Norwegian Noir




Norwegian crime writer Torkil Damhaug has really outdone himself with his novel A Fifth Season (En femte årstid). While I recognize Damhaug’s special storytelling techniques this novel differs from his earlier ones. It is rawer and horror takes a more central role than in his typical psychological characterizations and his in-depth explorations of the characters’ inner life. Relationship issues are still included and they are a rewarding part of the reading. Maybe we can call the genre “Noir Existentielle”?

Cannot Put It Down

A Fifth Season takes place during a 38-year time span and it is set in Hammerdal, a small town outside Oslo. Four young people, high on drugs, decide to lock a dull, persistent classmate in the basement of an old and rundown factory. In short, one of them dies, one disappears, and the others are faced with consequences they could never have imagined. One of them has a father who is a policeman; another one has a father who is a convicted murderer, who is mentally unstable. Damhaug really gets under my skin and it is very difficult to put down the novel as it gets close to 3:30am, on a weekday…


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