Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the Random Things tour for Kjell Ola Dahl's latest, The Assistant!

1924: Jack is a driver. And while he does drive passengers, he also delivers illegal alcohol. But when he's caught and arrested by Ludvig Paaske, he's let go. He isn't the man they want. They want a much bigger fish--Jack's boss. 

1938: Jack now works for Paaske at his detective agency. A woman has hired them to tail her husband. She says she's convinced he's having an affair and wants proof. But nothing is straightforward about this case. And the woman in question resembles someone from Jack's past. It doesn't take long for the case to drag both men back to that very past. To a time when they were on opposite sides. To the events that brought them together in the first place. 

I read quite a bit of Nordic Noir these days, but this one is probably the most noir of all so far!

It's not just the overall tone and style, which feels reminiscent of classics of the genre, but the time period in which the book is set. Alternating between 1924 and 1938, The Assistant focuses on Norway's pre WWII days, something I know absolutely nothing about!

From the very beginning, I was absolutely drawn into this book. 

We meet both Jack and Paaske while Jack is making a booze delivery. It's prohibition-era Norway, a period that lasted until 1926. And the two men are very much on opposing sides. Paaske is a cop and Jack is a smuggler. In fact, Jack delights in basically pulling one over on Paaske as often as he possibly can. 

And then we jump immediately into 1938 and realize the two of them are now partners! How they came to work together is just one of the many elements that I loved discovering in this book. 

Kjell Ola Dahl is well known as one of the biggest names in the Nordic Noir business and though The Assistant is my first of his books, it's clear to see why he has so many fans!

The Assistant absolutely bleeds atmosphere and I cannot wait to dive into more of Dahl's work now!

This one is out now in the UK from Orenda. It'll be out in the States in October.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Thanks so much for the blog tour support x