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The Fourth Man (Oslo Detectives #5)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,117 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews

Internationally renowned author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Now, with his gripping and intelligent novel The Fourth Man, the master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic.

In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frølich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabet

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published 2005)
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Scandinavian/Nordic Mysteries
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77th out of 142 books — 318 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,218)
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Sep 18, 2009 Trish rated it did not like it
This was a very long haul for me. For months I would pick this up and put it down simply because I could not get up a head of steam. The book jacket producers get full points for making me feel like I was really missing the hottest thing in Scandanavian mystery if I did not read this immediately. I suppose it was the conceit--that a woman comes out of nowhere and seduces a seasoned police detective by breaking into his house and sitting around in her underwear in the dark--that never really rang ...more
Nov 23, 2010 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Earlier in the year, triggered by the Steig Larssen trilogy, I've begun a slow campaign of discovering other Scandinavian mystery novelists, including this excellent fellow K.O. Dahl and his almost classic detective Frank Frolich. There is a wonderful plot with interlocking clues that unravel as a result of the driving power of character. Plus, of course, a lot of murders, double-crosses, femme fatales, and a bit of hard drinking. The feel of modern urban Norway is not alien, though from time to ...more
Cezarina Anghilac
Începutul a fost cam plicticos și lipsit de suspansul așteptat, dar până la urmă a reușit să mă prindă, doar ca să asist la un final pueril și prea puțin credibil.
Feb 09, 2010 Pat rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
A Norwegian mystery translated poorly into English. "Froliech took a decision." The plot is very slim, and it reads like he was getting paid by the word. Pedantic, trite, just really bad. It received a Norwegian mystery award. It must have lost a lot in the translation.
The Fourth Man is another of the Scandinavian mysteries that I love by new-to-me author K. O. Dahl. When Oslo policeman Frank Frohlich becomes involved with a beautiful woman who just happens to be connected to a criminal gang, the resulting sexual jealousy, violence and murder threaten to destroy Frohlich's career.

I thought the premise was interesting and the mystery complex but believable (unlike Henning Mankell or Stieg Larsson, there were no wide-ranging international conspiracies to motiva
Kai Palchikoff
Award-winning author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Over the last decade he has found audiences in ten other countries and finally, with his gripping and intelligent novel, The Fourth Man, the master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic.In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Fr_lich of the Oslo Police saves the life of Elizabeth Faremo, a dark-haired beauty with mysterious eyes ...more
May 19, 2013 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Obsession, whether a woman or a painting, is the undercurrent running through the novel. A convoluted, yet somewhat perhaps not completely unexpected plot, set in the chilly winters of Norway.

My main gripe with the novel is with the translation, which gets awkward at parts. Particularly grating was the passage "new fangled coffee", which really, makes no sense whatsoever. However, for the most part, the translation generally works, even though it falters in parts.

The plot, thankfully in some w
Dec 08, 2012 J.R. rated it liked it
I hate to use the word "okay" here but am pressed to find an appropriate alternative. "Average" perhaps but that word has too much of a statistical feel that does not apply to novels. It wasn't bad enough not to finish but neither was it exciting, enthralling, or hard to put down. At first the story/plot seems to meander a bit. The set up, before the crux of the story enfolds, is a bit lengthy almost as if the author doesn't know where to go with it. The protagonist, a policeman, is extremely na ...more
May 31, 2012 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
When a book is translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett, and it's got recommendations on the back cover by Karin Fossum, it gives the book high expectations. Which this book did not satisfy.

The main police guy and the protagonist, Frank Frølich, is an older guy, who in the middle of a case runs into and falls in love with a beautiful woman, Elisabeth. When he discovers Elisabeth's brother is a bad guy, the problem starts. When later her brother is killed, Frølich finds himself as a suspect of t
May 22, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: DIs Frank Frolich and Gunnarstranda
SETTING: Oslo, Norway
SERIES: #5 of ?
RATING: 3.75

Set in Norway, THE FOURTH MAN is a combination of psychological suspense and police procedural. Detective Inspector Frank Frolich is in the middle of a police raid of a store when an innocent bystander comes on the scene. He throws himself upon her before the police open fire; ultimately, he and Elisabeth Faremo become much more intimately entangled.

Elisabeth and Frank quickly engage in a series of t
Dec 30, 2011 BJ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a real fan of Nordic noir, but I never got into this book. The story rambles and the translation is distracting with peculiar word choices and oddly-used American idioms.

The main character, Detective Inspector Frank Frølich, is involved briefly with a murder investigation, but he is soon placed on leave because of his connection to a person involved in the case. He is on leave and doing his own investigation throughout most of the story. However, he is so obsessed by a woman that he cannot
Feb 06, 2014 Beverly rated it liked it
Mary Mulligan gave me this book - it is a Norweigan author and we both read another book that he wrote. It is a mystery that had lots of twists and turns. It was fun for me as I could picture the characters walking the streets of Oslo that he mentioned and also some of the places. It was also interesting to see some of the translation that really didn't quite make the same sense in English.
Dec 07, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
It was good, but I figured it all out halfway through. Also, the translation sometimes felt awkward, like some of the sentences were almost literal translations. This was especially disjointed in the dialogue. That said, I liked it, and I will read more of K.O. Dahl, and see how it goes. Update: Dahl's translator also translated Jo Nesbo's books, and the latter are so well translated.
Vika Ryabova
Aug 08, 2012 Vika Ryabova rated it it was ok
Shelves: in-english
Нестандартный детектив, в котором много места занимает «раскачка» - вступительная часть довольно продолжительная и поначалу как бы не связана с криминальной историей. Мы знакомимся с будущими героями через события их жизни, переживания, эмоции. Далее по сюжету также будут «психологические» отступления. Например, эпизод с золотой рыбкой, которая живет у инспектора Гуннастранды: это давний любимый питомец, с которым полицейский ведет задушевные беседы.

Мне лично показалось, что сюжет немного перегр
Jul 11, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fourth Man is the first book that I have read by Dahl. It was a book lent to me by a friend so I wasn't sure what to expect. I read it pretty quickly and enjoyed the overall story. I did have a problem with the main charcter, Frolich, though because I had a hard time understanding how he let this woman lead him so far astray. A feeling shared by his friend and colleague, Gunnarstranda, a character that I did really enjoy. I did wish that Gunnarstranda had got to play a bigger role in the boo ...more
Lisa Sansone
Oct 22, 2011 Lisa Sansone rated it liked it
Just when I thought I had exhausted all major Nordic crime writers, I stumbled upon this one.

The book was okay (very earnest). Though, I have to say that this is one of those books where I was able to pretty much completely figure out the plot's main mysteries as I was reading it (and I'm not one who is always very good at figuring these things out).

Also, I actually felt like the secondary character (Gunnarstranda) was better drawn and more interesting than the main character, who remained a bit
Jan 04, 2016 Judy rated it it was amazing
Wow! One of the best mysteries I've read. Didn't find out who the fourth man was until near the end, even though there were several possibilities that came to mind. Very fast-paced and kept my attention throughout.
Feb 10, 2015 Vojtěch rated it it was ok
Tak tedy doufám, že na nějakou dobu jsem vyčerpal zásobu "nezáživných rádoby detektivních thrillerů". Podezřelý byl obrovským zklamáním a já se jen divím, že jsem ho dočetl až do konce.
Sacha Kay
Niet heel bijzonder. Vrij langdradig. Vrij voorspelbaar ook.
Enkele rare dingen (ws door vertaling), zoals 5 mln opnemen van de bank om wit te wassen. Ehm? Geld op de bank is wit?
Jul 31, 2015 James rated it liked it
probably 3.5 stars... liked the nourish aspects, figured this is either already a movie or will be... i like the two detectives interplay... a bit too many short sentences strung together, but other than that i enjoy the style...
Despite being a world renown translator of Norwegian novels, I found Jon Bartlett's language quite odd in places.
Minty McBunny
Feb 27, 2013 Minty McBunny rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013, february-2013
I rarely quit a book, and I almost always give it at least 150 pages, but I couldn't even do that much here. I dragged myself through 100 pages with a protagonist who had no redeeming qualities that I could see, who was making horrible choices based on nothing more than sexual attraction to an unsuitable and clearly mentally unstable woman and who didn't seem to be much of a police office to start with. That combined with horrible metaphors (comparing subway doors to metal lips parting & spi ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must have liked it as I ordered the 'The Man in the Window'...
Gillian Tor
Jul 02, 2015 Gillian Tor rated it really liked it
Norway has great writers and Dahl is no exception. Fabulous book.
Ann Tonks
Apr 06, 2016 Ann Tonks rated it liked it
Shelves: norway, crime-fiction
A well-craft story of obsession and good police work.
Feb 29, 2016 Kathleen rated it liked it
I enjoy norwegian or swedish mystery writers
Kompletní výčet důvodů mé nelibosti vůči této knize najdete na blogu
Andra Nicoara
Aug 30, 2015 Andra Nicoara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although at times the plot got quite predictable, it still had me hooked. It's fast-paced, interesting and filled with captivating details. Definitely a good read!
Apr 12, 2009 Tanja rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
My first foray into the Frank Frohlich mysteries. Interesting introduction to the character, even if the character of the inspector is not exactly new, we have seen the flawed hero with personal connection to a case who ends up under suspicion before. The plot -- which takes place all over Europe it seems -- has some nice twists and turns, some that seem a bit far fetched. And it does wrap up so neatly in the end, or does it? Not up to the heights of the Wallander series, but well worth reading.
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K. O. Dahl (born 4 February 1958) is a Norwegian writer. He has written eleven novels since 1993, mostly crime novels with a psychological interest. So far, four of his novels have been published in English, translated by Don Bartlett. They feature the Oslo detectives Frank Frølich and Inspector Gunnarstranda. These translations have been published in the reverse order to which they were written.

More about K.O. Dahl...

Other Books in the Series

Oslo Detectives (8 books)
  • Lethal Investments
  • The Last Fix
  • The Man in the Window
  • Lügenmeer (Gunnarstranda & Frølich, #4)
  • Wraakengel
  • De vrouw in plastic
  • Il corpo di ghiaccio

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