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Publisher's Summary

An unbearably tense novel of revenge, murder, bereavement and the destructive force of passion. First published in Norwegian in 1979, it was described by the critic Nils Nordberg as 'one of the finest, most serious, most ambitious books in post-war Norwegian crime writing'.

The single-mother families of the isolated community under the shadow of the Pyderhorn, Bergen's greatest mountain, are being terrorised by a teenage gang. But teenage violence is nothing compared to what awaits detective Varg Veum when he gets to know the blue-eyed Wenche Andersen.

©2010 Gunnar Staalesen (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Scandinavian Mystery!

I've been listening to this series since "Where Roses Never Die" was a daily deal. Since Audible has been releasing these out of order, that's how I've been listening to them. Starting with ones set in the late nineties/early aughts, and moving to this one written in 1977 was very interesting. Still, the characters and plot were just as compelling as the more recent installments.

Varg Veum is a subtle character, but his light sense of humor is well portrayed. The stories are a little dark in general, though this one was less so. I wouldn't say that I was on the edge of my seat, but I certainly never lost interest. This was the second book in the series, and I think as they go on the mysteries become more complex, but I was still surprised by the ending.

In short, I would absolutely recommend this to a friend, and hope that Audible puts out more from this series soon!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another fine book by Gunnar Staalesen

This is the second book I've read featuring private detective Varg Veum. I don't know how I missed this outstanding writer in my search for Scandanavian writers. But I am hooked by his prose, skillful character development, and the ability to make me care and understand even the most minor characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent Writer

Truly a literary pleasure. I did have some trouble keeping the many characters straight in my mind, likely because the foreign names were long and unfamiliar, but aside from that, I really enjoyed the book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hammett meets Greene meets Rilke

Atmosphere like Maltese Falcon, Greene’s emotional characters and Rilke’s imagery. Not sure I’m moving forward with this series but if you love dark, moody and destitute - you’ll enjoy this.

Narrator is awesome.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Terry
  • 10-12-17

Unnecessary Hyperbole

Full of unnecessary hyperbole, a weak story and ending, Varg Veum is no Harry Hole.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful