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Le dernier Lapon by Olivier Truc
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Le dernier Lapon (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Olivier Truc

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917132,676 (3.85)1
Member:lcottereau
Title:Le dernier Lapon
Authors:Olivier Truc
Info:Points (2013), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your digital library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Forty Days Without Shadow: An Arctic Thriller by Olivier Truc (2012)

$1.99 (1) 1501 (1) 2012 (1) 2014 (3) 21st century (2) Arctic (2) crime (4) crime fiction (3) dnf (1) fiction (7) France (3) indigenous peoples (1) Klemet Nango (2) Kriminalitet (1) Lapland (2) Laponie (2) Lu (1) murder (1) mystery (5) nordic fiction (1) Norrbotten (1) Norway (4) polar (2) Sami (2) Sami people (3) Sampi (1) suspense (2) Sweden (3) thriller (6) tpb (1)

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Thank you Trapdoor for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

A priceless local relic is stolen from Kautokeino, a village in Lapland, that lies in the middle of the isolated snowy tundra. Two reindeer polices, Klemet Nango, an experienced police, and Nina Nansen, fresh from the local police academy, sends out to investigate the crime. Then a local reindeer herder is murdered and Klemet and Nina suspect that the two events are linked to each other.

The Sámis in Sweden, Norway, and Finland has during century’s, just like other indigenous populations, been oppressed, and one thing the church did against them was burning their drums, there used to be thousands of them, now there are only 71 documented left. I have been for years fascinated by the Sámis so that made the experience of reading this book so much greater. Because even though this is a crime novel, it’s also a glimpse into the Sámi world, both the present one and the one the high power was hell bent on destroying when they sent up people to colonize and make Christians out of the natives.



This book was truly well written, I mean it took me days to get through because I just couldn’t skim any part because it was so well-written and interesting to read. Of course, the characters was great even though the police, for instance, fell into the risk of being stereotypes, bad cop, good cop, a new cop, but I didn't mind that. One character I really came to like was Aslak, the reindeer herder that preferred the old traditional way of herding reindeer instead the modern way with snow scooters.

The only part that I didn’t like was the abrupt ending; suddenly the book was just finished and I wanted more. I hope Olivier Truc writes more books, because this, his debut book was marvelous!

4.5 stars!

Olivier Truc was born in France in 1964. He has worked as a journalist since 1986 and has been based in Stockholm since 1994, where he is currently the Nordic and Baltic correspondent for Le Monde and Le Point. As a reporter, Olivier Truc covers subjects from politics and economics to social issues like immigration and minorities. He has also produced TV documentaries, including one that portrays a group of Norwegian policemen in Lapland. This is his debut novel. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Reindeer herders. Now, there’s a term you don’t hear every day. In Kautokeino, a village in central Lapland, there are still reindeer herders and Reindeer Police to keep peace between the herders and monitor how many reindeer are kept in each herd. The herders are Sámis who are an indigenous people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi. Some herders have brought their profession into modern day, even providing reindeer products and souvenirs to sightseers. But doing so costs more money and causes the herder to necessarily increase his herd. Aslak is different. He has a small herd and works with them much the same way it was generations ago. It is enough to provide for him and his wife in their tent in the wilderness. Mattis was more like Aslak until booze took over his brain. Then his herds became weak and wondered into other herds. It was always an issue in the spring for the Reindeer Police to negotiate and separate the herds.

Then, a Sámi drum was stolen from the museum. It was generations old. It was not only rare, but it was rumored to provide directions to a massive gold site. Soon thereafter, Mattis was found murdered. The Reindeer Police feel that the two incidents are connected. Rolf Brattsen, the Deputy Superintendent, insisted they should be treated as two separate incidents. Klemet Nango and Nina Nansen head up the investigation by the Reindeer Police, but they need to default to Brattsen and he eventually tells them to back off. Brattsen does not care for the Sámis nor their history.

This is Oliver Truc’s debut novel, and the storyline is truly fascinating. The prologue threw me a bit; I was looking for more of a tie in to it. Still it sets the reader up for a remarkable journey. I loved the characters of Klemet and Nina. At first they were at odds with each other. Klemet is a Sámi; Nina was a newcomer but a quick learner. It was very realistic to see these two eventually drawing together with respect for each other. It is not a love story, but the reader will fall in love with the people and even with this harsh and unforgiving locale. I rated Forty Days Without Shadow at 4 out of 5. ( )
  FictionZeal | Jan 19, 2015 |
Unique, detailed investigative work by the Reindeer Police north of Finland, Sweden and Norway. A slow start, getting to know the lay of the land and culture, but once the characters came together more clearly for me, the various threads of the story were very well connected.

Again my heart is deeply touched and grieving for the indigenous people and their losses at many levels as we look back at European colonization, greed. Not just here but on all continents.

Some of the more fascinating cultural detail came through the perspectives of several different characters in the field of geology; also academic ethnologists, and especially down-to-earth Sami people.

I have read and re-read the ending but the motivation behind the ear-cutting is still unclear to me; it didn't seem clear to the establishment either. I have to wonder if the translation is the problem? In general, although I don't read French, my guess is that the translation doesn't do justice to the author's original prose. Conversations and phrases are overly formalized and I don't see the prosaic flow that European reviewers appreciated. ( )
1 vote nggray | Dec 9, 2014 |
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Winter is savage and cold in Lapland. When a priceless local relic is stolen from Kautokeino, a village in the middle of the isolated snowy tundra, detectives Klemet Nango - a familiar face in the rural community - and Nina Nansen, fresh out of the local police academy, are called to investigate. There are just a few days until the locals will host a UN World Heritage conference, and Klemet and Nina are under pressure to retrieve the artefact, due to be presented to a world-renowned French scientist as part of the celebrations. When a local reindeer herder is found brutally murdered, Klemet and Nina immediately suspect that the two events are linked. But the villagers don't take too kindly to having their secret histories stirred up and the duo is forced to cross the icy landscapes alone in search of the answers that will lead them to a killer. Set in an alternately savage and dreamlike Lapland, this multiple award-winning, compelling thriller takes the reader to the limits of hypermodernity against the stunning history of a native people struggling to keep their culture alive.… (more)

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