Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen #Blog Tour #review #VargVeum #TRS Don Barlett #NordicNoir @OrendaBooks

I must thank Anne Cater and Orenda Books for the invite onto this tour. The translation by Don Barlett is flawless and the story brilliant.


Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a pedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material . . . and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest—and most personal—case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.



Oh wow, it wasn’t until I started reading that I realised just how many darn good books I have been missing out on because of the language barrier so I will be eternally grateful to translators such as Don Barlett because this story flows seamlessly from Norwegian  to English.

P.I. Varg Veum is by no means a hunk, yes he is pretty good for his age of late fifties but he is certainly past his toy boy days. The last few years have taken their toll with some of the things he has seen in his career but more recently with trying to, and failing to, deal with the death of Karin the love of his life.  Sometimes fate throws a curve ball that gives you kick in the pants, that is just enough to make you fight for your life back. Well Varg certainly got that when he is hauled into the police cells after child porn and a paedophile ring, that it seems he regularly posts to, is found on his computer. Now Varg knows he couldn’t have done this, even through his blackout moments and  although there is evidence supporting it and he has no memory of it, he is determined to find out why someone would set him up. May be difficult though as he is in a police cell.

This is actually my first Gunnar Staalesen book but it is the 21st book in this series, so I am broken to think that I have missed so many because I need to read more about this P.I. Don’t get me wrong I loved this book which can very easily be read as a stand alone novel, I just want more. This case is very personal to Varg, not only for his freedom but to prove to himself that he can not have fallen to such low depths of depravity in his grief.

It was great in the sense that some of the cases that must have already been in previous books were revisited, so it gave me some sort of idea of what he was usually involved in. I really believe that the true skill of an author shows when he can write a book about such a terrible crime and yet have the ability to lead you to a point that lets your own imagination take you further and doesn’t feel the need to etch images himself into the mind of the reader through graphic descriptions. Perfect!

The characters had real depth to them that allowed me to free all my emotions while I read, from outrage and disgust to sympathy and empathy. This is a real gripping story that I just wanted to go on and on to the next. So looking forward to more of this authors books being translated really soon.




Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers. Don Bartlett is the foremost translator of Norwegian, responsible for the multaward- winning, bestselling books by Jo Nesbo, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Per Pettersen. It is rare to have a translator who is as well-known and highly regarded as the author.





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