By Gunnar Staalesen

While detective Varg Veum takes a cellphone name in his place of work, his brain is all of sudden push back 25 years, to his days as a toddler safety officer and the case of a small boy who used to be separated from his mom below tragic conditions. This comparable boy has surfaced in different different cases-in reference to a unexpected demise in his new foster domestic and, a decade later, in a dramatic double homicide in Sunnfjord. Now that boy is an grownup at the run in Oslo, made up our minds to take revenge on these answerable for destroying his life-among them his former baby defense officer, detective Veum.

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I sighed, and Cecilie sent me a dejected smile as if to apologise further for her tiny slip of the tongue. ’ A telephone rang and Hans went to answer the call. Cecilie came over to me. ‘Sorry, Varg. I didn’t mean to open up old …’ ‘Not at all. Relax, it’s not your …’ Hans returned. ‘Police on the line. ’ I looked at Cecilie, who nodded towards me. ’ I went into the hall, to the coin-operated telephone on the wall. ’ ‘This woman, Vibecke Skarnes. ’ ‘Er … she wasn’t there any more. ’ ‘What do you think we are?

The police had cordoned off the house with red and white plastic tape, a measure which did not prevent anyone from entering if they wished. I looked towards the house. It had a dark, closed air. An outside lamp was on. That was all. A car door further down the street was slammed. I stared after it. Two men were coming towards me. Neither of them wearing a uniform, but they didn’t need to. I recognised them by their gait, and when they were close up I recognised Ellingsen and Bøe. Ellingsen because he had married an ex-girlfriend of mine; Boe I had seen at the police station.

Down on the quay, delivery boys and porters passed by with sacks over their shoulders and barrels on their handcarts. Another town, another time, other problems. Almost an hour passed before the office door opened again. Marianne Storetvedt carefully led Jan through the double doors into the waiting room. She shot us a look and gave a quick shake of her head. Then in a friendly tone, while patting him on the shoulder, she said: ‘Johnny boy doesn’t feel like talking to us today. That’s his right.

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The Consorts of Death by Gunnar Staalesen
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