Review published on September 9, 2018.
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 to be made any more difficult, but you do not always get what you want. When a civil servant is pulled from the freezing water of Oslo Harbour, her life is about to take a turn for the worst. Which, just before Christmas, is not the most welcome thing.
Besides trying to crack a case that at first looks like suicide but turns into a murder case, she is also having to deal with a cancer diagnosis, a stalker, a new boyfriend who seems to have secrets. Life is not easy, as her mother is on at her about the forthcoming Christmas.
Working alongside her colleagues, who she has trusted throughout her service, Lena digs deeper and finds herself in a political storm not of her own making. Someone within the Police Department seems to be letting them down, as the newspapers seem to be ahead of the police, which piles pressure on them.
The Ice Swimmer is a taut, tense explosion of Nordic Noir, that is beautifully written, and Don Bartlett once again translates and does not lose any of the power or the beauty of the text. Dahl is such a talented writer whose writing is powerful and so convincing, you will enjoy reading. The only fault being the crime gets solved and life moves on!
Paul Diggett 5/5
The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl
Orenda Books 9781912374076 pbk Apr 2018