An entertaining and intriguing historical thriller……
- Book: The Courier
- Location: Oslo, Stockholm
- Author: Kjell Ola Dahl
I’ve heard lots of good reports about Kjell Ola Dahl’s writing and was therefore intrigued to read his latest book ‘The Courier’, an historical thriller set in Norway.
Being a keen reader of Nordic Noir, I was very much looking forward to reading this story and I wasn’t disappointed. Translated by Don Bartlett, the transition into English is seamless and being equally atmospheric and suspenseful this made for a very promising mystery thriller.
The story opens in 2015 when Turid recognises a piece of jewellery up for auction that was her dead mothers. The story then switches between 1942 and 1967.
It’s 1942 and Jewish courier Ester, is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest. She manages to escape to Sweden but her family are unfortunately deported to Auschwitz. When Turid’s mother Ase and best friend to Ester is murdered, Turid’s father Gerhard Falkum is believed by the Gestapo to be the killer. Ester meets up with Falkum in Stockholm after he too flees Norway but later dies in a fire. However, twenty five years later Falkum shows up in Oslo wanting to reconnect with his daughter but where has he been and why has he returned? Ester, stumbling upon information that forces her to look closely at her past means she has to revisit her war-time training just to stay alive….
I loved how this captivating story switched between the two time lines connecting the two years perfectly with each chapter. The characters are excellently portrayed and created which makes this a richly, charismatically character driven story. The precise attention to detail is truly second to none too and with short, descriptive sentences this just proves the saying ‘less is more’.
Intriguing with brilliantly creative plotting, dark and positively suspenseful yet utterly realistic, I thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Courier” and I will definitely be reading more by this author again.