Gunnar Staalesen: The Writing on the Wall
The Writing on the Wall
Arcadia Books (Eurocrime)
$13.95 in Canada
Winner of The Golden Pistol Award (Best Norwegian Crime Novel)
It was one of those days in February of which there are far too many, despite its being the shortest month of the year. February is the year’s parenthesis. The tax forms have already been sent in and the tourist season has not yet started: there is nothing on the schedule. Greyish-brown slush lay in the gutters and the hills around the city were barely visible through the fog. Like the golden buttons on the waistcoat of a forgotten snowman, you could just make out the lights of the funicular up the hillside and the street lamps were lit even in the middle of the day…
In this crime drama detective Varg Veum’s adventures lead him into a dark world of privileged teenage girls who have been drawn into drugs and prostitution. The situation worsens when the local judge is discovered in a luxury hotel, dead and clad only in women’s lingerie. Called in by anxious parents to look for a missing daughter and explain the judge’s death, Varg finds clues that lead him only deeper into Bergen’s criminal underworld.