lørdag den 29. maj 2010

Knut Faldbakken, Grænsen (2008)


Den norske forfatter har en lang række andre romaner bag sig, men Grænsen er hans tredje krimi, og den første i serien om overbetjent Jonfinn Valmann i Hamar, tæt på den svenske grænse.

Temaet er prostituerede fra Rusland, eller egentlig prostitution i det hele taget, og ligesom Karin Fossum forsøger Faldbakken at se emnet fra flere forskellige vinkler. Plottet begynder, da snedkeren Arne Vatne træffer en ung, russisk kvinde ved et tilfælde. Han føler sig kikset og alene, og selv om han forstår, at hun er ´russerluder´, forelsker han sig over hals og hoved i den kønne pige. Hun opholder sig midlertidigt på en campingplads i Norge, fordi prostitution er ulovlig i Sverige, og da hun efter et par dage forlader campingvognen uden varsel, bliver Vatne så vred og frustreret, at han er klar til at bryde sine normale grænser for, hvad der er rigtigt og forkert.

Samtidig er Vatne bekymret for sin unge datter Anne, som har en udenlandsk kæreste med hjem. Vatne er på forhånd skeptisk overfor indvandreren med guldkæderne, og da parret forsvinder sent om aftenen, hvorefter en ukendt mand ringer på Annes mobil og spørger efter ´Diana´, venter han det værste.

Politiarbejdet står nordmanden Jonfinn Valmann og finnen Jan Timonen. Det er velsagtens meningen, læseren skal fatte stor sympati for den regelrette, forelskede Valmann, men efter mange års politiarbejde i grænseområdet virker han temmelig naiv.

Godt forsøgt og personerne er i det store og hele udmærkede, men den midterste tredjedel er langtrukket og ikke særlig dramatisk, da politiets arbejde med at opklare et dødsfald og smugleri af stoffer og kvinder over grænsen ofte skæres ud i unødvendige detaljer.

Bogen er lånt på biblioteket.

Knut Faldbakken, The Border
Not translated into English.

The Norwegian author has several novels behind him, but The Border is his third crime novel and the first in the series about Sergeant Jonfinn Valmann from Hamar, near the Swedish border.

The theme is prostitutes from Russia, or perhaps prostitution as such, and just like Karin Fossum Faldbakken tries to look at it from different angles. (So the title plays on borders, boundaries and limits.) The plot begins when the joiner Arne Vatne meets a young, Russian woman by accident. He feels unsuccessful and alone, and even though he understands that she is a “Russian whore”, he falls headlong in love with the pretty girl. She is staying at a camping site in Norway because prostitution is illegal in Sweden, and when she leaves the caravan without notice a few days later, Vatne is so angry and frustrated that he is ready to break his own rules for what is right and wrong.

At the same time Vatne is worried about his young daughter Anne who brings a foreign boyfriend with her home. He is skeptical of the immigrant with the gold chains beforehand, and when the couple disappear late at night and a stranger calls on Anne´s mobile, asking for ´Diana´, Vatne expects the worst.

The Norwegian Jonfinn Valmann and the Finn Jan Timonen (male! member of the Finnish minority) are in charge of the police work. I think the reader is supposed to feel sympathy for the regular Valmann, but after many years´ police work in the border region he seems rather naïve.

A good effort and the characters are well-drawn on the whole, but the middle third is lengthy and not very dramatic as the police work on a death and the smuggling of drugs and women is often described in unnecessary detail.

This was a librarybook and I read it for the Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2010 # 6.

5 kommentarer:

Bernadette in Australia sagde ...

Well done on finishing the Scandinavian Challenge Dorte - shame we monolingual dullards can't read this one but we've only ourselves to blame :)

Dorte H sagde ...

Thank you, Bernadette.

Well, most Danes read and speak English - how should we cope outside Scandinavia if we didn´t?

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Thanks for this review. And congratulations on finishing that Scandanavian reading challenge; I am in awe. The plot sounds like it's got a lot of potential. It'll be interesting to see if there are later books, and if the author takes your fine advice about the pace of the plot : ).

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

Sounds like a good book with a saggy middle? At least it sounds easy to skim through. Thanks for the review!

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: once you have got used to reading in Danish, you can also read the Norwegian ones.
Just tell me when you are ready to try a Danish manuscript :D

Elizabeth: oh, ´saggy middle´ is an excellent diagnosis!