September 1977. Mette Misvær, a three-year-old girl disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found.
Almost 25 years later, as the expiry date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette's mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened to her daughter. As Veum starts to dig, he uncovers an intricate web of secrets, lies and shocking events that have been methodically concealed. When another brutal incident takes place, a pattern begins to emerge…
Chilling, shocking and full of extraordinary twists and turns, Where Roses Never Die reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world's foremost thriller writers.
'Mature and captivating' Herald Scotland
‘One of the finest Nordic novelists - in the tradition of Henning Menkell' Barry Forshaw, Independent
‘Masterful pacing' Publishers Weekly
‘Norwegian master Staalesen is an author who eschews police procedural narratives for noirish private eye pieces' Financial Times
‘Staalesen is one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors and this is a series with very sharp teeth' Ian Rankin
‘A Norwegian Chandler' Jo Nesbo
‘One of Norway's most skilful storytellers' Johan Theorin
While many current Scandinavian mystery authors produce procedurals featuring world-weary and emotionally disturbed police detectives, Staalesen follows the hard-boiled PI tradition, as shown by the stunning 18th entry in his series starring Varg Veum (after 2015's We Shall Inherit the Wind). In 1977, three-year-old Mette Misvaer went missing from her home in a suburb of Bergen, Norway. Nearly 25 years later, as the statute of limitations approaches, Mette's desperate mother asks Veum to see whether he can figure out what happened to her daughter. Veum, a former child-welfare officer, relentlessly tracks down clues, which oddly connect Mette's disappearance to a jewelry store robbery in 2001. Meanwhile, Veum, who's in his late 50s, battles incipient alcoholism and guilt over the loss of his lover, Karin, who has been dead three years. Having always felt that harming a child is the worst of crimes, Veum pursues what may be his most important case, one that proves the wry comment of his old adversary, Inspector Muus: "You never know what lurks behind closed doors."