About the book:
September 1977. Mette Misvær, a three-year-old girl, disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close, middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiry date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette’s mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened to her daughter. As Veum starts to dig, he uncovers an intricate web of secrets, lies and shocking events that have been methodically concealed. When another brutal incident takes place, a pattern begins to emerge … Chilling, shocking and full of extraordinary twists and turns, Where Roses Never Die reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost crime writers.
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 five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further seies is being filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen.
Having heard of Gunnar’s first book, We Shall Inherit The Wind, but not having gotten around to read it I jumped at the chance to read Where Roses Never Die as it sounded brilliant, and I was not disappointed!!!
The book begins with Veum meeting Mette’s mother 25 years after her daughter’s disappearance. She implores him to take a look into the case before the statute of limitations is up on the investigation. What ensues is a spellbinding narrative that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go.
There was nothing about this book I didn’t like. The location, the characters and the plot are so effortless that you just cannot stop reading once you start! I had no idea how I missed Gunnar Staalesen as an author before now as he writes my favourite genre, in my favourite climate, so it’s safe to say I am definitely a fan after reading Where Roses Never Die.
The subject matter of this book is a bit tough to read as a parent, as it’s genuinely one of your worst fears. The author has done a brilliant job of weaving together 25 years of history within the plot and its main players though. Varg Veum is a superb main character too! With echoes of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole, he is likeable but he is also a flawed and troubled investigator who is not without his own shortcomings.
Where Roses Never Die is an exceptionally plotted, well written and hauntingly evocative lesson in Norwegian crime writing. I experienced a wide range of emotions while reading it, and in the interest of full disclosure, this Ice Queen shed some tears reading it! I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I am definitely going to be following Gunnar Staalesen’s writing after this!
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