This is Lahlum’s fifth book about K2 and Patricia. We have reached 1972, Norway is conflicted about the EEC and Soviet spying is not unheard of.
On Saturday 25th March, the weekend calm is shattered when a small boy, scared for his life and with a bloody knife in his pocket, frenziedly rings K2’s doorbell. The boy manages to say just two sentences: ‘Please let me in! They are after me and I must talk to you before they get to me!’ before his pursuers get hold of him. They turn out to be policemen and the bloody knife is the weapon that killed Per Johan Fredriksen, a Member of Parliament. The boy refuses to utter a single word more and K2 wonders if this murder case will be solved quickly, or if the boy tells the truth and, if he does, how he got hold of the bloody knife from the murder scene.
The investigation closes in on Fredriksen and hidden events in his past which may also be relevant to why he was killed. In his youth he was one of six friends – three couples – who were present during a holiday weekend when one of them, the man all the girls wanted, died under mysterious circumstances. The five survivors kept in contact off and on, and Fredriksen married the dead man’s sister. When K2 investigates the MP’s day job, one issue turns out to be the political relationship between Norway and the Soviet Union. K2 needs help. And, who can he turn to, except Patricia? This will have unexpected consequences for his partner, Miriam.
Hans Olav Lahlum has written a new, exciting crime story drawn from Norway’s recent history. EEC arguments and espionage mixed with personal passions and intrigues. A true Lahlum crime novel!
‘When it comes to the author’s stylish depiction of the setting and tonal style, these are exactly the literary ingredients which make these books liberatingly different from most other Norwegian and Nordic contemporary crime writing.’
‘Hans Olav Lahlum has many talents, and in The Chameleon People he makes full use of them in a refined and effective way.’
‘This is a great book about our recent history, with the EEC debate and espionage for the Soviet Union interspersed with personal suffering and intrigue.’
‘Once again Hans Olav Lahlum delivers quality, first-class crime writing. ... Lahlum is a brilliant storyteller and a master of capturing the imagination of the reader. I would not hesitate to recommend this book.’
‘Lahlum writes knowledgably about the time he is portraying. The names he gives to famous people of that time are particularly amusing. The author writes a prose which is suitable for the time period the story is set in. He is secure in his writing style and very funny.’
‘In The Chameleon People, Lahlum takes a closer look at the outside drama than he has previously and tries something a bit different while still making use of his formula for success.’
‘Playing with the genre … There is still nothing to fault his plots for. He has once again written a book which confirms he is a true crime writer.’
‘… K2 has not become a famous detective for no reason. Despite his general confusion when it comes to love, he focuses on the investigation, and with help from the genius Borchmann, he effectively propels the reader through his well thought-out murder mystery. … New and entertaining retro crime from hard-working historian Hans Olav Lahlum.’