Hans Olav Lahlum


Let’s call this part one of a series of profiles of the characters who will be at Iceland Noir this year. We just about have time between now and November to profile all of our authors, if we do a couple every week.

We’re starting with Hans Olav Lahlum, a Norwegian crime novelist who also has parallel roles as a historian, chess player and politician. He has written biographies and history book as well as fiction, and hold the Guinness World Record for the longest interview recorded, lasting a marathon 30 hours, 1 minute and 44 seconds, and beating the previous record by more than four hours.

Screen shot 2014-07-03 at 09.10.32

His crime debut, The Human Flies (Menneskefluene), was published in Norway in 2010 and in English translation in 2014. The book is set in the Oslo of 1968 when the war years were still relatively fresh in people’s memories. Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen is called to a murder scene in an apartment block where renowned resistance hero Harald Olesen has been murdered.

It seems that many of Olesen’s neighbours had reasons for wanting him dead, and Kristiansen (known as K2) enlists the help of Patricia Louise Borchmann, a young woman with a brilliant mind but wheelchair-bound, to unravel the mystery.

Hans Olav Lahlum’s books are written in a classical style that reflects the era in which they are set, and subsequent novels in the series are the Satellite People (Satelittmenneskene, 2011) and The Catalyst Killing (Katalysatormordet, 2012).

Incidentally, there’s a video of that record-breaking interview here, condensed into a mere two minutes. But for the purists out there, the entire 30-hour interview can be found here.

Info & pic shamelessly filched from Wikipedia and elsewhere.


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