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  • Location: Bergen, Haugesund

Big Sister

Big Sister

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Watch out Varg Veum – there’s a shock in store!

  • ISBN: 978-1912374199
  • Translator: Don Bartlett
  • Genre: Crime

What you need to know before your trail

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.

Travel Guide


Gunnar Staalesen says:

“I research my books by visiting the parts of the city that I don’t know so well – I look at the houses, observe how people live, and see what the fjords and the mountains look like from that part of town, which can be quite different from my usual views. I also read a lot of newspapers – this forms my main research – and if necessary I find people who know about a certain theme and I interview them before I start writing. These days the web is a very good way to research, too; just think of the possibilities Google Earth has given us. I don’t necessarily have to go to the places that I write about, even if I definitely prefer to do that. For Big Sister, though, I did go to Haugesund, a city between Bergen and Stavanger, and the area around it, to get a real feeling for the landscape and the atmosphere.

Bergen is not a big city. The population is around 270,000, but most people live in the suburbs. You can walk through the old centre of the town (which dates back to the 12th century and even earlier) in half an hour. And if you visit Bergen, that is exactly what you have to do: walk around the city, visit the parks and the old wooden houses in the Bryggen neighbourhood, take the funicular up to the top of Mount Fløyen and gaze at the splendid view of the town, the other mountains, the islands, the fjord and the North Sea in the distance.”

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

Another Varg, another quality read. There’s many things which take this crime series set in Bergen to a new level. It can be read as a standalone but as with all the best series, the backstory to the characters does add an edge to your reading.

This is the most personal novel yet – Varg’s half sister shows up and has something very particular to ask him. He’s a solitary figure but this is his charm in many ways so I was intrigued to find out why she was here now and how someone they have in common could have gone missing.

Of course, Varg isn’t going to turn down that case! And what a case it turns out to be. There’s a lot of interesting investigation and mystery and as the case unfolds, it’s fascinating and compelling to watch. As it’s such a personal case for Varg, who I feel I know so well, it was particularly interesting to read.

There’s a lot to like in this novel but it’s the writing and the sharp turn of phrase which I really enjoy.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Big Sister

Destination : Bergen, Haugesund  Author/Guide: Gunnar Staalesen  Departure Time: 2000s

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