The Fourth Man
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The Fourth Man (Oslo Detectives #5)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  670 ratings  ·  76 reviews
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, Detect...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2005)
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Trish
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
Pat
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.
Bibliophile
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...more
Nick
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
jcg
Very readable translation by Don Bartlett. Good to read if you like femme fatale stories. I found the main characters Frolich and Gunnarstranda to be rather bland, but on the whole an enjoyable book. Presents a low opinion of women, the only strong female characters are evil, other women are relegated to weak minor roles supporting the dominant males.
Jack
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...more
J.R.
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
Anna
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...more
Maddy
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...more
BJ
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...more
Beverly
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.
Vika Ryabova
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...more
Susan
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
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...more
Minty McBunny
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
Tanja
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....more
Dorian
Here we have an all-too typical phenomenon: the first book to be translated into English comes from the middle of this author's long-running series. Why do publishers do this? We're plunged into a series, we don't know the history of the characters.

At any rate, The Fourth Man is likable enough--not your standard procedural. But more distractingly than interestingly weird.

I know it's a pain to compare all Scandinavian mysteries to Henning Mankell, but: Dahl is no Mankell.
Bazbal666
Totally enjoyable scando crime with the obsessive loner detective type dude chasing down the puzzle. In my minds eye he actually lived in the same "flat" that Harry Hole lives in. It just lost the fourth star for the main guy not having as much depth as ol' Harry and the construction of the end I thought was a little more educational than suspenseful, I would definitely read another Dahl though, I had been short on murder so it was a good read!
Sharron
The plot was interesting but more than once I wanted to shake the protagonist homicide detective and ask him "are you really as dense as you seem to be? Is that even possible? How do you keep your job?". Fortunately his boss is a much more creditable character. This is the first in a series and I am willing to give the second a try but it will have to show improvement for me to read more by this author.
Ellen Keim
I think I made a mistake reading this book first because I found it hard to care about the main character and what was happening to him. Maybe if I'd already been introduced to him in earlier books I would have gotten into this more. Also, I thought the mystery was pretty weak. I usually really like Scandinavian writers, so I'm going to give this one another try. Hopefully I'll like the next one better.
R.Z.
Ugh. This winner of Norway's Riverton Prize for Best Crime Novel didn't do a thing for me. Dahl is a master of the use of dialogue, but what good is that when he can't create a single character that a reader can care about. This is a technical picture of a man who gets sexually involved with a woman who disappears and his quest to find her and find out what her relationship is to several murders.
Gina
This Scandanavian police story not as strong as most. Detective Inspector Frolich succumbes to charms of Elizabeth Faremo, She is involved by way of her brother with a group of criminals.....way too much him/her to make is work as a mystery. This is an early book and his first translated into English. Beware praise of "psychological" thriller. Not my thing.
Lisa
I do love my Scandinavian thrillers! This one by an author I have never read, K.O. Dahl from Norway.
I had not read a book with a real femme fatale in a very long time. Interesting how the story was "tied up" in the last pages. Wish I could give 1/2stars on goodreads, if
I could this would have been 3 1/2. Will read more by this author. Exciting and fun!
Wanrong
I consider myself quite a fan of Scandinavian mysteries, but found this one very slow going at the start. Fr some reason, I just didn't get into the story, until perhaps the last 1/3. Perhaps it was a little too contrived at the start? Am prepared to try another of Dahl's books to give him a fair chance, but wasn't particularly taken by this one.
Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
As a study in obsession, this it's pretty well done even if somewhat cold and unemotional. The story itself is a bit over-plotted and the ending which unravels all the plot twists comes across as old-fashioned and plodding. You have to suspend belief to accept that Frølich's superiors haven't sacked him after any one of his many antics.
Doug
Another author from Norway.Inspector Frank Frolich meets a young lady in the course of raid and gets caught up in a relationship with her. Then a murder takes place and it seems that the relationship can implicate Frolich in the murder. As usual with books from Norway it is rather dark but interesting with good characters.
Catherine Woodman
I have read quite a few Scandanavian murder mysteries of late and this one is relaly amongst the best. The protaonist gets invovled with someone who starts to look alot like a perpetrator, but he is able to use what he knows formt he inside to figure out what's going on. Well written and a good look at the Norwegians.
Karen Leedom
I don't agree with the review that calls this a "sexy, fast-paced psychological thriller." I would categorize it as a mystery, but psychological thriller is taking it a bit far I think. Even to say "thriller" means, to me, that it would be a page-turner. Anyway, a good mystery with some twists and turns would sum it up nicely.
Dsolove
I love to find a good new (to me) detective/mystery writer. K. O. Dahl is definitely in that category. He has a great cop in Froelich. The story moves quickly and is well written. The ending is satisfying and i didn't feel left behind by too many plot twists. I will definitely read his other books.
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Born in 1958, Dahl's first novel was published in 1993. He is best known for his series about Oslo detectives Frank Frølich and Inspector Gunnarstranda.

Also publishes as K.O. Dahl
More about Kjell Ola Dahl...
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