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The Land of Dreams

2014
Author:

Vidar Sundstøl

The Land of Dreams

Winner of the Riverton Prize for best Norwegian crime novel of the year—the first novel in the internationally best-selling Minnesota Trilogy

The Land of Dreams is the chilling first installment in Vidar Sundstøl’s critically acclaimed Minnesota Trilogy, set on the rugged north shore of Lake Superior. It is a portrait of an extraordinary landscape, an exploration of hidden traumas and paths of silence that trouble history, and a haunting study in guilt and the bonds of blood.

Scandinavian noir meets Minnesota noir. . . . Sundstøl weaves a rich sense of Northland history and heritage into his crime novel. His deep knowledge of—and love for—the Lake Superior region comes through on every page.

Brian Freeman, author of The Cold Nowhere

Winner of the Riverton Prize for best Norwegian crime novel and named by Dagbladet as one of the top twenty-five Norwegian crime novels of all time, The Land of Dreams is the chilling first installment in Vidar Sundstøl’s critically acclaimed Minnesota Trilogy, set on the rugged North Shore of Lake Superior and in the region’s small towns and deep forests.

The grandson of Norwegian immigrants, Lance Hansen is a U.S. Forest Service officer and has a nearly all-consuming passion for local genealogy and history. But his quiet routines are shattered one morning when he comes upon a Norwegian tourist brutally murdered near a stone cross on the shore of Lake Superior. Another Norwegian man is nearby; covered in blood and staring out across the lake, he can only utter the word kjærlighet. Love.

FBI agent Bob Lecuyer is assigned to the case, as is Norwegian detective Eirik Nyland, who is immediately flown in from Oslo. As the investigation progresses, Lance begins to make shocking discoveries—including one that involves the murder of an Ojibwe man on the very same site more than one hundred years ago. As Lance digs into two murders separated by a century, he finds the clues may in fact lead toward someone much closer to home than he could have imagined.

The Land of Dreams is the opening chapter in a sweeping chronicle from one of Norway’s leading crime writers—a portrait of an extraordinary landscape, an exploration of hidden traumas and paths of silence that trouble history, and a haunting study in guilt and the bonds of blood.

Awards

Nominated for the 2014 Dilys Winn Award from the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association

The Land of Dreams

Vidar Sundstøl is the acclaimed Norwegian author of six novels, including the Minnesota Trilogy, written after he and his wife lived for two years on the north shore of Lake Superior. The Land of Dreams was nominated for the Glass Key for best Scandinavian crime novel of the year, and the series has been translated into eight languages. The remaining novels in the trilogy—Only the Dead and The Ravens—are both forthcoming from Minnesota.

Tiina Nunnally is an award-winning literary translator. Her many translations include Sigrid Undset’s epic trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter, Per Olov Enquist’s The Royal Physician’s Visit, and several novels by Camilla Läckberg. Nunnally was recently appointed Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for her efforts on behalf of Norwegian literature in the United States.

The Land of Dreams

Scandinavian noir meets Minnesota noir. . . . Sundstøl weaves a rich sense of Northland history and heritage into his crime novel. His deep knowledge of—and love for—the Lake Superior region comes through on every page.

Brian Freeman, author of The Cold Nowhere

Crime fiction of the highest quality . . . powerful and well written. Vidar Sundstøl’s Minnesota Trilogy is one of the best that has been written in this country for many years.

Dagbladet (Norway)

Sundstøl’s dialogue with the universe, with nature’s physical contact, reaches mythological heights. Its lyricism strikes like an arrow in the heart of the target.

Le Figaro (France)

The highlight of this year’s crime harvest.

Politiken (Denmark)

The first of Sundstøl’s Minnesota trilogy to be published in the U.S. is literate, lyrically descriptive, and mystical. The next can’t come too soon.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

The Land of Dreams is a brilliant investigation into the darkest of all mysteries—the human heart. In its complexity and beauty, the story is every bit the equal of the landscape in which it is set, the stunning North Shore of Minnesota.

William Kent Krueger, author of Ordinary Grace

Vidar Sundstøl has written an epic Scandinavian-American crime novel, with a deep and dark sense of mystery both in its memorable characters and original setting.

Johan Theorin, author of The Darkest Room

Norwegian crime novelist Sundstøl’s stellar psychological thriller, the first in his Minnesota Trilogy, stunningly evokes the North Shore of Lake Superior and its people. Nunnally’s convincing translation helps bring it all to unforgettable life.

Publishers Weekly

Sundstøl’s superb first entry in his acclaimed Minnesota trilogy, now published for the first time in the United States, interweaves a Nordic noir flavor with the history and heritage of Minnesota’s Cook County. Fans of Scandinavian crime novels and mysteries with a Minnesota setting will enjoy this chilling psychological thriller.

Library Journal

The novel will certainly appeal to Scandinavian crime-fiction fans, but the vivid Minnesota setting should expand its audience considerably. A fine mix of history and mystery.

Booklist, starred review

After reading the first, I’m impatient to read the rest.

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

The novel’s most gripping theme: that history can be like an ‘ancient monster’ hiding, waiting, unseen and unspoken, until a storm exposes it—and then we must confront that which we’ve silenced, ignored or simply forgotten.

Star Tribune

What wonders there are in America’s own backyard, if we only think to look. That’s what the Norwegian writer Vidar Sundstøl does in The Land of Dreams.

New York Times Book Review

I look forward to reading the next two books in this series.

Euro Crime

Sundstøl’s direct, unfussy writing captures the toughness of folks who live along the North Shore.

Pioneer Press

Sundstøl aptly weaves together the history of the Ojibway people, the story of the Scandinavian immigrants who arrived in northern Minnesota a century earlier and the men currently investigating the crime. It also brings up difficult questions about guilt, allegiance, and familial and cultural bonds that are hard to break. The Land of Dreams, originally published in Norway in 2008 as the first volume in Sundstøl’s “Minnesota trilogy,” will be appreciated by mystery lovers everywhere.

Shelf Awareness

The story is very far from complete, but it has created a world, past and present, and not terribly benign, that I can scarcely wait to enter again.

Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post

The Land of Dreams has so many vivid moments, and invites such a bond with its characters, that I believe it will stay with me very nicely until the next volume of the trilogy arrives.

Kingdom Books

He skillfully entwines three generations of Native Americans (Ojibwe), French-Canadians (voyageurs) and Scandinavian settlers into his story.

Roseau Times-Region

Award-winning author Sundstøl. . . brings the land and its history vividly to life.

Globe and Mail