On a frosty January day in Bergen, Norway, private investigator Varg Veum is visited by a prostitute. Her friend Margrethe has disappeared and hasn’t been seen for days. Before her disappearance, something had unsettled her: she’d turned away a customer and returned to the neighbourhood in terror. Shortly after taking the case, Veum is confronted with a brutal, uneasy reality. He soon finds the first body – and it won’t be the last. His investigation leads him into a dark subculture where corrupted idealism has had deadly consequences.
Dark secrets lurk everywhere, as the murky pattern of wounded people, worm-eaten lives, and hearts long grown cold proves deadly … for someone.
A dramatic, poetic and page-turning thriller from Norway’s most dazzling crime writer.
'If you have yet to discover Bergen's most bloody-minded private eye, Varg Veum, Cold Hearts is the perfect place to start' Crime Time
'Staalesen has been compared to Henning Mankell but his books are sharper, wittier and far less lugubrious' The Spectator
'Veum can skillfully dole out violence, but the essentially humane detective prefers methods that involve dialogue and deduction, investigation and intellect – a welcome contrast to many in his line of work' Publishers Weekly
'Staalesen has been credited with introducing social realism into crime fiction through his critical commentary on our times' The Independent
'Cold Hearts is top-tier Scandinavian crime fiction; straightforward dialogue drives the plot, and tough but sympathetic Veum is equally comfortable in a fistfight, proving for secrets behind Bergen's closed doors, or examining crime's sociological roots.' Booklist