OSLO AND BERGEN – read now, travel later

View of Karl Johan (Oslo main street)

For more than a year we have been relegated to travelling via books set in interesting locations, but hopefully we may soon travel to real places again. Many crime fiction novels offer both exciting stories and captivating environments, so why not read now – and explore the cities of some great detectives, e.g. Oslo and Bergen, later on.

Oslo

Oslo forms the backdrop for the successful Harry Hole series, created by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. Harry Hole lives and works in Oslo – and many places and neighbourhoods in the city play an important role in the stories. You may literally follow in Harry´s footsteps and discover some of the crime scenes, addresses, parks and pubs mentioned in the books. The first two installments take place outside Norway, but The Redbreast is a good starting point for reading the series – and for exploring the sights of Oslo.
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Oslo City Hall

Thomas Enger worked as a journalist in Oslo for many years and uses his own experiences in the gripping Henning Juul series featuring an investigative crime reporter. Enger knows all the city streets, the huge parks, the dark corners, and manages to create a tense and engaging city atmosphere
Lately Thomas Enger has started co-writing the Blix & Ramm series together with Jørn Lier Horst. The first part is set in the Oslo media and blogging world and the second installment has a really explosive opening when a bomb goes off during the New Year’s Eve fireworks in front of the City Hall in Oslo.
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And if you want to find more Norwegian novels set in Oslo, Anne Holt, Samuel Bjørk and Kjell Ola Dahl have written series worth exploring.

Bryggen in Bergen
Bryggen in Bergen

Bergen

The author Gunnar Staalesen grew up in Bergen and has spent most of his life there. He knows every alley and has made his hometown famous through the Varg Veum series. Private Investigator Varg Veum is a complex but compelling hero, and the novels are engaging psychological thrillers with a strong sense of place. Varg Veum´s significance for Bergen has even been manifested by a life-size sculpture of him at Strandkaien 2.
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Lille Lungegård lake in Bergen

Agnes Ravatn is a young Norwegian author, who has written two crime fiction novels so far. The Seven Doors tells the story of  Nina Wisløff, an experienced Bergen university professor, who step by step turns into an unlikely, but dangerously curious detective. The novel is set in Bergen and its surroundings, but Agnes Ravatn describes the city from a rather different view compared to Gunnar Staalesen.
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