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The Assistant Reviews

The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl, Don Bartlett

The Assistant

Kjell Ola Dahl, Don Bartlett

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Orenda Books
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication date: 20 May 2021
ISBN: 9781913193652

A seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity leads a PI and his ex-con assistant on a murderous trail, in a sophisticated, riveting, cunningly plotted historical thriller set in interwar and prohibition-era Norway.

4 stars out of 5
Nick Rennison
23 May 2021

"it is cleverly constructed"

The Assistant moves between 1924 and 1938 in telling the story of Jack Rivers, smuggler turned private detective, who discovers his rackety history is not as easy to escape as he had hoped. As Nazi agents work in Norway, events from 14 years earlier return to haunt him. Although Dahl’s plot unfolds a little slowly at times, it is cleverly constructed and the secrets of Rivers’s past finally emerge in the present.


4 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
7 May 2021

"A gripping stand-alone thriller from a well-known Nordic-noir writer."

In 1938 Ludvig Paaske, a policeman turned private detective, is hired by a woman to watch her husband for signs of infidelity. Paaske’s assistant, Jack, is a one-time petty criminal who in the 1920s, during Norway’s prohibition era, was a driver for a booze smuggler...

A case of marital infidelity becomes something much bigger, with communists and Nazis playing games on Norwegian soil; a mysterious German Gestapo officer lurks in the background. The narrative, split between the 1920s and 1938, is told in a direct and forceful prose. A gripping stand-alone thriller from a well-known Nordic-noir writer.