Lead Review (Little Drummer)

  • Book: Little Drummer
  • Location: Kenya, Norway
  • Author: Don Bartlett (translator), Kjell Ola Dahl

Review Author: tripfiction

Location

Content

No.8 in the Oslo Detective Series and can be read as a standalone

The author sets the tension benchmark high from the get-to. The story opens with a woman anxiously driving around a multi-storey car park, and just happens to park next to a car which clearly has a dead woman at the wheel. The victim is identified and it then turns out that her Kenyan boyfriend, Stuart Takeyo, has disappeared…. Did he kill her? But then, it would seem, he turns up in Kenya, yet the police have his passport and he doesn’t seem to be on any passenger lists.

Frølich and Gunnarstranda are the two police officers who take on the case. They work well together and have developed into a convincing investigative team over the series, each complementing the other’s character traits. Frølich heads to Kenya, with a new companion in tow and there the investigations take on a new and rather alarming trajectory.

This is a story that moves around, punching in themes of racism, corruption and the shady dealings within the international pharmaceutical industry.

This author always brings his settings to life, both Oslo – “Hanging tremulously over Nesoddland peninsula, the sun made the sea resemble a tray covered with crinkly grey paper…” – and Kenya are colourfully rendered.

An involving read with a storyline that feels very pertinent in the 21st Century

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