Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl

“The sun coming through the window made it difficult to see the writing on the screen. Gunnarstranda drew the curtain. Then his mobile beeped. It was a text from Tove. She wanted to know which version of ‘Come Rain or Come Shine’ he liked best.  What sort of question was that? There were loads of versions, each one better than the last: Sarah Vaghan, Art Blakey, Ella, Chet, Bobby Hatfield, Ray Charles, Judy Garland – even the lyricist Johnny Mercer himself. While he was thinking he remembered the words. Then he cottoned on to what the real message was and closed his eyes with a shy smile. “

Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl was one of my Easter holiday reads (Paskekrim). Faithless explores a missing person case, a new murder and an old murder. Kjell Ola Dahl also lets us in on a few of the varied personal relationships going on amongst the detectives in their Oslo precinct.   The tale is not dissimilar to the type of story Wahloo and Sjowahl tell but with the injection of some psychological thriller elements. Faithless is rooted in everyday life.  The story unfolds as lies are uncovered by Frolich and Gunnarstaranda’s police detective work and the relationships in the story are believable.

The book has very short chapters so it is excellent for readers who like to squeeze in a chapter at bedtime before sleeping.  It is by no means a story that appears in a straight line to the reader. This book twists and turns and interconnects like Spaghetti Junction. Faithless is the fifth of the his books to be translated into English I shall look forward to reading any more of the Oslo Detectives series if they come my way.

Kjell Ola Dahl is a prize winning author who comes from Grovik in Norway where he was born in 1958 and now lives near Oslo.  His first book was published in 1993 and he has since had 11 published, mainly police procedurals. This book has been translated by Don Bartlett and is published in the UK by Orenda. Previously translated and published titles are The Fourth Man, The Man in the Window, The Last Fix and Lethal Investments.

Kjell Ola Dahl will be appearing at Newcastle Noir on Saturday 29 April , CrimeFest in Bristol and later this summer at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

For info this is the best version of the tune mentioned in the quote!


  1. […] Ice Swimmer has positive similarities with the first book published by Orenda Faithless.  The tale is a police procedural with a touch of psychological thriller.  The tension builds […]

  2. […] who want to read more crime fiction from Norway. The book stands alone but I would suggest reading Faithless and The Ice Swimmer first to get the background on Frank Frolich and his career. All three books […]

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