KJELL OLA DAHL

Norwegian writer living outside Oslo, best known for his crime novels featuring the Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frank Frølich.

Biography

Kjell Ola Dahl, sometimes called K.O. Dahl, was born in 1958 in Gjøvik, a little town north of Oslo. He studied law and psychology and has also worked as a taxidriver, dockworker, waiter and child welfare worker. He has written scripts, short stories and non fictional books and published his first crime novel in 1993. Since then he has developed into a very appreciated crime fiction writer. His books are often classic police procedurals with interesting characters and smart dialogues. He lives at lake Mjøsa north of Oslo.
Find out more on the author´s homepage.

Books

The Oslo detectives series:

The fourth man by Kjell Ola Dahl

The Fourth Man  (Oslo detectives)
2007
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: Den fjerde raneren (2005)
In the course of a routine police raid Detective Inspector Frank Frølich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of a wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late – he is blindly in love with her. In a turn of events cryptic, erotic, and complex, he finds himself a prime murder suspect and under the watch of his doubting colleagues. Led through the dark underworld of Oslo, Frølich must find out if he is being used . . . before his life unravels beyond repair.


The man in the window by Kjell Ola Dahl

The Man in the Window (Oslo detectives)
2008
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: Mannen i vinduet (2001)
Oslo is enveloped in freezing cold, and the aging antique dealer Reidar Folke Jespersen takes a taxi to a nearby café. Through the window of the café, he watches his wife enter the door to a flat on the other side of the street, where her lover lives. The following morning Jespersen is found stabbed to death, sitting naked in an armchair in the display window of his antique shop. Detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda are called to the scene. Their only clues are a numerical combination written in ink on the body of the dead man, a red string tied around his neck, a few missing World War II objects, and a number of people extremely satisfied with the news of the man’s death. Questions of love and betrayal, loyalty and guilt will consume the investigation


The last fix by Kjell Ola Dahl

The Last Fix (Oslo detectives)
2009
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: En liten gyllen ring (2000)
A recovering drug addict, Katrine Bratterud, is almost finished with her time in rehab. One evening, contemplating her success at the shore of a lake, she senses that she is not alone.
The discovery of her corpse the following day brings detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda onto the case and into a web of secrets and lies that stretches back generations. K.O. Dahl weaves an intricate plot, juxtaposing the selfdelusion of drug addicts with the more complex self-delusions of the well-respected middle-class people treating them. In a world of secrets can the Oslo Detectives find out the truth about the grisly murder in time before the killer strikes again…?


Lethal investments by Kjell Ola Dahl

Lethal Investments (Oslo detectives)
2011
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: Dødens investeringer (1993)
A woman clearing up the mess her three-year-old son has made on the stairway, discovers a naked leg of a woman sticking out of a doorway. The murder of Reidun Rosendal presents Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frolich with their most intriguing case yet. And the mystery deepens when the chief suspect, Reidun’s lover, is also found murdered. As the investigation proceeds the focus shifts to Reidun’s place of work, where the business and the private lives of the characters intermesh in ways that become lethal.


Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl

Faithless (Oslo detectives)
2017
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: Kvinnen i plast (2010)
When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her … and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he begins to learn more about the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda deals with a disturbingly similar cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway. An unsettling number of coincidences emerge, and Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and to catch the killer before he strikes again.


The ice swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl

The Ice Swimmer (Oslo detectives)
2018
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: Isbaderen (2011)
When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather too close to her personal life…


Sister (Oslo detectives)
2020
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: Søsteren (018)
Suspended from duty, Detective Frank Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend asks him to help a female asylum seeker, who is about to be deported. The young woman claims to have a sister in Norway, and wants help to find her. Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. More and more people get involved, a number of deaths occur and as the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation of a terrible ship accident that happened some decades ago, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run…

Standalones:

The courier by Kjell Ola Dahl

The Courier
2019
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title:  Kureren (2015)
In 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed and escapes to Sweden, while her family in Oslo is deported to Auschwitz. In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife. Their burgeoning relationship ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire.
And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He wants to reconnect with his daughter. But where has he been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles across information that forces her to look closely at her past, and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive.


The Assistant
2021
Translated by Don Bartlett
Original title: Assistenten (2020)
Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there’s a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.
When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity. But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.