The fourth dour appearance for Norwegian cops Gunnarstranda and Frølich.
When the Oslo police are called to the crime scene, pretty Reidun Rosendal doesn’t look so pretty any more. Blood seeps out of numerous stab wounds. Nor does her apartment look its best. It’s obviously been tossed, the door ajar but the front gate lock smashed. What happened to the lively saleswoman for Software Partners? The neighbor across the way has a few ideas generated by a stash of porn magazines, a chair angled to peer directly into Reidun’s flat and a pair of heavy-duty binoculars to put her love life into focus. He insists that the ponytailed man who spent the night must have done her in. But did he? Inspector Gunnarstranda and his second-in-command, Frølich (The Fourth Man, 2008, etc.), aren’t so sure. They take their time exploring every possibility, including Reidun’s occasional recreational sessions with her company’s managing director, her cool relationship with his wife and the criminal proclivities of the chief owner, who’s now working a fraud involving partnership deals that will enrich him at the expense of the firm. There’s a second break-in at Reidun’s place and another at Software Partners. Even more disconcertingly, the ponytailed lover winds up beheaded, and the porn-addicted neighbor who suspected him succumbs after a slide into the river. More stolid police work separates the financial from the supercharged emotional shenanigans, culminating in a spate of overkill.
Proficient but slow-going, leaving readers worrying that the rain will never let up, until ennui runneth over.