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The Man In the Window: A Book Review

Updated on July 7, 2011

The Man in the Window is a mystery by K. O. Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett and published by Minotaur Books. The mystery features Norwegian Detective Chief Inspector Gunnarstranda and detective Frank Frolich.

On the night of Friday the thirteenth, the owner of an antique shop, Reidar Folke Jespersen is murdered in Oslo. His body is found in the morning in an armchair in his store window. He is naked with a letter and three numbers on his chest and three crosses drawn on his forehead.

Gunnarstranda and Frolich investigate and try to sort out the clutter of the man’s life. They find the eighty-year-old man is co-owner of the shop with his brothers and married to a much younger woman. To find the killer they go through several suspects until they discover several twists at the end.

Gunnarstranda and Frolich are engaging characters and The Man in the Window shows some of their private lives. It is well written, and the translation seems good with perhaps a clunk now and again. It doesn’t have as much of a team feel to it like some other Scandinavian novels.

I felt The Man in the Window was paced slower than it could have been, but there were spots where it picked up the pace. Perhaps it could have used a bit more editing to shorten the book. Overall it was an enjoyable book and do recommend it.


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