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Dahl, K O - 'The Fourth Man' (translated by Don Bartlett)
Paperback: 288 pages (Mar. 2007) Publisher: Faber and Faber ISBN: 0571230911

Frank Frolich of the Oslo police meets the love, or at least the obsession, of his life when he protects her during a police raid on the shop she was visiting. The young woman is Elisabeth Faremo who also happens to have a brother, Jonny, who is a career criminal.

Naturally things don't go swimmingly. One night a security guard is attacked and killed and an anonymous tip-off leads the police to Jonny Faremo and his gang. That is until, Elisabeth gives them an alibi and Frolich's name is mentioned. The gang is freed but Elisabeth disappears.

Frolich is asked to take some time off - his boss Gunnarstranda is not happy with him and believes Frank has been played from the very beginning. When bodies begin turning up, Frolich begins his own unofficial investigation.

THE FOURTH MAN is the fifth in the Gunnarstranda/Frolich series but the first to be translated into English and is more of a thriller than a police procedural. The fact that it's part of a series, albeit the latest one, does imply that nothing too bad will happen to Frolich even though he exhibits some very unpolicelike behaviour.

After the scene setting of Frolich's and Elisabeth's intense relationship which does take a while, the pace begins to pick up with Frolich reeling from one piece of bad news to the next. The plot unfolds in a logical if not totally unexpected way and there is a good sense of place of Oslo - wet, cold and snowy.

I'd like to read more of this series, especially if they are more traditional police procedurals, and I hope the earlier books join this one in translation.

Read another review of THE FOURTH MAN.

Karen Meek, England
May 2007

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 1/11/2009 11:04