10 July 2016

Review: SATELLITE PEOPLE, Hans Olav Lahlum

  • first published in 2015 (Pan Macmillan)
  • ISBN 978-1-4472-6026-4
  • source: my local library
  • translated from Norwegian by Kari Dixon,
  • 371 pages
  • #2 in the K2 series
Synopsis (publisher)

A gripping, evocative and ingenious mystery which pays homage to Agatha Christie, Satellite People is the second Norwegian mystery in Hans Olav Lahlum's series.

Oslo, 1969. When a wealthy man collapses and dies during a dinner party, Norwegian Police Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen, known as K2, is left shaken. For the victim, Magdalon Schelderup, a multimillionaire businessman and former resistance fighter, had contacted him only the day before, fearing for his life.

It soon becomes clear that every one of Schelderup's ten dinner guests is a suspect in the case. The businessman was disliked, even despised, by many of those close to him; and his recently revised will may have set events in motion. But which of the guests - from his current and former wives and three children to his attractive secretary and old cohorts in the resistance - had the greatest motive for murder?

With the inestimable help of Patricia - a brilliant, acerbic young woman who lives an isolated life at home, in her wheelchair - K2 begins to untangle the lies and deceit within each of the guests' testimonies. But as the investigators receive one mysterious letter after another warning of further deaths, K2 realises he must race to uncover the killer. Before they strike again . . .
My Take

The author says this novel is a tribute to Agatha Christie and in fact mentions a number of Golden Age writers.  In terms of plot SATELLITE PEOPLE plays with elements from AND THEN THERE WERE NONE and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS amongst other Christie plots.

This is the second in a series featuring Detective inspector Kolbjorn Kristaiansen (known as K2) and his precocious young wheelchair bound consultant Patricia. There are constant reminders about how successful they were in their first case and indeed the two cases are compared a number of times, which I found a tad annoying as I have not read the first one.

K2 does the practical investigation during the day and then reports to Patricia every evening for her analysis of his findings. He is frequently bewildered by her questions and conclusions and she invariably sends him away with another line of questioning. K2 finds himself getting quite close to memebers of the victim's family.

An interesting read because the style is a little different to British/Australian crime fiction.

My Rating : 4.4

About the author
Hans Olav Lahlum is a Norwegian crime author, historian, chess player and politician. The books that make up his crime trilogy, featuring Criminal Investigator Kolbjørn Kristiansen (known as K2) and his precocious young assistant Patricia, are bestsellers in Norway.

DI Kolbjorn Kristiansen
1. The Human Flies (2014)
2. Satellite People (2015)
3. The Catalyst Killing (2015)
4. Chameleon People (2016)

1 comment:

Irene said...

on my TBR pile, thanks for your thoughts.


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