Today, I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!
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 series is being
filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of
Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives
in Bergen with his wife.
About the translator:
Don Bartlett lives with his family in a village in Norfolk. He completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbø and Karl Ove Knausgård. He has previously translated The Consorts of Death and Cold Hearts in the Varg Veum series.
About the book:
PI Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office from a woman who introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail
leads to a gang of extreme bikers and to a shadowy group, whose dark actions are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…
Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the
world’s foremost thriller writers.
Having read and enjoyed the previous translated Varg Veum books, I was thrilled to be able to read Big Sister recently. Gunnar Staalesen is a masterful storyteller and I was eager to get reading.
In Big Sister, Veum finds out that he has a half-sister, Norma. The only reason he finds this out is because Norma turns up at his office needing his help in finding her missing goddaughter Emma. Emma has vanished from Bergen, and Norma figured this was as good a reason as any to track down her half-brother.
The police don’t seem to be taking the disappearance seriously, so Norma and Veum undertake their own investigation. This leads them into danger, when what seems to be a wide investigative net becomes quite smaller and they find themselves wondering what they have stumbled into.
I don’t want to go into the plot any more than that because Gunnar Staalesen does such a wonderful job of weaving the threads together that I don’t want to spoil it by picking them apart. I really enjoy reading about Varg Veum as a character. Something about him makes him seem really genteel, and relatable. This is what I love about these books, the comfort in picking up the book and feeling like you are catching up with an old friend. Staalesen’s lyrical prose makes it an engaging and enthralling read, and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Big Sister is an excellent example of Nordic noir. Hints of menace coupled with a chilling climate make this the perfect locational mystery. There is also an emotional element attached to these books, and that is extremely prevalent in Big Sister.
Check out the blog tour: