Varg Veum is persuaded to take on the case of a missing teenager, by a half-sister he didn’t know he had, in a case that quickly becomes personal … A dark, chilling and startling relevant new instalment in the award-winning Varg Veum series, by one of the fathers of Nordic Noir.
***Shortlisted for the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year***
‘Staalesen continually reminds us why he is one of the finest of Nordic novelists’ Barry Forshaw, Financial Times
‘Chilling and perilous’ Sunday Times
‘Employs Chandleresque similes with a Nordic Noir twist’ Wall Street Journal
Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn't leave an address. She doesn't answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.
Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…
Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.
Praise for Gunnar Staalesen
‘Gunnar Staalesen is one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors. Operating out of Bergen in Norway, his private eye, Varg Veum, is a complex but engaging anti-hero. Varg means “wolf ” in Norwegian, and this is a series with very sharp teeth’ Ian Rankin
‘Almost forty years into the Varg Veum odyssey, Staalesen is at the height of his storytelling powers’ Crime Fiction Lover
‘Staalesen continually reminds us he is one of the finest of Nordic novelists’ Financial Times
‘Chilling and perilous results — all told in a pleasingly dry style’ Sunday Times
‘Staalesen does a masterful job of exposing the worst of Norwegian society in this highly disturbing entry’ Publishers Weekly
'The Varg Veum series is more concerned with character and motivation than spectacle, and it’s in the quieter scenes that the real drama lies’ Herald Scotland
'Every inch the equal of his Nordic confreres Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbo' Independent
‘Not many books hook you in the first chapter – this one did, and never let go!’ Mari Hannah
‘With an expositional style that is all but invisible, Staalesen masterfully compels us from the first pages … If you’re a fan of Varg Veum, this is not to be missed, and if you’re new to the series, this is one of the best ones. You’re encouraged to jump right in, even if the Norwegian names can be a bit confusing to follow’ Crime Fiction Lover
‘With short, smart, darkly punchy chapters Wolves at the Door is a provocative and gripping read’ LoveReading
‘Haunting, dark and totally noir, a great read’ New Books Magazine
In Norwegian author Staalesen's terrific 20th novel featuring Bergen PI Varg Veum (after 2017's Wolves in the Dark), Veum a divorced former child welfare officer, now over 60 but still fit seeks missing 19-year-old university student Emma Hagland, one of "life's lost souls." The puzzling case is brought to Veum by Norma Bakkevik, his 76-year-old half-sister, whose existence he has hitherto largely ignored. Step by ominous step, Veum uncovers successively darker secrets about his parents, neither of whom he really knew, as he pursues his search for Emma. He encounters Emma's absentee father and members of her father's drug-dealing biker gang, who were responsible for a gang rape years earlier that plays a pivotal role in solving Emma's disappearance. Meanwhile, religious fanatics have been using the internet as a weapon to drive depressed young people into suicide. Like Raymond Chandler, Staalesen creates intense emotion through dialogue and description, but his altogether Norwegian focus forces home a substantial social message: ignoring the past is inevitably tragic.