A fireraiser is active in Lillestrøm during Easter in 2003. He is obsessed by the cleansing effect of fire and wants to use it to wipe out everything that reminds him of his youth. Around this time, 18 year old Karsten falls in love with his classmate Jasmeen, but their romance brings the tempers of her tradition-bound Muslim family to boiling point. To protect himself from Jasmeen’s threatening family, Karsten joins a secret brotherhood of elder peers, only to discover that the group might be much more dangerous than he could ever imagine. During the Easter days, Karsten disappears. He never returns.
Seven years later, Karsten’s sister Synne decides to find out everything she can about what happened when Karsten went missing. But her private investigation will have awful consequences, arousing slumbering but dangerous memories. And the fireraiser, quiescent during the intervening seven years, is now watching Synne’s search for the truth with intense interest...
‘Ildmannen is a hot candidate for top ranking among this year’s works of crime fiction. Damhaug demonstrates his formidable skill as a writer ... a wholly convincing novel, his best to date.’
‘And it must be established, once and for all, that Damhaug delivers with a tremendous flourish. This is probably the best, most exciting Norwegian thriller/ crime novel that anyone will read this year.’
‘Does Ildmannen meet our expectations? Yes. Is this book even better than his earlier ones? Yes, I swear by Freud, Jung and Lacan, I do believe it is, and no mistake. ... It will be an uncommonly strong end to the autumn book season if Ildmannen doesn’t end up as the best work of crime fiction this year.’
‘I would unhesitatingly insist that by now Torkil Damhaug is recognised as one of Norway’s outstanding thriller writers.’
‘Torkil Damhaug exploits his psychological tool-kit actively; suppressed memories and other handy notions are used deliberately to wind up the tension in his narrative. And it is exciting, with an effective and surprising twist right at the end.’
‘Once again, Torkil Damhaug delivers a strong autumn book. Some of the passages in his thriller about an arsonist are so intense one’s hair stands on end.’
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