Suspenseful, intriguing and chilling - words that come instantly to mind when describing this gripping book - I thoroughly enjoyed "Where Roses Never Die" the 18th instalment in the Norwegian series featuring private investigator Varg Veum. This series has been around for many, many years and is obviously very successful to get to book number 18! Quite easily read as a standalone too, as this was my first venture into the series, I had no problems grasping Varg's history and with individual storylines to each book these make for fabulous and intriguing reading.
In September 1977, three year old Mette Misvaer disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her family home. In a last ditch attempt before the statue of limitations comes into force, Mette's mother hires Varg in a desperate plea to find out what actually happened to her twenty five years ago. Can Varg break through the secrets and lies that have stayed hidden for so long and can he discover the truth behind Mette's disappearance. As a mother myself, the storyline is one you most fear as a parent but it was handled diplomatically without distressing the reader.
Three years after the death of his long term girlfriend, Varg is still a broken-hearted mess, reliant on alcohol and the odd P.I. job to pay the bills. Flawed, but very likeable I couldn't help but fall in love with his character and his perseverance in getting to the truth and breaking people down to reveal their innermost secrets.
It did take me a while to get used to the characters names and how they all fitted into the story but once I did the story flowed seamlessly at a steady pace, thick with intrigue and was very easy to follow.
Written by hugely talented Gunnar Staalesen and expertly translated by Don Bartlett I can't recommend this book enough, a shocking, outstanding plot that's traditional and classic and keeps the reader guessing till the very end. LOVED it!!