Mystery K.O, DAHL The Fourth Man

ISBN 13: 9780571230914

The Fourth Man

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9780571230914: The Fourth Man

Internationally renowned author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Now, 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 Frølich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in the crossfire.  Some weeks later, Frølich 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 one night, Frølich receives a call that a young guard has been killed in the course of a robbery. Scrambling to respond, he realizes that Elizabeth is no longer in his bed. 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, Frølich must find out if he is being used . . . before his life unravels beyond repair. 

The Fourth Man is 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 US debut—the first in a series of detective novels from this rising international mystery star.

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About the Author:

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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1
Two men had stopped outside the gate. Time to check them out. Frank Frølich 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 Frølich 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 Frølich 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 Frølich 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 Frølich 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.
‘Frølich?’ 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. Someone should have stopped you. Long before you came into the shop.’
She continued to stare.
‘There was a foul-up somewhere.’
She nodded.
‘Are you all right?’
She nodded again, put her arms to her sides. As yet he hadn’t looked around him, gained an overview of the situation. He heard the cold sound of flexi-cuffs being tightened around wrists and the curses from one of the men arrested. That’s what it’s come to, he thought. I rely on others.
‘May I take your name?’ he asked in an unemotional voice.
‘Have I done something wrong?’
‘No, but you were here. Now you’re a witness.’  The autumn days passed. A gloom pervaded the daylight hours and time crystallized into work: larceny – petty and grand, murders, suicides, robberies and domestic violence; everyday life – a series of incidents, some of which make an impression, while most are soon forgotten. Your consciousness is trained to repress. You crave a
holiday, two weeks on a Greek island in the summer or, slightly shorter-term, a long weekend on the ferry to Denmark. Drinking, shouting, laughing, homing in on a woman with just the right kind of husky laugh, who has warm eyes and thinks pointed shoes are absolutely great. But until that happens: days like photographic slides – images which flicker for a few seconds before disappearing, some easier to remember than others, but then those disappear too. Not that he thought any more about her. Or perhaps he did?
Perhaps he occasionally remembered the sapphire blue eyes, or the feeling of her body pressed against his – there on the floor of Badir’s shop. Or the man who was now slowly but surely being dragged through the mill of penal indictment, soon to be convicted of the organized smuggling of meat and cigarettes, then resisting arrest, threatening behaviour, illegal possession of a weapon and so on. Soon to swell the ranks of those waiting for an available cell to serve their term. Despite such thoughts crossing his mind, there was one thing Frank Frølich was pretty sure about, and that was he would never see her again.
It happened one rainy afternoon in late October. Darkness was drawing in; a cold wind was blowing up Grensen in Oslo city
centre. The wind caught hold of people’s clothing, replicating Munch’s paintings: shadows of figures ducking away from the driving rain, huddling up, using their umbrellas as shields or – if they didn’t have an umbrella – thrusting their hands into their pockets and sprinting through the rain in search of a protective ledge or awning. The wet tarmac stole the last of the daylight, and the water trickling into the tramlines reflected the neon glare. Frank Frølich had finished work and was feeling hungry. Accordingly, he made for Kafé Norrøna. The room smelt of hot chocolate with cream. He immediately wanted some and queued up. In front of the cash till, he changed his mind and asked what the soup of the day was.
‘Italian. Minestrone.’ The serving lady was the impatient kind, sour expression and limp posture.
He took his tray of hot soup, a roll and a glass of water. Found a place by the window, eased himself onto the stool and stared out at the people hurrying down Grensen with upturned collars. A woman rested her chin on the lapels of her jacket to keep it closed. The
rain worsened. The reflections of car lights and flashing neon signs swept across house walls. People in the street resembled cowering
children, hiding from a booming voice somewhere above.
‘Hello.’
Frank Frølich put down his spoon and turned round. There was something familiar about her face. About thirty years of age, he thought. She had black hair, partly covered by a woolly hat, held in place like a beret. Her complexion was pale, her lips were bright red and her eyebrows formed sharp angles, two inverted Vs high on her forehead.
Classy, he thought. It struck him that she wouldn’t have been out of place in a black-and-white still from a forties film. She was wearing a long, clinging woollen skirt and short jacket. Her outfit emphasized her figure – hips, waist and shoulders.
‘Torggata,’ she said, tilting her head, becoming a little impatient at his slow-wittedness. ‘Marlboro, Prince, cigarettes.’
Then he remembered: the eyes and especially her mouth. Which lent her an air of vulnerability. But the small wrinkles around her mouth told him she was older than he had at first believed. Instinctively, he searched for the blue of her eyes – without being able to find it immediately. Must be the light, he thought, must be the harsh neon light which deadened the blue. The lightbulbs in Badir’s shop must have been the regular variety.
‘You let me go.’
He suddenly felt uneasy and looked for ways out. Not much was left of the soup and he had paid. Something about this encounter put him on edge; the situation activated a slumbering sensation at the back of his mind. He would have to rebuff her approach, but he was slightly reluctant. She was standing quite close to him, looking into his eyes. It would be unpleasant turning his back on her. He said: ‘My pleasure. You hadn’t done anything wrong.’
‘You don’t think so?’
‘Excuse me?’
‘I took three packets of Marlboro and a Snickers bar.’
He pushed his bowl away. ‘So you’re a thief, then.’
‘You saw, didn’t you?’
‘Saw what?’ He put on his jacket and patted his pocket to check he had his wallet.
‘You saw me.’
For a brief moment, the words unsettled him. You saw me. She could have expressed herself differently, but this was a message which he could not misunderstand. It was an attempt to present herself not just as an object for his attention, but to suggest
she owed him a favour because he had done something for her, something that would have to remain a secret.
‘I have to go,’ he announced. ‘All the best . . .’ He reflected. Her name. She had told him her name. He had even made a mental note of it. In the nick of time the name emerged in his consciousness. He said: ‘. . . Have a nice evening, Elisabeth.’  He stood still for a few seconds as the glass door slid to behind him. The wind had dropped a little, but the rain was still pouring down. Buttoning his jacket, he shook himself, as if to rid himself of the discomfiture of the incident. He took the few metres to the underpass leading to the Metro at a brisk pace. Here, he went into his usual Metro trance to the accompaniment of the smell of refuse, used air, wet woollens, autumn and influenza; elderly women ran gloved fingers under their noses; men raised their eyes to God in a quiet prayer to be spared another bout of angina, here in this tight scrum of humanity in which everyone was blind to each other’s existence. He squeezed back against the glass wall of the Metro carriage, touched the condensation on the glass; only to wake from the trance when the doors shut at Manglerud and the creature of habit in him liberated itself from its corner to step
closer to the doors as the train braked on its approach to Ryen
station. The doors were two metal lips which opened, ready to spit him out. At this altitude, the rain had turned into the autumn’s first sleet showers. Car headlights shone on the tarmac of the ring road and were devoured by the blackness. He trudged up the hill as cars sped by.
Something must have caught his attention, a sound or a shadow behaving differently, as he approached the entrance to his flat. He stopped and turned. The street light by the petrol station was directly behind her, outlining her silhouette in yellow light. She stood still. He stood still. They were alert to each other’s every move. Her hands deep in the pockets of the short jacket and her facial expression in shadow. Her hair cascaded down onto
her shoulders, with the light from the street lamp like an aura above the woolly hat, the tight jacket and the skirt covering her knees.
It was just the two of them – in the dark. No one else around.
The remote drone of the traffic. A street lamp buzzed. He walked towards her with determined steps. She didn’t move. He walked into the road and then around her, forcing her to follow him with her eyes and turn towards the light so that he could see her face.
They were staring into each other’s eyes throughout this whole carousel movement. He detected something in her gaze: an
energy, something he couldn’t define in words, something it was difficult to confront without speaking. ‘Are you following me?’
‘You’d rather I didn’t?’
The response took his breath away – again.
Finally she lowered her gaze. ‘You saw me,’ she said.
Those three words again. ‘And?’ he said.
They stood close to each other. He had gone right up to her but she hadn’t budged. He could feel the warmth of her breath on his cheek.
She took his hands in hers.
His mind froze. He cleared his throat, but didn’t move. She had heavy eyelids and long, curly eyelashes. At the end of each lash a tiny drop of condensation had gathered. Her breath streamed like mist from between the half-open lips, caressing his cheeks before it dissipated. As she spoke, the words nestled against his cheeks.
‘What did you say?’ was as much as his voice could manage. His mouth was only a few centimetres from hers as she softly whispered: ‘I forget no one if I kiss you.’
Then he released his hands and clasped her slender face between them.  Before leaving, she stood for a long time in the shower. He lay on his back in bed listening to the murmur of the water.
When she closed the front door behind her, it was four o’clock in the morning. Then he got up and went into the bathroom. He stood with his forehead against the tiled wall as the water stroked his shoulders. His mind was on the hours that had passed. The way his body towered over hers. The way she had held his gaze as he breathed in again and again, then let it out loudly, breathing in again and again, letting it out loudly again and again. The beads of sweat between her breasts, reflecting thousands of facets. The way her soft breasts rose and fell to the rhythm of her breathing before he thrust the breath out of her. The desire raw, untamed, hungry – the kind that leaves in its wake guilt, shame, abortions, fatherless children, HIV. He could still feel the pressure of her fingers as
she grabbed him hard around the waist, ten nails digging into him. She wanted more, yet had less breath because she could see the countdown flicker behind his eyelids.
Afterwards, alone, his head pressed against the tiles: Frank Frølich twists the tap to red and allows himself to be scalded by boiling-hot water – recalling the strange tattoo on her hip as she straddles him backwards. He cannot picture this without becoming aroused yet again, feeling the urge to do it once more, knowing that if she had walked in through the door at that moment, he would have thrown her down on the bathroom floor, or in there, over the desk – and he would have been unstoppable.  Such thoughts are a virus. In the end they disappear, but it takes time. Eventually everything passes. Three days, possibly four,
a week – then the thoughts release their grip. In the end your
body is left numb and begins to function normally, glad that it is over.
Six days went by. He was back in shape. But then the m...

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Kjell Ola Dahl
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Descrizione libro FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late. He is obsessed. Suspected, suspended, and blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair. Codice libro della libreria AA99780571230914

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Descrizione libro FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late. He is obsessed. Suspected, suspended, and blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair. Codice libro della libreria AA99780571230914

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Descrizione libro Faber & Faber. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, The Fourth Man, Kjell Ola Dahl, In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late. He is obsessed. Suspected, suspended, and blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair. Codice libro della libreria B9780571230914

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Descrizione libro Faber and Faber, 2007. Condizione libro: New. 2007. Paperback. During a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich saves Elizabeth from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late. Blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair. Num Pages: 288 pages, maps. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 232 x 154 x 23. Weight in Grams: 380. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780571230914

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Descrizione libro Faber and Faber. Condizione libro: New. 2007. Paperback. During a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich saves Elizabeth from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late. Blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair. Num Pages: 288 pages, maps. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 232 x 154 x 23. Weight in Grams: 380. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780571230914

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