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Award-winning author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Over the last decade he has found audiences in ten other countries and finally, with his gripping and intelligent novel,The Fourth Man, the master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic. In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich of the Oslo Police saves the life of Elizabeth Faremo, a dark-haired beauty with mysterious eyes who was inadvertently caught in the crossfire. Some weeks later, Frolich coincidentally runs into her again---but their ensuing affair is no accident. By the time he learns that she is no stranger---but rather the sister of a wanted member of a larceny gang---it is already too late. In the middle of the night, Frolich receives a call that a young guard has been killed in the course of an attempted break-in. Scrambling to respond, he realizes that Elizabeth is no longer in his bed. And all at once, Frolich's life has changed. In a turn of events cryptic, erotic, and complex, he finds himself a prime murder suspect and under the watch of his doubting colleagues. Led through the dark underworld of Oslo and his own soul, Frolich---suspended from the force, blindly in love, and on the hunt for some hint of truth in a vortex of darkness and lies---must find out if he is being used . . . before his life unravels beyond repair. The Fourth Manis a sexy, fast-paced psychological thriller that puts a modern twist on the classic noir story of the femme fatale. K. O. Dahl has crafted a dark, poetic, and incredibly complex crime novel for his U.S. debut---the first in a series of detective novels from this rising international mystery star. Praise forThe Fourth Man: "A Norwegian Mankell" ---Norra Vasterbotten(Sweden) "I have read many clever and thrilling crime novels through my life, but often they have nothing to do with real life. If I don't believe in them, they don't impress me. But when K.O. Dahl tells his stories, I believe every single word." ---Karin Fossum, author ofThe Indian Bride "An absorbing study of sexual enthrallment, dogged police work and a harrowing twist or two: Fans of procedurals...will snap this one up." ---Kirkus "Recommend to fans of Karin Fossum and Kjell Eriksson. Dahl is a formidable talent whose books may well become as popular in the US as in Norway." ---Booklist "A crime master of style... Dahl's original trait, the rich language, is here fully developed. He is perhaps the most literary of our crime writers. He fully masters the use of images and re-takes that serve to emphasize and strengthen the text, the latter a risky business regardless of genre. In addition to this, he is a proper devil at describing emotions, and throughout the entire spectrum at that.... Conclusion: Kjell Ola Dahl has again written an excellent crime novel." ---Aftenposten(Norway) "Effective and entertaining crime....We let ourselves be both mesmerized and entertained..." ---Adresseavisen(Norway) "Elite crime writing... Kjell Ola Dahl is one of the big names of Norwegian crime fiction, andThe Fourth Manshows why: here, the plot is effectively narrated, the drive forward is dynamic and the reader is served his seconds over and over again..." ---Stavanger Aftenblad(Norway) "High-shine crime... a crime novel solidly and aptly constructed. Chock full of action, with precise shifts in tempo, sparkling good dialogue and a plot that carries all the way through.&
The highly acclaimed and award winning crime writer K.O. DAHL's popular crime series is now rapidly becoming an international success, and critics around the world have labeled him as Norway's answer to Henning Mankell. Dahl has been awarded with the Riverton Prize, and has received nominations for Glasnyckeln (The Glass Key), the Brage Literary Prize and the Martin Beck Award.
Chapter 1 Two men had stopped outside the gate. Time to check them out. Frank Frolich skipped down the last two steps, went through the gateway, past the two men and out into the street. They didn't react. He thought: They should have reacted. Why didn't they react? He shoved his hands deep into his jacket pockets and with lowered eyes continued walking. In the window of the fishmonger's, a man was shovelling ice into a polystyrene box. He shot a quick glance back over his shoulder. Neither of the men was taking any notice. They were still fidgeting with their rosary beads. One of them said something and both burst into laughter. A rusty cycle stand creaked. A woman was pushing her bicycle into it. She walked past the boxes of vegetables on display. She opened the door to Badir's shop. The bell over the door jingled. The door closed behind her. Frank Frolich felt as though some wild beast were gnawing at his stomach: a customer in the shop? Uh-oh. That wasn't supposed to happen at all. He leapt into the road. A car braked sharply. The car behind hooted its horn and almost crashed into it. Frank Frolich ran up the pavement. He passed the bicycle, the boxes of mushrooms, grapes, lettuce and peppers went through the door into the shop, which smelt like a rotten-apple cellar with the added sickly-sweet odour of oil. The woman was alone in the shop. She had a shopping basket hung over her arm and was walking slowly between two lines of food shelves. There was no one else in sight. No one was sitting by the cash till. The curtain in the doorway behind the cash machine flapped gently. The woman was short in stature. Her black hair was gathered at the back of her head. She was wearing jeans and a cut-off jacket. A small rucksack swung from her shoulder. Black gloves on her hands, fingers clutching a tin can. She was reading the label. Frank Frolich was two metres away when it happened. He glanced to his left. Through the shop window he saw the police car on the other side of the street. They had started. Suddenly he launched himself at her and dragged her down with him. Half a second later there was a screech of brakes. The man who sprang across the counter was one of the two with the rosary beads. Now he was holding a gun. A shot was fired. There was a jangle of broken glass. The display case containing tobacco and cigarettes tipped over. Another shot was fired. And then chaos. Sirens. Barking voices. Clattering heels. The noise of a door and glass breaking, shattering in a never-ending stream. The woman lay still beneath him. Cigarette packets showered down onto them. She was probably around thirty years of age, smelling of perfume. Her blue eyes glinted like sapphires. Finally Frank Frolich managed to tear his eyes away. Then he discovered her hands. Fascinated, he lay watching them industriously working away. Long fingers clad in leather, small hands automatically stuffing packets of cigarettes into her rucksack, which had come loose in the fall. Then he became aware of the silence. There was a draught from the door and window. 'Frolich?' The voice came from a megaphone. 'Here!' 'Is the woman all right?' 'Yes.' 'You're a policeman,' the woman whispered. She cleared her throat to speak. He nodded and finally let her go. 'Wouldn't be a smart idea to pinch anything then?' He shook his head, fascinated yet again by how efficiently the small hands took the cigarettes out of the rucksack. He rose to his knees. They stood there looking at each other. She was attractive in a vulnerable sort of way; there was something about her mouth. 'Sorry,' he mumbled. 'This shouldn't have happened. Some