The Last Fix by K O Dahl

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The Last Fix by K O Dahl

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An ex-prostitute, ex-drug user is found murdered and there is no shortage of suspects. It's more reflective than other books in the series but still a good read.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 576 Date: June 2009
Publisher: Faber and Faber
ISBN: 978-0571232949

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Katrine Bratterud didn't really want to go to the party, but it was given by the people from her drug rehabilitation centre and she felt under an obligation as the social workers had done so much to help her. It wasn't going to be easy though – the other guests would be drinking heavily whilst she had to remain clean and to make matters worse she'd been physically attacked that day at the travel agency where she worked.

She was ill at the party – probably as a result of the upheaval of the day – and decided that she would leave. Her boyfriend, taken by the charms of another woman, stayed on. The following day Katrine's naked body was discovered. She'd worked as a prostitute to pay for her drug habit and Gunnarstranda and Frolich had no shortage of men from her past who might be suspects.

The Last Fix is something of a departure from the two other Gunnarstranda and Frolich books which have been translated into English. The Fourth Man saw Frolich almost on the wrong side of the law, but it was The Man in the Window which really pointed Dahl up as being a contender for the Scandinavian crime crown worn by Henning Mankell. The Last Fix is more reflective, more introspective than the other books and it took me a little while to come to terms with this. Part of the reason for this is that the novels have been translated (excellently, as usual) by Don Bartlett but published in English out of sequence. The Last Fix is actually the second Gunnarstranda and Frolich novel, whilst The Man in the Window is the next in the sequence. There are no plot spoilers and no particular reason to read them in strict order, but I did feel that The Last Fix lacked the technical mastery of The Man in the Window.

Having said that - it is still a very good story. Take a little time early on to get the drug rehabilitation staff and social workers clear in your mind and you will follow the plot easily. If you don't they tend to blend into each other. On the other hand the police procedural side of the story is excellent, with the tedium brought to life in readable form and the leaps of understanding made comprehensible. I didn't see the ending coming, but all the clues were there.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For more Norwegian crime we can recommend the work of Karin Fosssum with The Water's Edge being published in English at about the same time as The Last Fix.

Buy The Last Fix by K O Dahl at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Fix by K O Dahl at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Last Fix by K O Dahl at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Fix by K O Dahl at Amazon.com.


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