TWO TIME WINNER OF NORWAY S BEST CRIME NOVEL
A FROZEN BODY.
A MURDERED BIKER.
A LAWYER WITH NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE.
In the depths of the Norwegian winter, a woman s frozen corpse is discovered in the garden of a notorious ex-lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death.
A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by the lawyer, is found dead in suspicious circumstances.
Thygesen starts receiving anonymous threats, and becomes ensnared in a web of violence, crime and blackmail that spreads across Northern Europe.
Does the frozen woman hold the key?
I am delighted to be on the blogtour for this award winning Nordic noir novel. Today I want to share with you an extract from the book, which will give you a flavour of the novel..
‘Banzai, Samurai, banzai!’ screams the young man sitting on the pillion of the motorbike. The rider turns the bike into a clearing by the road through Våler Forest wherethere was once a gravel pit.
He comes to a halt in front of a damaged building with rusty reinforced steel protruding from the concrete. The man, twenty years old, slides off the seat, raises his arms in the air and does a jig on the gravel.
‘Tell me, Kykke, that it’s not shit cool to be out again,’ the young man says, pinching himself on the upper arms. He removes his helmet and reveals a head of hair that is dyed bright yellow, combed and gelled into tufts.
‘You look like something the cat brought in, Beach Boy,’ says the man called Kykke.
‘My sis said the same at the funeral, and if my mother’d been able to say anything she would’ve probably had a go at me as well. But no one bothered to ask me whose hair was like this. I modelled myself on the drummer in Marilyn Manson to celebrate my freedom,’ Beach Boy says and switches on the Walkman attached to his belt.
It isn’t a Manson song that reaches his ears via the earplugs. It is a song by a singer called Laurie Anderson, whom he had never heard of before he was given the CD by his sister after the funeral.
He spins the helmet round on the index finger of his right hand and is all smiles and summer happiness. Then he listens to what the American lady sings and he repeats the verse with his face creased in grief: When my father died we put him in the ground, when my father died it was like a whole library had burned down.
Beach Boy switches off the music and takes out the earplugs.
‘I’ll tell you one thing, Kykke,’ he says. ‘If my father really had been a library it would’ve been one crammed with instructions on how to assemble nuclear rockets.’ Kykke isn’t listening. He is lost in his own thoughts and polishing the speedometer on his bike with a cloth.
‘You certainly came out with the summer, Beach Boy,’ Kykke says at length, dismounting with an effort because he is so big; he flicks the heavy bike on to the stand, takes off his helmet and places it on the seat. ‘Brontes’ is written on the petrol tank in ornate golden letters, and underneath, in smaller letters, ‘Son of Uranus and Gaia’. The bike is a standard black Kawasaki, the largest model, KZ 1100, which is so old that, as Kykke often says, ‘if Brontes had been a trotting horse it would’ve been taken behind the stable and shot’.
Kykke leans against the bike and stretches his legs. Massages his elbows and knees.‘Think I’m starting to get rheumatism in my joints,’ Kykke says. ‘I s’pose that’s the sort of shite you have to expect when you’ve been sitting on a four-stroke pot-boiler since you were fourteen.’
‘You’ve been riding a bike for half an eternity then,’ Beach Boy says with reverence.
‘It’s thirty-five years since I burned rubber through the school playground in fuckin’ Arnes on my first Kawasaki Samurai,’ Kykke says, looking at his watch, which is a Rolex Oyster. The superb timepiece doesn’t match the style of the man, who looks like a labourer, someone who has done heavy manual work. ‘It’s only ten. It’s going to be boiling hot today. You still like being called Beach Boy, boy?’
‘Beach Boy, Banzai Boy or Nike Boy. The name I use depends on my mood. The psychologist at Trøgstad said I’ve got a split personality, but my personality as a whole is a fountain of talent. Does it matter if the water in it isn’t as pure and clear as in the psalm at the funeral?’ Beach Boy says, not caring that Kykke isn’t listening with even half an ear.
‘Am I in a good mood now or what?’ the boy shouts, dancing a jig and causing the dust to lift in a cloud towards the concrete wall. ‘God, how I’ve yearned to be back here at the clubhouse. You picking me up and bringing me here to The Middle of Nowhere is almost too good to be true.’
He catches sight of a tiny figure drawn in a black felt pen on the wall. The childish line-drawing represents a stick man hanging from the gallows. Underneath there is a name in weather-beaten letters, and that name is Vilhelm Thygesen.
‘That’s the devil I painted on the wall,’ Beach Boy mumbles to himself. ‘A little snot-nosed kid painted a big sack of shit.’
He pokes at the concrete. A flake peels off and the stick man has one leg less.
‘Serves you right, Thygesen,’ Beach Boy whispers. ‘You should have been knee-capped because you screwed up everything for the Seven Samurai.’
You can read reviews of The Frozen Woman and follow the blogtour here:
About Jon Michelet
Jon Michelet has been one of Norway’s leading authors through five decades. He made his debut in 1975 with the crime novel He Who Is Born to Be Hanged, Shall Never Be Drowned. He has since published numerous novels, plays and non-fiction books, and co-authored five bestselling reportage books from the Football World Cup with Dag Solstad. Michelet has also worked as a sailor, a docker, a journalist, publisher and newspaper editor. He is renowned in Norway for his strong commitment to a number of political and cultural causes.
Michelet has been awarded the Riverton Prize for Best Norwegian Crime Novel twice, for White as Snow and The Frozen Woman both part of his long running Vilhelm Thygesen series. He has also had phenomenal success with his epic series, A Hero of the Sea. Telling the story of the dramatic experiences of a Norwegian merchant navy sailor during WWII, the five novels published so far have been topping the charts since 2012, and have sold well over half a million copies, making Michelet a household name in Norway.