Wednesday 26 April 2023

The Lazarus Solution by Kjell Ola Dahl t. Don Bartlett BLOG TOUR #TheLazarusSolution @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks #BookExtract


Summer, 1943. Daniel Berkåk, who works as a courier for the Press and Military Office in Sweden, is killed on his last cross-border mission to Norway.

 Demobbed sailor Kai Fredly escapes from occupied Norway into Sweden, but finds that the murder of his Nazi-sympathiser brother is drawing the attention of the authorities on both sides of the border.

 The Norwegian government, currently exiled in London, wants to know what happened to their courier, and the job goes to writer Jomar Kraby, whose first suspect is a Norwegian refugee living in Sweden … a refugee with a past as horrifying as the events still to come … a refugee named Kai Fredly…

 Both classic crime and a stunning exposé of Norwegian agents in Stockholm during the Second World War, The Lazarus Solution is a compulsive, complex and dazzling historical thriller from one of the genre’s finest writers.

 For fans of Sebastian Faulks, Lars Mytting, Mick Herron and Robert Harris.

The Lazarus Solution by Kjell Ola Dahl is translated by Don Bartlett. The paperback is published by Orenda Books on 27 April 2023.

As part of this Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 

Extract from The Lazarus Solution by Kjell Ola Dahl 

As afternoon became evening, he was sitting alone at a table by the wall in Cecil’s. His selections from the menu were made with judicious care. He ate and drank only what he could afford. Around him sat German officers with Norwegian women. Power attracts, he thought to himself, and as soon as the thought was articulated, one of the women burst into laughter, revealing a lot of teeth and gums. He looked down and lit a cigarette. The last of his money would go on this meal. He needed a job, and once again he was reminded of the vicious, brutal way in which his brother had lost his life. There was nothing he could do about that though. Being utterly alone was a new situation for him, but it also contained a sense of expectation. Again his thoughts turned to his family, to his father, who had worked at the sausage factory in Fredensborgveien and had been alone at work the day everything went awry. The workers on the new shift found him in the giant meat grinder. He had been trying to free a blockage and had left the motor on while he stood over the machine, poking at the minced meat with a stick. Apparently, the grinder had caught the sleeve of his overall and dragged him up into it. It must have all happened in seconds, the factory foreman said. His mother had cursed his eternal haste, his sloppiness and all his short cuts as much she mourned his passing. For Kai the bereavement was harder. He felt the unpleasantness of the bizarre way his father had died as intensely as his grief. It always hurt Kai to think about his father. His emotions were never pure; his sense of loss was mixed with anger, his sorrow mixed with shame.

Nor could he talk about the accident with anyone, not even with his mother or Atle. His brother had felt little shame about his father’s death, but his anguish had been boundless and found release in tears. Atle and his father had argued about everything while he had been alive. When he died, though, Atle turned to mush. 

Kai took out the business card the woman in the cemetery had given him and flicked it between his fingers. There was no one waiting for him. ‘Come and stay with us for a few days.’ Should he take her at her word? Or was her invitation just a pleasantry, a polite way of rounding off the conversation because she had known Atle? Should he find accommodation elsewhere? Or should he visit this couple? The answer stared him in the face. He had no money. In a way, this was par for the course. It was as though his brother had sent him this woman. As though Atle had been looking down through a hole in the sky and had sent an angel to help his destitute brother.

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik.

He made his debut in 1993, and has since published fourteen novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. 

In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. 

His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Twitter @ko_dahl

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