When we talk about Norwegian whodunnit, we immediately think of Jo Nesbo, the little blond who has been monopolizing the genre near Oslo for years. A compatriot who lives in Marseille comes to surpass him. Aslak Nore, not at all unknown in his country, premieres in France a cobblestone of more than five hundred pages, The cemetery of the sea, familiar and historical fresco, which is worth leaving the creator of the series for a while, busy
Everything is very Scandinavian in this novel where the plot sweeps 60 years of Norwegian history. Starting with the weather, we bathe at -7, in water at 2 degrees, then the decoration, white and Lutheran and finally the town, as expansive as a band of Carmelites subject to the law of silence. Without counting this famous Scandinavian virtue that sometimes dissolves in the worst of villas, between two or three glasses of wine presented as expensive as they are good. Because behind the walls of the private foundation SAGA, headed by Olav Falck, the patriarch of one of the richest families in Norway, with whom the king even stopped one day, a lot happens. Olav, 75, is in great shape, dresses in Savile Row, London, stays at the Dorchester, avoids the presidential suite. Unlike his upstart son, Sverre.
The septuagenarian has four children, two boys and two girls. The septuagenarian is pragmatic. He knows the flaws and strengths of his offspring, uses them wisely. Basically, children are like a business, you need to know how to manage them. Classic dysfunctional family. The result, no doubt, of an unsatisfactory maternal relationship. Because with his own mother, Olav, a caricature of the dominant male, had to cross some lines that morality rejects. Closing Vera was not a trivial and easy thing. So when he learns that he killed himself and that his will is gone, he knows that trouble is about to begin.
The author served in the army in Bosnia. He knows war. In his novel, he decided to place it in the Middle East. First in Lebanon and then in Iraq. Two important characters occupy this part of the narrative. Dr. Hans Falck and journalist John O. Berg who is much more than he claims. The first is linked to the Falck family, the second has scores to settle with them. The will connects them all together. Olev’s favorite daughter, Sacha, decided to bring her grandmother’s last wishes to light. They say he looks a lot like him.
What happened on October 14, 1940, when the country was still under German occupation? When Vera’s husband dies after the ship explodes, Princess Ragnild. A la Vera stopped writing, she explained her version of events somewhere. His truth that collides with the great family history, itself intertwined with the national one. Olav hardly enjoys his parents’ obsessions, let’s leave the skeletons in the closet, he insists. The fortune and power of the family, of the clan, depends on this. Will her daughter Sasha make the right decision? Or will it be the armed wing of a deceased in search of truth and redemption? Aslak Nore moves the pen like a camera and one can imagine who could play such a character. The author reserves the final cut which suggests it won’t stop there. So much the better.
The cemetery of the sea, by Aslak Nore, Translation by Loup-Maëlle Besançon, Editions Le Bruit du Monde, 500 pages, 24 euros.
Source : Le JDD