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.
‘Staalesen continually reminds us why he is one of the finest of Nordic novelists' Barry Forshaw, Financial Times
‘Employs Chnadleresque similes with a Nordic Noir' Wall Street Journal
‘Mature and captivating' Herald Scotland
‘Chilling and perilous' Sunday Times
‘Masterful' Publishers Weekly
‘A Norwegian Chandler' Jo Nesbø
‘Staalesen is one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors and this is a series with very sharp teeth' Ian Rankin
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.