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The Human Flies


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The first mystery in the hugely compelling, bestselling international crime series from Norway's answer to Agatha Christie

About the Author

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


Locked-room mysteries used to be a staple of golden-age crime fiction. Now the Norwegian novelist Hans Olav Lahlum has revived the form in The Human Flies translated by Kari Dickson. The novel is set in 1968, when a young detective inspector - Kolbjorn Kristiansen, known as K2 - is sent to an apartment block in Oslo to investigate the murder of a Resistance hero. The victim has been shot in his flat but there is no sign of the weapon and the front door appears to be locked from the inside. It is the start of a brilliant investigation in which K2 is secretly assisted by an enigmatic young woman who is confined to a wheelchair. * Sunday Times *
Prepare yourself for a classic whodunnit of the highest calibre, a deviously challenging murder mystery set in an apartment complex in 1960s Oslo . . . a joy to read. * Crime Fiction Lover blog *
Critics have been lining up to praise this remarkable novel from historian, chess-player and politician Hans Olav Lahlum and it's not hard to see why. * Guardian *
This book is a must read, and really keeps you on your toes. I'm really looking forward to the next instalment in the series. * The Beesley Buzz *
A well-constructed and witty homage to the classic crime fiction of Agatha Christie, set in 1968 Oslo, which has some interesting historical depth. Featuring ambitious young police detective Kolbjorn Kristiansen on his first big case - the murder of a former resistance fighter - readers are treated to an apartment building of intriguing suspects and a page-turning investigation, as well as the considerable intellect of Kristiansen's wheelchair-bound partner Patricia. I hugely enjoyed this 'contemporary classic' and look forward to reading the other novels in the K2 series soon. * Mrs Peabody Investigates *
If you fancy a traditional closed-circle murder mystery but with a left-wing tang to it, try The Human Flies by Hans Olav Lahlum. In 1968, Detective Inspector Kristiansen faces a real baffler for his first-ever murder case when an old resistance hero is found dead in an Oslo apartment block. One of the neighbours must be the killer and since they include an ex-nazi and an OSS agent, the key to the puzzle probably lies in wartime events. With its conscious echoes of Agatha Christie and Rex Stout, this first whodunit by a well-known Norwegian historian and leftist politician will delight fans of both authors. * Morning Star *

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