Some characters stay with you, some stories make you hungry for more. The Varg Veum series is my EPIC FAVORITE NORDIC LOVE. Has Big Sister lived up to my expectations?
My biggest thanks to Karen and Anne for this blog tour!
Title: Big Sister
Author: Gunnar Staalesen
Date of publication: 2018
Publisher: Orenda Books
Number of pages: 276
Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.
Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…
Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.
Here I am. Sitting at my desk late at night on a Thursday. The way it should be to try and find the right words to express how each Varg Veum story is like good aquavit.
The first time someone offers a glass, you say no, thanks.
The second time, curiosity wins and you are charmed by the taste, although you cannot pinpoint why.
You make the third time happen by pouring it yourself. Once. Twice. And again. Soon it becomes an addiction.
Okay, maybe this is not my best metaphor!!! But this is how I see my relationship with Gunnar Staalesen’s series. In a healthy way! Although my heart breaks every time I finish one of his books.
You always come back to the safety of a brilliant and seemingly effortless writing.
You sip, you let your palate play with the words. An explosion of emotions happen. Not suddenly. Not even gradually. Feelings just slip from the pages to your body. You are not looking for anything. You let the story take you wherever it wants. Because you know it is what you want, what you need, and you feel comfort at the familiarity of each book.
Varg Veum is a mystery. An onion. So many layers we get to see peeled, forging the man, making him more real with each movement. I love everything about him – the fact we get to know him through his cases, through his good and bad moments. Yes, you could find this sentence in so many crime series. But Varg Veum is different. There is an after-taste, there are holes in the story, there are missing pieces of puzzles you solve (or not) in a delicate, strong, beautifully human way.
Being a private investigator gives him more freedom regarding hierarchy, for sure, but it also leaves him so vulnerable at times.
Big Sister hits where it hurts from the start. Family matters. Always them! A half-sister coming from nowhere wants him to find a young girl. Seems simple enough. But oh my! Varg Veum, you are my hero! He runs from one discovery to a beating-up, to a thoughtful conversation to a gut-feeling that is oh-so-often right, and he just takes my hand and I follow until my eyes sting and my brain can’t decipher the words on the page.
Varg Veum doesn’t need a fast car, a fast-paced race against time, or great hair. Varg Veum is the kind of guy you want to deal with when life is a mystery. When you want more from a story than just a bit of adrenaline and characters you will forget once the book in shelved. Varg Veum has an entire world on his shoulder, scarred, fascinating, heart-breaking, but always, always perfect. I have no other words for it.
I could get lost in Gunnar Staalesen’s pure style and his ‘old-fashioned’ cases which take me to another place. A place where time stops and the word investigation takes on a million meanings. You investigate a case, people, yourself, and life.
You get a full experience in the hands of a master of Nordic Noir.
Get Big Sister on Amazon for 99p!!!! (Limited time so hurry up!)
I am pleased to share the poster for what is going to be (already is!) a great blog tour! Don’t miss my friends’ reviews and posts!