Today I’m hosting The Wolves In The Dark by Gunnar Staalesen blog tour, which is published by the fantastic Orenda Books. I’m thrilled to be able to share my review for this gripping and very disturbing book. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan over at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for allowing me to be part of this awesome blog tour.
PI Varg Veum fights for his reputation, his freedom and his life, when child pornography is found on his computer and he is arrested and jailed. Worse still, his memory is a blank…
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 paedophile 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.
I thought I had made a huge blunder agreeing to review Wolves In The Dark, I didn’t realise it was the 21st book in the series, so I pretty much convinced myself that I would find this a difficult novel to read, I hate starting a series a couple of books in let alone 21! I always find it hard to connect with the characters. I’m thrilled to report that all my worries were unfounded and Wolves In The Dark made for a throughly gripping read and yes it can be read as a standalone.
Wolves in the Dark doesn’t ease you in gently to it’s plot from the first chapter where PI Varg Veum is arrested for having child pornography on his computer and he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring you know you are in for a dark and disturbing read. There’s no doubt about it Wolves In The Dark is not always an easy read, while it never felt gratuitous within the context of the story, I can see that this won’t be to everyone’s tastes due to the subject matter.
Varg is one complex character he’s a damaged soul, he much prefers to drown his sorrows in alcohol so he doesn’t have to deal with his grief, but despite the darkness surrounding him I also find something intriguing about this well established character. I do feel there is a lot of history to his character, history I’ve missed out on as I haven’t read previous books in the series, but overall I still managed to get a “feel” for this complex yet intriguing character.
As Varg looks back on past cases and the enemies he’s made looking to find answers to his current predicament, the pages of this cracking plot are fraught with suspense and you can’t help but wonder where the author is heading with this gritty yet compelling tale. I did find some parts confusing due to the number of characters involved in the plot and the numerous threads, but that said the author expertly manages to bring everything together masterfully.
After I finished Wolves In The Dark I’ve come to the conclusion that although I’ve come to this series late, it really did not spoil my enjoyment of this well written novel. I would like to think at some point I will go back and read early books in this series, but if I don’t get the chance it’s definitely a series I will read from here on in. Superbly paced with a disturbing plot Gunnar Staalesen has written an outstanding book in Nordic noir, it has so many elements that made this a gripping read. If you like your thrillers dark and gritty then this is definitely the book for you.
Buy links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧 Amazon US 🇺🇸
Print Length: 276 pages
Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (9 May 2017)
About the author
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.
Oh boy…21st in the series, yikes! Like you I really prefer to start at the beginning of a series. I’m glad it worked well as a standalone!
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Thanks Tina it was so much easier to read this one than I expected x
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Great review! You are yet another blogger confirming his books can be read as a stand-alone so I’m definitely going to try and get a copy! The main character and story itself just sound too good to pass up on.
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