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The Ice Swimmer

(Oslo Detectives #8)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  247 ratings  ·  50 reviews
When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder.
With her trusted col
Paperback, 276 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Orenda Books (first published 2011)
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3.83  · 
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The Ice Swimmer is the latest in Kjell Ola Dahl’s Oslo Detective series, with a paperback publication date of October 1, 2018. (It's available on Kindle now.)

Warning to readers who prefer to start any series with Book #1: Of the first 7 books, 5 have been published in English and they were published in reverse order to their Swedish publication dates. The good news is that, even though this is a series, the books don’t focus on the same detective and the Ice Swimmer is the first novel to focus o
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Just last year I was introduced property to the Nordic Noir genre and have fallen greatly in love. Despite my vast hunger to try and read all things in this genre, this is my first Kjell Ola Dahl. I was a little hesitant like I always am, walking into a series without reading from book one... and this is 8th in the Oslo Detectives series. No worries though! For those who may be hesitant, DON'T BE - this actually reads extremely well as a stand alone!

I actually am enthralled with Detective Lena's
Laura Rash
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh my, the tale weaves here was incredible. Dark mystery, a cancer scare, deceiving characters & a plot that thickens with every chapter! It doesn’t matter if you’ve read any others in this series, it’s fine as a standalone. I was absorbed in this from the first chapter & enjoyed it immensely.
Thanks to Orenda for this free copy:)
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something about the Norwegian crime dramas that piques my interest every time and this one was a good one! This is a police procedural that gets pretty complicated and at times a little confusing, but once you get things sorted out in your head it is a good read. Lena Stigersand is an interesting detective who has just found out she has cancer as she is facing this very challenging case. Although I liked the character I found her a little strange. The very last scene in the book I found ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
All my reviews can be found on

3.5* --> 4*

Despite the fact Kjell Ola Dahl is known as one of the godfathers of Nordic Noir and that I’ve had Faithless on my bookshelf for aeons, this is the first book I’ve read by him. While it says The Ice Swimmer is the eighth book in the Oslo Detectives series, don’t let that put you off as this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone and I never really felt I was missing out on anything.

It’s a busy day in the city of Oslo. The body of a ma
Susan Hampson
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-reads
I cannot think of anything more terrifying than someone chasing me through the underground on and off trains, while the world just went about its business, either oblivious to what is happening or choosing to be. Well the chase was well and truly on when I opened this book but unfortunately not for long. In the freezing cold outside the body of a young man is being pulled from the icy water of the harbour. This wasn’t going to be any ordinary day for Detective Lena Stigersand or her colleagues G ...more
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Ice Swimmer – A Nordic Classic

Kjell Ola Dahl returns with the Ice Swimmer once again proving why he is one of the best crime writers in Norway, now making headway here. If you have never read any of Dahl’s work, then you really are missing out on classy Nordic Noir. What he delivers on every page is powerful and convincing and the best example of Nordic Noir and why it is one of Britain’s favourite crime genres.

Detective Lena Stigersand already has a stressful life, she does not require it t
Ken Fredette
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the way Kjell ended his story, hint, read the book. It was quite obvious that Lena was a person that would do whatever it took to come out ahead in what ever was to be accomplished. Gunnarstranda was on her side with most of what she said, and was a father figure to her as far as Rindal, their boss, was concerned. Gunnarstranda always had the advice that swayed her into making the right choice, except in figuring out who the killer was. I like Kjell's story and the play between Lena and S ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
The Ice Swimmer opens with someone trying to escape someone on the metro – we don’t know who these people are or why they are in this position but what is clear is that the woman does not want to be caught.

We are then transported to the streets of Oslo where a body is being removed from the water – what appears to be a simple drowning soon turns into a sinister investigation for the Oslo Detectives.

This is the 8th book in the series and the second I have read but it can most definitely be read a
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
his is the eighth book in the series and the first one I have read. My first question was would I have missed out on any background information about the characters. The simple answer was no, this is a novel that stands very firmly on its own.

From the outset the pace is unrelenting, two murders, two investigations, and an author leading the reader through a myriad of twists and turns.

The main protagonist is Lena Stigersand, a detective in her mid thirties. She is a character I instantly liked. I
Heather Fineisen
A smart procedural mystery with characters that were relatable and likable. The plot gets a bit thick with the introduction of an international element. Otherwise, it's a series I would follow.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark, complex and nail - bitingly tense, it is all those, with a terrific female detective leading up this investigation in the form of Lena Stigersand, focused and driven, cool and collected, determined, but also vulnerable and somehow alone. A well rounded character, very much focussed on the investigation in this book but with some references to family and some trouble ahead due to health problems, Lena struck me as very pragmatic, getting the job done and not allowing herself to be distracte ...more
Karen Cole
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Two tragic deaths just before Christmas seem to be grim but unconnected and simple cases for Detective Lena Stigersand and Inspector Gunnarstranda to investigate. Lena is called to the drowning of a young man in Oslo Harbour - probably as a result of an alcohol fuelled accident after a night out, and Gunnarstranda's case seems even more straightforward after a homeless drug addict throws herself in front of a train. However, the evidence doesn't match the hypotheses and before long they realise ...more
Donna Hines
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Air of intrigue. Sense of Anxiety. Dark and Mysterious. Complex and Deep. Madness at its finest.
These are just some of what you'll experience as you feel as though you're unable to catch a breath, sinking ever so slowly, trying to reach the surface, only to be swiftly taken back down.
The intensity, the depth, the allure of the unknown is what captivates readers to Kjell Ola Dahl and it's what kept me locked in .
Amazing work with The Ice Swimmer as we wonder if it's even possible to disguise murd
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed all of K.O. Dahl's previous books translated into English, but this one may be my favorite so far. The two normal protagonists in Dahl's Oslo police series, Gunnarstranda and Frolich, play lesser roles in this one, although Gunnarstranda's periodic involvement is still a key to the story. Mostly, however, this book introduces us to a newbie in the department, Lena Stigersand, and her involvement in a multiple murder case. We follow her steps along the way, and we see her ambition ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lena Stigersand is called to attend the scene of a drowned man in the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour. Her colleague Gunnerstranda is working on another case of suicide. Amongst these cases a letter threatening a Member of Parliament arrives.

This book is broken down into chapters that then have several sub chapters, I found this really helpful as it meant I could get used to the names of the various characters and familiarise myself with their names. As the investigations proceed the presence of
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il y a quelque chose de pourri dans l’empire du Danemark peut-être, mais au royaume de Norvège aussi comme le découvrira assez vite l'inspecteur de police Lena Stigersand. J'ai eu le plaisir de connaître l'auteur il y a quelques années et ceci est le premier thriller de lui que j'ai pu lire. Une histoire intéréssante avec un final surprenant, ou peut-être assez logique vu le monde d'aujourd'hui.
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimier, egne-reoler
Isbaderen er 6. bind i serien om de norske kriminalfolk.

Denne adskiller sig noget fra de forgående, da vores hovedperson ikke er med i denne, bortset fra en meget lille birolle. I stedet udfoldes Gunnarstranda og Lena… Og det gøres rigtig godt :D

Det er igen en pageturner, den er yderst velskrevet og glider nærmest ned af sig selv.
Desværre var der et par episoder, hvor jeg synes at utopien sneg sig ind, og gjorde mig en anelse irriteret. Dog ikke i en sådan grad, at det påvirkede den samlede ople
Mary Picken
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Lena Stigersand is part of the team of Oslo detectives who investigate serious crimes in the city. She can more than hold her own with her colleagues, and in this book, it is Lena who is at the forefront of the investigation into the death of a man pulled from the icy waters of the harbour.

It is not long before the team realises that this is a murder enquiry and when another murder occurs shortly afterwards, it slowly becomes clear that they are related. Lena and Gunnarstranda are work
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dead man has been found floating in the freezing waters of Oslo Harbor. There are no signs of foul play. The death looks like an intoxicated man who fell into the water and couldn't get out.

A woman throws herself in front of a metro train. CCTV footage reveals that she was being chased by a mysterious hooded man. Did she really commit suicide or was she pushed?

Oslo detective, Lena Stigerstand is put in charge of the drowning case. She quickly finds herself involved in the workings of local po
This wonderfully written book opens with a woman being chased through the streets of Oslo. It is a few days before Christmas, the streets are busy with shoppers and a lone female is being pursued by an unknown assailant. She runs into a Metro station, hops on a train, jumps off at the next station onto a different train and the chaser is right behind her. What happens next reverberates through the upper echelons of power, to the Oslo police and to Detective Lena Stigersand who is investigating t ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett. Norway.
Gunnarstranda & Frølich, Oslo Detectives
**6 of 8 (11) novels have been published in English, these translations have been published in the reverse order to which they were written.
The Ice Swimmer, # 8. Oslo Detectives. Feb 28, 2018. iBook.
Lena Stigersand is back on the beat right from the start of this storyline, even though she had gone roque at the end of the last story Faithless during a hot summer and was to be doing office work awhil
When I realised this was number six in the Oslo Detectives series, I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it, having not read any of the previous ones. But it is written is such a way that I didn’t feel I missed out on anything. This book takes one of the previous characters seen in the Oslo Detectives books, Lena Stigersand, and makes her the new lead character. Well-established characters of the preceding books also make an appearance, but most of our time is spent with Lena. I will be seeking out the ...more
Jeannette M. Hartman
Three seemingly unrelated murders turn out to be a toxic mix of politics, greed and a lust for power.

Oslo detective Lena Stigersand is assigned to the drowning of Sveinung Adeler, 31, off the City Hall Quay. It wasn't robbery because he still has his expensive Tissot Chronograph watch and a full wallet. The pathology report shows he hadn't been drinking. The only clues are faint signs that he was held under water with a piece of lumber and died around 5:30 a.m.

Gunnarstranda has a case of differ
Julie Stielstra
I've finished with Mankell, Adler-Olson, Arnaldur Indridason (the best of the bunch!), Nesser, Sjowall/Wahloo's classic Beck series, and Fossum; a couple of Turstens were enough. Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Nesbo didn't appeal to me; Larsson made me feel ill. So I pulled this Scandi Noir off the library new book shelf and gave it a whirl. A crisp, dramatic procedural that evokes the bitter winter of Oslo, it features a sturdy, smart female detective with a lousy love life (and taste in men, it seems ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.As soon as I started reading The Ice Swimmer I felt like was in the company of old friends.I had only met the characters once previously, in Faithless, but Lena, Gunnarstranda and Frølich are so easy to know and like. Probably because they are shown as normal people who have everyday issues.Lena is the lead character again on the two cases that are being investigated. She is a brilliant and dedicated officer but her personal life is a disaster a ...more
Paul Allard
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Norwegian noir thriller and police procedural – a real page-turner

This novel deals with Lena, an Oslo detective, investigating two suspicious deaths: an analyst is found drowned in Oslo harbour and a homeless addict throws herself in front of a Metro train. As you can imagine, all is not as it seems and political corruption, murder, deception and betrayal all factor into the equation. Lena occasionally makes poor decisions, some of which I found surprising for an experienced detective but there
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl is everything I like about Nordic Noir. Great mystery, great characters, and I come away feeling like I was actually in Oslo, Norway.

The main character, Detective Lena Stigersand, is going through personal health issues while trying to solve a drowning that appears to be much more than an accident. Also helping are Detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich.

You get a good idea of what it's like to be a detective, both pros and cons. And for us Americans, we learn a f
This is a twisty tale!

Two deaths in a short space of time from when the novel opens and then bam sham a lam, things get very murky indeed.

The novel opens when someone is being chased through the metro station and she heads into a tunnel.....then a body is fished from the waters within yards of Oslo's City Hall

Who is involved in these murders, why is the City Hall location important and does Oslo have an underbelly that is gradually getting darker and darker? Tunnels, black holes, icy waters...w
Kathleen Gray
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic nordic noir! It's got a troubled detective (Lena), a mysterious death, political issues, and a twisty plot that will confound you until suddenly all becomes clear. This one though also has some really interesting asides into food which isn't something I've seen in other books in the genre. It's also a bit different in that it doesn't get too gory and Lena has the benefit of two good colleagues. Make no mistake, it's dark but not as dark as some. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Although ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Oslo Detectives (8 books)
  • Lethal Investments
  • The Last Fix
  • The Man in the Window
  • Lügenmeer (Gunnarstranda & Frølich, #4)
  • The Fourth Man
  • Wraakengel
  • Faithless