Sunday, 20 April 2014

twenty.

Forty Days Without Shadow by Olivier Truc (2012)

 An ancient Sami drum is stolen from a gallery in Kautokeino and a reindeer herder is found murdered out on the vidde. And with a UN conference on indigenous peoples coming up, the drum needs to be found as fast as possible. Kenneth Nango and Nina Nansen from the reindeer police are asked to help out on the cases. 

Kenneth, a local Sami, who has been in the police for decades has admirers and enemies, even within the police. He knows most of the people in Kautokeino. Nina Nansen has just started working in the reindeer police and as she is from the south of Norway, she is not used to the conditions and cultures of the north. And she is especially fascinated by the sun coming back on the horizon.

As the plot thickens, a Frenchman with a taste for young girls and metals, makes his presence known in Kautokeino. It also seems that corrupt politicians and police are involved in the case. And then there is an old map indicating a gold mine.

It is always interesting to read books about Norway written by foreign authors. Olivier Truc is a French journalist who has worked mainly in Sweden and he definitely has a lot of knowledge about the Northern Scandinavia. The atmosphere of Kautokeino is spot on at times, and I especially think he explained the political climate well.  As this is fiction, some things are made up, such as the transnational structure of the reindeer police, but I think that is necessary for the story. I found the beginning of the book slow, probably because of too much information which didn't really fit in with the story. But as the story progressed, the information became more integrated. The end came too fast and I was confused when there were no pages left on the Kindle. I would really like to know how Kenneth and Nina reacted to what had happened.

A good read which made me homesick for the Arctic and longing for snow and darkness while being in sunny Edinburgh. 

9 comments:

  1. I remember reading a good review of this novel on Solgunn's book blog. Solgunn also enjoyed it but I remember that she had a few issues with some of the terms being used in the Norwegian translation.

    I read crime and mystery novels sporadically, and this one does seem to good to pass up on. That being said I am not a happy reader when a book ends too abruptly. Perhaps there is a sequel in store for Truc's readers?

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    1. It was because of Solgunn's review that I discovered the book. The terms are much better in the English translations and I was impressed by the usage of Sami and Norwegian words and they are all well-explained.

      Although it was abrupt, there was a proper conclusion. But it would definitely be interesting to meet Kenneth and Nina again, and I definitely hope Olivier Truc will write more books.

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    2. So it might really be better to read the English translation? Good to hear that it was a proper conclusion to the case.

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    3. (unfortunately the original in French is not an option for me)

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    4. Hard to say as I haven't read the Norwegian translation. But the English is definitely the cheapest one ;) And I found nothing wrong with the terms.

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  2. Så veldig hyggelig det var å lese kommentarene her, og takk til Mari som husket anmeldelsen min :-) Olivier Truc har allerede skrevet bok to i denne serien, så jeg regner med at vi treffer Kennet og Nina igjen, og kanskje vi også får lese hvordan de reagerte på hendelsene (vanskelig å skrive kommentarer på en krimboka, det gjelder å ikke avsløre noe :-) ).

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    1. Og all ære til deg som skrev om boka først! Da er det vel bare å vente på at bok nummer to blir oversatt til norsk eller engelsk. Og det er alltid vanskelig å skrive om krimbøker uten å ødelegge moroa.

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  3. Men du - Edinburgh virker veldig riktig det også altså. Her er det nå snøstorm og påska har vært riktig så utfordrende for oss nordpå. Men du er jo forsåvidt vant, så du vet hva du går glipp av og hva du savner......:-)

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    1. Haha, mamma sa akkurat det samme. Tror det snart er på tide å flytte nordover igjen, dialekta har også begynt å svikte :(

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