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The Fourth Man

New or Used: 2 copies from $9.90
New or Used: 2 copies from $9.90

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The Fourth Man - K. O. Dahl's hard-boiled psychological crime thriller, set in Oslo - is a tale of revenge and erotic obsession.

About the Author

K.O. Dahl was born in Norway in 1958 and lives with his wife and children in Askim, near Oslo. His first novel Deadly Investments was published in Norway in 1993.


This hard-boiled debut novel featuring Norwegian homicide squad detectives Frank Frilick and his partner, Gunnarstranda, is a bit confusing at first. Focusing on the very sexual relationship of Frilick and Elizabeth Faremo, the sister of a crime figure in Oslo whom Frilick meets during a police raid, the plot moves slowly until Faremo's brother is murdered. So absorbed by his passion, Frilick is blindsided throughout the story, and his behavior is mostly reactive. Of course, Dahl will be compared with Henning Mankell, but his approach, at least in this book, is so much darker and cynical. The mystery is there, and the plot's twists and turns demonstrate why Dahl has won the coveted Martin Beck Award and several other crime fiction awards. For collections where Scandinavian mysteries circulate. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 11/1/07; a Minotaur First Edition Selection; library marketing campaigns.] Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Little is as it seems in Norwegian author Dahl's U.S. debut, which features a tangled web of art theft, blackmail, torrid sex and double crosses. After femme fatale Elisabeth Faremo seduces Det. Insp. Frank Frilich of the Oslo police, Frank learns Elisabeth has a brother, the thug Jonny Faremo, and Elisabeth has used Frank as part of an alibi to help Jonny beat a murder rap. Later, Frank discovers that Elisabeth's female university mentor, Reidun Vestli, is also her lover. Reidun eventually turns up dead, as do Elisabeth and Jonny. Frank becomes a suspect in Jonny's death even as he begins to understand how an old robbery is connected to the murders. The entertaining if overstuffed plot is undermined at times by Frank's strange lack of reaction to Elisabeth's death and an unprofessional approach to forensic evidence relevant to the twist ending. Still, scenes like the one in which Frank finds himself locked in a sauna, doomed to become wrinkled to death, combined with the clinical style, make for an exciting read. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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