I am so excited to be partnering with Orenda Books to bring you an exclusive extract of The Courier as well as being able to offer a finished copy to one of my readers in a giveaway!
Keep reading to find out how to enter!
To get you ready for the exclusive extract, here’s the synopsis for The Courier:
In 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In a great haste, she escapes to Sweden, saving herself. Her family in Oslo, however, is deported to Auschwitz. In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife, Åse, who helped Ester get to Sweden. Their burgeoning relationship ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire. And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He wants to reconnect with his daughter. But where has he been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles across information that forces her to look closely at her past, and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive… Written with Dahl’s trademark characterization and elegant plotting, The Courier sees the hugely respected godfather of Nordic Noir at his best, as he takes on one of the most horrific periods of modern history, in a exceptional, shocking thriller.
Doesn’t that sound like a thrilling read? Well there’s more!
It is with great joy that I can share with you an exclusive sneak peak into the very beginning of The Courier! So, without further ado:
Oslo, November 1967
Her flared white trousers flap as she walks. Her plimsolls
are closer to grey than white. She is wearing a tight, pink woollen jumper
under a well-worn military jacket. She is carrying a shopping net. Erik knows the
net contains a law book, a pencil case and an exercise book. He knows her
She waits until the tram has left before she rushes across the rails. At that moment, in the way she moves, she is the spitting image of her mother. Erik thinks she rushes in a controlled manner – as if she lets her legs do the running while her torso strolls, slightly bent over. Of all the mannerisms she has inherited from her mother this is the one he appreciates most. Watching her through the large sitting-room window as she hurries up Slemdalsveien, it strikes him how strange it will be when, one day, she moves out. He hopes that won’t be for a while. She still has two semesters left of her course, and at this moment she doesn’t have a steady boyfriend.
Turid stops by the line of post boxes. She puts a hand inside theirs and takes out the contents. Pushes a strand of hair behind her ear and then flicks through the mail while ambling to the front entrance of their semi-detached house.
She stops by the door. Reads the address on one envelope again. Then she stuffs the rest under her arm and opens this one. Studying the letter, she opens the wrought-iron gate as if on autopilot. This is when she usually looks up at him in the window and waves. Not today. She dawdles towards the door, engrossed in her reading.
Erik goes back to his chair and sits down with the newspaper.
Turid is now in the hallway. Grete sticks her head in from
‘What are you looking at?’ she asks.
‘A photo of my mum.’
‘Me?’ ‘No, Åse.’
Erik lays down the newspaper. He sees his daughter pass the photo to Grete.
‘You’re so like her,’ says Grete. ‘Look, Erik.’
Erik gets up joins them and looks at the photo Grete is
holding. It is old and worn, dog-eared and scratched.
‘Where did you get it?’
‘Came in the post.’
He arches both eyebrows and all three of them exchange glances. ‘Who sent it?’
‘No idea.’ Turid passes him the envelope. It is addressed to her. Both the name and address are written in black capitals. The envelope has a stamp, but there is no sender’s name.
‘Any letter with it?’
Turid shakes her head. ‘Odd, isn’t it? Hm? Sending me a photo of her in the post?’ Turid looks from one to the other. ‘Why do that?’
Erik can feel himself becoming annoyed. ‘Don’t ask me. No one here sent that letter.’
Turid eyes him. Now it is her turn to become annoyed. ‘It’s my mother, and someone has sent me a photo of her. What’s your problem?’ He opens his palms. ‘Nothing.’
Turid snatches back the photo. ‘That’s mine.’
‘By all means. I wasn’t planning to steal it.’
‘Stop it, both of you,’ Grete says, and adds: ‘Arna rang. She’s got an extra shift and will eat at work.’
She talks to her husband’s back. He is on his way to the kitchen table. ‘That photo,’ her daughter whispers to her. ‘I don’t understand.’ Erik slides down onto the chair. ‘You’re not the only one.’ Grete puts a casserole dish on the table. Fish balls in white sauce. Then she brings a pan of potatoes. ‘There’ll probably be more letters,’ she says. ‘There’s bound to be an explanation.’
Erik spears a potato with his fork and starts peeling it. ‘Someone might’ve found this old photo and thought you should have it.’ Grete gets up and fetches the dish of grated carrot. ‘Almost forgot this.’
The atmosphere during the meal is not as Erik had imagined it would be, if indeed he had imagined anything. He tries to think of something to say that would make sitting there more congenial. But he can’t. He looks at Grete and Turid, who are both picking at their food as though their thoughts were elsewhere. He is ill at ease and he wonders whether he is the one who has caused this tense silence, even though he doesn’t want it himself. He would like to do something to lighten the atmosphere. He has tried before in such situations, but usually he fails.
‘It was taken before she had you,’ Grete says.
Turid looks up. ‘Can you see that?’
‘You’re not in the picture. That was Åse in a nutshell. She never let you out of her sight, not for one second.’
Turid falls into a deep reverie.
‘Perhaps my father took the photo,’ she says.
‘Perhaps,’ Grete says, winking at her.
‘Anyway, it wasn’t him who sent it. That’s for sure,’ Erik chips in. ‘I imagine the person who put that in the post box must’ve been alive, don’t you think?’
Now that you’ve experienced a little taste of The Courier, how would you like to win a copy? Well you can!
I’ve teamed up with Orenda books to offer one of my readers a finished copy of The Courier!
The giveaway is open internationally and all you need to do is email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name and country of residence! That’s all!
The winner will be chosen at random and I will email the winner when they have been drawn!
Giveaway closes at 5pm GMT on 15th March!
Good luck everyone!
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