William Ryan, author, Holy Thief
"More than gripping." --European Literature Network
"Superb . . . The translator's stripped-down, muscular prose is a plus." --Publishers Weekly starred review of Faithless
"The perfect example of why Nordic Noir has become such a popular genre." --Reader's Digest --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07KGLHC5X
- Publisher : ORENDA BOOKS (21 January 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 601 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 323 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 96,946 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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In one case, one character spans two generations and three narratives which is not handled with skill. I wanted to like this book but it was demanding and a little wooden in style.
Top reviews from other countries
In the simplest of terms, this is a book, set in wartime and post wartime Norway and Sweden. In the middle of World War II, in Nazi occupied Norway, a young mother, Åse is murdered - her partner and her child's father, the only suspect. The lion's share of the story is devoted to three main characters who touched, or were touched, by this tragedy, and . the various people on the periphery of their lives who inform the action and perhaps hold the key to what really happened on that fateful night.
First we have Ester, a member of the resistance and the eponymous 'courier', best friend to the Åse, but someone who flees to Sweden before the murder occurs. Then there is Gerhard - father and lover, but is he really also a murderer? And finally Sverre, a senior figure within the resistance, and a man who holds many cards close to his chest - the most important of which may be the reason why a man, believed to be dead, would suddenly reappear in Norway some 20 years after the war has ended,
Beautifully written, this book captures the mixed emotions of those caught up in the war. the persecution of Norwegian Jews is not something we often think about and yet the stark facts, sympathetically handled in this book through the portrayal of the loss of Ester's family, are ones we can't ignore. There is no glorification of war or of the resistance. In some respects they are simply used as a backdrop to the story which is, essentially, a murder mystery. And yet they add a layer of jeopardy and intrigue and an opportunity for the concealment of a vicious and unpalatable truth.
There are moments of great tension in the book, as some quite dramatic scenes play out. I really liked the character of Ester, and although she could occasionally come across as cold and detached, the more we learn about her, the more you understand why. She has a true inner strength which you cannot help but admire. Gerhard is a more complex character to understand and I felt myself torn in terms of how I reacted to him and his guilt, not quite able to figure out its origin. There is a clear chemistry between the pair and yet also distrust, a very complicated relationship which only draws you further into the story.
Told across primarily a dual timeline, the book moves seamlessly between 1942 and 1967, with the occasional trip into 2015, as we spend time with Gerhard and Åse's daughter, Turid. The tension increases with each new chapter, and the more we read, the more the past is revealed until we reach the final, shocking conclusion and the truth behind what really happened to Åse.
Kjell Ola Dahl has managed to capture in amongst these pages something really thought provoking and moving, as well as dramatic and intriguing. The translation by Don Bartlett is superb, not a single jarring note, and we are led into a poignant and tragic story that transcends the clear devastation of the war upon the characters and the country, whilst still acknowledging the travesty and horror of the era in which it is set. A truly top class historical thriller.
Of course, the period covers WW2 and, though we begin in Oslo in 2015, the narrative revolves around Oslo and Stockholm in 1942 and Oslo in 1967, in alternating chapters, for the most part. There is a murder to be solved concerning the original owner of the jewellery. It is a reasonable page-turner and I did enjoy the story.
Caveats – why is normal chronology so despised? This constant juggling around between the years (with the same people most of the time) is wearying and very artificial. It is overdone and initially confusing, especially for the reader who is stumbling over foreign names - and I write as someone who does have more than one language!
The 1942 chapters should be really scary for the principal characters suffering and rebelling against occupation, but they really are not very good in that respect. I have read far better.
The final revelation of the murderer is not surprising although the method is ingeniously grim – which also seems a requisite of crime/thrillers in many cases these days. This is to distinguish one book/author from another?
I am sure the translator did a good job but why are so many sentences very short and descriptive of unimportant actions? Characters pick up and put down coffee cups on tables, button-up coats before going out ….. Do we need all this stuff?
The nub of the plot is the murder of a woman, Ase and the subsequent disappearance of her partner Gerhard. Thrown into the mix is the role of Hester, who is the Courier, delivering banned newspapers to ‘the underground’. Hester is the linchpin or connection of the plot. The riddle of this is- who killed Ase and why? The riddle stretches to the very end.
This is clever and engaging but the slow parts lower the star rating for myself. The author gives a useful insight into the involvement of Norway in the war.
The Norwegian language has much in common with English which is why, perhaps, this reads so well in translation. Norwegian noir at its best .
Unless you are prepared to devote a good deal of concentration to this book, it probably is best avoided. It's certainly not a book to read round the pool or in the garden on a sunny day.