Joining the dots in Norway and Kenya: Little Drummer by Kjell Ola Dahl tr. Don Bartlett #excerpt #LittleDrummer #OsloDetectives #RandomThingsTours

Hi and welcome to FromBelgiumWithBookLove where it is my absolute pleasure to share with you an excerpt from Little Drummer! Check out my review here if you missed it the first time around, but the long and short of it is that Little Drummer is another entertaining, well-written and well-plotted instalment in a great classic Nordic Noir series.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for having me on the tour, and to Orenda Books for the excerpt.

Let’s have a quick look at the blurb first:

Godfather of Nordic Noir Kjell Ola Dahl returns with a tense, sophisticated, searingly relevant international thriller that explodes the Nordic Noir genre, as Frølich and Gunnarstranda travel the globe to investigate exploitation and corruption in the distribution of foreign aid and essential HIV medications.
When a woman is found dead in her car in a Norwegian parking garage, everyone suspects an overdose … until a forensics report indicates that she was murdered. Oslo Detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda discover that the victim’s Kenyan scientist boyfriend has disappeared, and their investigations soon lead them into the shady world of international pharmaceutical deals.
While Gunnarstranda closes in on the killers in Norway, Frølich and Lise, his new journalist ally, travel to Africa, where they make a series of shocking discoveries about exploitation and corruption in the distribution of foreign aid and essential HIV medications.
When tragedy unexpectedly strikes, all three investigators face incalculable danger, spanning two continents. And not everyone will make it out alive…
Exploding the confines of the Nordic Noir genre, Little Drummer is a sophisticated, fast-paced, international thriller with a searingly relevant, shocking premise that will keep you glued to the page. 

Ready to go looking for leads? Perfect! Here goes:


As the woman had neither ID nor any other personal possessions on her, it was down to the senior duty officer at Oslo Crime Squad to start making the necessary enquiries that might establish the identity of the victim. The car she had been found in was apparently owned by a certain Kjetil Sandvik. The duty officer rang Sandvik from his desk. It turned out he was a retired pilot living in Heddal. He was extremely ill at ease at being called by Oslo Police, but was able to inform them that his car was being used by his youngest daughter, Marianne, who was studying literature at Oslo University. He hadn’t driven the car himself for more than a year. 

While Sandvik was talking, the duty officer tapped his forefinger on a biro, the rounded end of which he had placed in his left nostril. This was a habit he had developed when he was on the phone and no longer listening. What he really wanted to do was hang up. However, this conversation had put him in a difficult position. From the police report, it emerged that the car park staff had called the police, who in turn had called A&E. The doctor who arrived with the paramedics in the ambulance concluded that the woman’s death had been caused by a self-administered dose of heroin and had issued a death certificate to this effect. Between the fingers of the victim hung a syringe, pointing down to the floor, where the duty officer had found the rest of the junkie’s standard kit: a spoon, a cigarette lighter and some silver paper containing traces of heroin. 

It was, therefore, highly probable that the deceased was the car owner’s daughter. But it wasn’t certain. And it was the job of a priest or someone suitably qualified to pass on the sad tidings, not the lot of an impatient policeman like himself. Having no wish to get himself into deep water, he stammered out an apology for ringing Sandvik, knowing full well that this would not put the carowner’s mind at rest. He failed to ask Sandvik about his daughter’s appearance or her use of drugs. Instead, he made out that his call was due to a parking issue, which in a sense was true, as the car was at that moment being towed out of the underground car park and taken to Oslo Council’s impoundment lot for illegally parked vehicles in the district of Sogn. 

After the conversation, his sense of unease developed into annoyance, and he soon knew what he would do. For some time now, he’d had a bone to pick with a certain police inspector, and because he had just received another complaint regarding the man’s wilful smoking habits, he decided to let the man – Inspector Gunnarstranda – sharpen his wits for a few hours on a bog-standard OD case. 

Ready for more? No worries: Little Drummer is out now in digital formats and will be out in paperback on 26 May. (Pre)order directly from Orenda Books.

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