When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frolich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.
When I realised this was number six in the Oslo Detectives series, I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it, having not read any of the previous ones. But it is written is such a way that I didn’t feel I missed out on anything. This book takes one of the previous characters seen in the Oslo Detectives books, Lena Stigersand, and makes her the new lead character. Well-established characters of the preceding books also make an appearance, but most of our time is spent with Lena. I will be seeking out the other Oslo Detective books because I enjoyed this one a lot!
We are treated to two murders kicking off the story, they are completely different – different types of victims, different causes of death yet, there is something that links them. As Lena starts digging, she finds herself embroiled in a sticky, messy web of corruption, lies and distrustful people. Her investigation is made even harder when people in power try to prevent her finding out the truth, but she doesn’t let anyone stand in her way.
I really warmed towards Lena, she’s a fantastic lead character. She’s independent, determined, strong-willed and suspicious. Her personal problems take a back seat to her case, her recent diagnosis doesn’t do anything but make her more resolute in solving this case. Her new relationship with journalist Steffan, does add a nice little twist to the tale. He definitely knows more than he’s letting on to Lena and that made me very suspicious!
With ‘The Ice Swimmer’ Kjall Ola Dahl has delivered a complex, tightly plotted noir crime book, full of tension, suspense, twists and atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Orenda Books have reignited my love of Scandi-crime and every book I read from them is an utter gem, this one is no exception.
‘The Ice Swimmer’ is published by Orenda Books in paperback on the 30th of April. With a big thank you to Karen at Orenda for my reading copy and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blog tour. Why not check out the other wonderful bloggers on the tour?
And if ‘The Ice Swimmer’ sounds like your kind of read, then check these out too:
‘Cursed’ by Thomas Enger
‘Snow Blind’ by Ragnar Jonasson
‘Deep Down Dead’ by Steph Broadribb
‘Sirens’ by Joseph Knox