Forty Days Without Shadow
ORIGINAL TITLE: Le dernier Lapon
AUTHOR: Olivier Truc
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Métailié
Klemet, a Sami officer in the local Reindeer Police, and his partner Nina Nansen, embark on a disturbing investigation. But in Kautokeino, no one likes to make waves. The Reindeer Police are sent back to their lonely tundra patrols, settling disputes between reindeer-herders.
The mysteries of the ‘72nd drum’ soon catch up with them. Why, on the eve of World War II, did a Sami guide give the drum to a member of a French expedition? What is the drum’s message? What do the traditional joiks chanted by Klemet’s uncle Nils Ante have to say on the subject? What is a French geologist and hard man with a penchant for underage girls and remarkable knowledge of the local mineral deposits doing in town? And to whom is Sami Laestadian Berit Kutsi really addressing her pious prayers? What is Aslak hiding as one of the last Sami living in the old traditional ways, far from the modern world, in his reindeer-hide tent?
Set on the cusp of the polar night, in the extraordinary landscapes of the Finnmark, a vivid cast of sharply-drawn, profoundly humane characters explores the limits of modern life and the traditional ways of a people struggling for their survival. A superb, gripping thriller by a distinctive new voice, steeped in Sami and Nordic culture.
“Olivier Truc’s prose is brilliant(…) and the plot is superb.
Although I have very little spare time, I read the book three times. It is meant to become a classic that will raise the standard of the crime novel!”
“Olivier Truc’s debut novel is a fascinating thriller by a writer who is already a master of the genre.”
”Olivier Truc’s remarkable, triumphant thriller is far more than a colourful stroll through an exotic culture.”
”Original, fascinating, with no concessions to surface ‘exoticism.´”
”A dark, highly original novel.”
“A really well-written, masterly novel, and a tremendous pleasure to read. Original, fascinating, with no concessions to surface “exoticism”. A terrifically successful crime novel.”
“Against the backdrop of the polar night, ancient religious traditions, and the fierce rivalries of reindeer-herders, Olivier Truc’s remarkable, triumphant thriller is far more than a colourful stroll through an exotic culture.”
“A powerful ‘Nordic’ thriller… At last, a French writer has succeeded in reviving the genre, in fine style. I can’t remember the last time I read a truly dark, gripping crime novel by a home-grown author.”