Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen – Book Review

Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen – Book Review

Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen

Big Sister (Varg Veum)

Author – Gunnar Staalesen
Publisher – Orenda Books
Pages – 276
Released – 30th April 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1912374199
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
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Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.

Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…

Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

New one review witch 2017

Varg Veum is a private investigator. One afternoon he is visited by a woman, Norma, who explains to him that she is his half-sister who was given up for adoption before he was born. She is there because she is looking for her God-Daughter, Emma, and needs Varg’s services. She explains that the young woman was studying to be a nurse and moved out of her bedsit two weeks ago and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Varg thinks that it will most likely be an easy case, but his investigations take him into a sinister world. There is also the fact that police just believe she has run-off with a boyfriend, so refuse to help. Can Varg find Emma, dead or alive?

Big sister is set in Norway and at the front of the book that is a map of the area to help you keep track of Varg’s investigations. The book reads like an old TV private investigation series. Although there are no real explosive, thrilling moments, the book is an interesting read and fully enjoyable one too. I loved watching Varg work and how he pieces the case together to come to a conclusion I didn’t see coming.

He is a lovely character. He has some flaws and that’s what makes him all the more realistic. As the book progressed I found myself getting more and more drawn into how Varg works. He’s certainly not afraid to push people out of their comfort-zones to get the information he needs. You also get a real feel for all the other characters in the book too. I found myself hoping that Emma would be found alive and also I wanted to discover the truth about why she had disappeared without a trace.

Once I had finished reading the book I realised that this is just one in a huge series of books about Varg Veum. There have even been film adaptations of his earlier books too. I can confirm that this book works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel and you won’t have any trouble following the story.

This is an easy paced book. The writing is just superb and the plot was credible, keeping me glued to the pages right the way through. I am definitely going to have to read more Varg Veum novels after this one.

Reviewed by Stacey

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About the Author

Gunnar Staalesen

Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is being filmed now.

Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife.

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20 Responses

  1. DJ Sakata says:

    This sounds tasty – I know next to nothing about Norway

  2. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Nikki says:

    It sounds like a thrilling read!

  4. Two favorite things in books are flawed characters and maps. 🙂

  5. Tasha says:

    This sounds really good.

  6. Stormi says:

    Sounds like a great mystery!

  7. Heidi says:

    Great review! Sounds like a good read!

  8. Michelle says:

    sounds like a thrilling read, not really into mystery, but sounds interesting

  9. Kiss Like a Girl says:

    This sounds like such an engaging book. I love the cover!

  10. it certainly is.

  11. it is really interesting. Not really a thriller in the sense of murder hunts etc, more just an old fashioned PI book.

  12. It sure is, can’t wait to read some of the others in the series.

  13. Strange how a map adds so much to a book when you don’t know the area.

  14. It certainly is.

  15. I don’t know that much either, even though I have a friend who lives out there.

  16. Allie Bock says:

    I like the sound of this one. I enjoy flawed MC.

  17. Thanks. It is a great book.