In Oslo in 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In great haste, she escapes to Sweden whilst the rest of her family is deported to Auschwitz. In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife, Åse, Ester’s childhood best friend. A relationship develops between them, but ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire.
And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He wants to reconnect with his daughter Turid. But where has he been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles across information that forces her to look closely at her past, and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive…
Written with Dahl’s trademark characterisation and clever plotting, The Courier sees one of Norway’s most critically acclaimed authors at his best, as he takes on one of the most horrifying periods of modern history. With its sophisticated storytelling and elegant prose, this stunning and compelling wartime thriller is reminiscent of the writing of John Le Carré and William Boyd.
I love this period of history and this has to be one of the best books I have read that covers this genre – it is superb! Anyone who follows my blog will know that historical fiction is my favourite genre so that is big praise indeed coming from me and the number I have read over the years.
The book is well written, well researched, has a fantastic plot and excellent characterisation. I love how the book is split over different time periods and it has a fantastic layout. The story flows very well and I was completely drawn in.
The book is one that stayed with me after I read it, and I expect it to remain with me for a good while to come. I don’t normally re-read books but I will certainly be picking this one up again.
No hesitation at all in giving this one 5 stars and it will definitely be in my top reads at the end of 2019 – very highly recommended in fact I can’t recommend it highly enough – any fans of this genre need to check out this book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik.
He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich.
In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015.
His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.