Mirror Image by Gunnar Staalesen #bookreview #MirrorImage #Orentober

As Bergen PI Varg Veum investigates two different cases, it becomes clear that they are uncannily similar to harrowing events that took place thirty-six years earlier… A gripping instalment of the award-winning Varg Veum series, by one of the fathers of Nordic Noir. Bergen Private Investigator Varg Veum is perplexed when two wildly different cases cross his desk at the same time. A lawyer, anxious to protect her privacy, asks Varg to find her sister, who has disappeared with her husband, seemingly without trace, while a ship carrying unknown cargo is heading towards the Norwegian coast, and the authorities need answers. Varg immerses himself in the investigations, and it becomes clear that the two cases are linked, and have unsettling – and increasingly uncanny – similarities to events that took place thirty-six years earlier, when a woman and her saxophonist lover drove their car off a cliff, in an apparent double suicide. As Varg is drawn into a complex case involving star-crossed lovers, toxic waste and illegal immigrants, history seems determined to repeat itself in perfect detail … and at terrifying cost… A chilling, dark and twisting story of love and revenge, Mirror Image is Staalesen at his most thrilling, thought-provoking best.


Hi and welcome to my review of Mirror Image, my first review in honour of this year’s #Orentober!

ICYMI #Orentober is my and Danielle Louis’s annual celebration of all things Orenda Books. This year, there’s an Instagram challenge that you can join (find out more here) but obviously that doesn’t mean there won’t be any festivities here on the blog! And I’m kicking off those festivities with Mirror Image!

If you’re a regular here, you’ll know that I love me some Nordic fiction and I really think you can’t call yourself a Scandi Noir fan without having read Varg Veum. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with Veum again, I’m reading this series completely out of order but somehow I never get confused and for me, starting a new Veum always kinda feels like stepping into a favourite restaurant: I know what’s on the menu, I know I like it, and that’s why I keep coming back for more.

This time around, Veum is juggling two investigations that he soon realises might not only be linked to each other, but also to a death pact and other events decades earlier. No, the title of this story was not drawn out of a hat! Veum didn’t know what to make of it, I didn’t either but I was happy to let him have at it. With Mirror Image set in 1993, that means a whole lot of good old-fashioned legwork and very little tech and call me old-fashioned, or maybe just nostalgic, but I do so appreciate that old PI charm.

With its understated, rather stoic protagonist and his a subtle but wicked sense of dry humour, and more than a few jaw-dropping WTH moments, Mirror Image was a joy to read. If you’re as big a fan of Nordic thrillers and solid detective stories as I am, do check out Mirror Image!

Mirror Image is available in digital formats and paperback. Get it directly from Orenda Books here.

Massive thanks to Orenda Books for the digital proof. All opinions are my own.

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