Beverley's Reviews > The Ice Swimmer

The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl
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really liked it
bookshelves: blog-tour, arc, e-book, hard-copy, orenda-books, to-review, 2018

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 the death of a man whose body has been pulled from Oslo Harbour. Are the two cases linked? If so, how?

The Ice Swimmer is the first book I have read in the Oslo Detective series of books but I didn’t feel lost and it can certainly be read as a stand alone novel. Ultimately though it made me want to go and read all of the others as this was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Not only is there a wonderful sense of place (Oslo is a character in itself) but the characterisation is on point. It is important when picking up a book midway through a series that the characters are immediately recognisable and Kjell Ola Dhal writes Lena et al with a deft hand.

This is a twisty tale with red-herrings and clues dropped like breadcrumbs through the snowy streets of Oslo. I had no idea where it was going, which isn’t a criticism at all, the plotting is exemplary and the twists, when they come, are neither unrealistic nor sensational. This is good old-fashioned storytelling at its best. Lena has health issues on her mind, a case she is trying to crack, a boss clipping her wings and a new boyfriend who is a jorunalist and she really should stay away from him. The power play between Lena and her superior, the Government minister and her burgeoning relationship with Steffan are cleverly and accurately written and drew me in.

Kjell Ola Dhal is known as the Godfather of Nordic Noir and after reading The Ice Swimmer I can see why. This book is wonderfully and expertly translated by Don Bartlett who also translated Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole books (which are some of my absolute favourites) and if you too liked them then you will love The Ice Swimmer. I am a little annoyed at myself for waiting so long to read a Kjell Ola Dhal novel. I love Nordic Noir and I love well-plotted books which hold my interest and The Ice Swimmer has both in spades. On the bright side I have a whole series to devour now. Excellent.

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Reading Progress

March 28, 2018 – Started Reading
March 28, 2018 – Shelved
March 28, 2018 – Shelved as: blog-tour
March 28, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
March 28, 2018 – Shelved as: e-book
March 28, 2018 – Shelved as: hard-copy
March 28, 2018 – Shelved as: orenda-books
March 28, 2018 – Shelved as: to-review
March 31, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
March 31, 2018 – Finished Reading

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