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Only the Dead

2015
Author:

Vidar Sundstøl
Translated by Tiina Nunnally

Only the Dead

A psychological thriller that deepens the mystery begun in the prize-winning first volume of Vidar Sundstøl’s internationally best-selling Minnesota Trilogy

Steeped in the rich history of Lake Superior’s rugged North Shore, this follow-up to the Riverton Prize–winning The Land of Dreams pursues two tales through a bleak and beautiful landscape haunted by the lives and dreams of its Scandinavian immigrants and Native Americans. Lance Hansen finds himself equally haunted by the complex mysteries that continue to unravel around him.

The second in the Minnesota Trilogy is exquisitely written, lyrically descriptive, and mystically mysterious.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A Norwegian tourist has been found murdered on the shore of Lake Superior—right where an Ojibwe man may have been killed more than one hundred years earlier. Four months later, the official investigation is supposedly over but still not resolved, and U.S. Forest Service officer Lance Hansen, drawn into the mystery by his grisly discovery of the body, is uncovering clues disturbingly close to home.

His former father-in-law, Willy Dupree, may hold the key to the century-old murder of Swamper Caribou. And his own brother, Andy, might know more than he’s telling—more than he should know—about the recent homicide. The relationship between the brothers takes a dangerous turn as their annual deer hunt becomes a deadly game.

Steeped in the rich history of Lake Superior’s rugged North Shore, this follow-up to the Riverton Prize–winning The Land of Dreams pursues two tales through a bleak and beautiful landscape haunted by the lives and dreams of its Scandinavian immigrants and Native Americans. Hansen finds himself equally haunted by the complex mysteries that continue to unravel around him.

Only the Dead

Vidar Sundstøl is the acclaimed Norwegian author of seven novels, including the internationally best-selling Minnesota Trilogy, which he wrote after living on the North Shore of Lake Superior for two years. The first volume of the series, The Land of Dreams (Minnesota, 2013), was nominated for the Glass Key for best Scandinavian crime novel of the year.

Tiina Nunnally has received numerous awards for her translations of Scandinavian literature, including the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize for her translation of Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter.

Short
Vidar Sundstøl is an acclaimed Norwegian author of seven novels, including the internationally best-selling Minnesota Trilogy.

Short
Tiina Nunnally has received numerous awards for her translations of Scandinavian literature.

Only the Dead

The second in the Minnesota Trilogy is exquisitely written, lyrically descriptive, and mystically mysterious.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Like the central movement of a dark Grieg symphony, this brief second installment of Norwegian author Sundstøl’s Minnesota Trilogy resounds with two stunning variations on a single theme: the complex motivations behind murders that link brotherhood, love, and death. Readers will eagerly await The Ravens, the trilogy’s conclusion.

Publishers Weekly

This is a creeping-paced and suspense-filled follow-up that covers a very short period of time.

Duluth News-Tribune

Sundstøl’s outstanding second entry in his acclaimed “Minnesota Trilogy” measures up to the first installment with its quick pace and succinct plot.

Library Journal

The most extraordinary aspects of this second book are the incredibly rich descriptions of the wild topography of Minnesota’s North Shore—the land, the trees, the water—and the meticulous rendering of the threatening weather.

Norwegian American Weekly

Entirely compelling, engrossing, and so grimly effective that it silenced me for hours afterward. It may be the most powerful work of suspense I’ve ever read.

Kingdom Books

Genuinely gripping. An unexpected but surprisingly enjoyable follow up to the first book in the series.

Euro Crime

The second in Sundstøl’s Minnesota trilogy is a darker, more meditative mystery than the first, shot through with Gothic Romanticism and chilly metaphor.

Star Tribune

Well worth the wait.

Lavender Magazine

This is a beautiful, atmospheric, and disturbing novel, and it’s more vivid, real, and psychologically complex than most conventional thrillers.

Mysterious Bibliophile

Who knew a mystery based in part on genealogy and local history could be so engaging?

Globe and Mail

Intense, thoughtful, and profound.

Mystery Scene

A compelling read that is hard to put down. With unique, realistic characters and the dangerous Minnesota background, this novel captures readers until the bitter end. For those looking for a psychological thriller that will make them question their beliefs and actions, Only the Dead will not disappoint.

Big Muddy

Only the Dead offers a lot of information that doesn’t change the game, but subtly advances the plot. It is a testament to the author’s skill that for long stretches, during which very little happens in the outside world, he manages not just to maintain, but to increase the tension.

Los Angeles Review of Books