Forty Days Without Shadow

An Arctic Thriller


By Olivier Truc

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$18.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 18, 2014. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The international award-winning, bestselling phenomenon, now available in English for the first time.

Tomorrow, the sun will rise for the first time in 40 days. Thirty minutes of daylight will herald the end of the polar night in Kautokeino, a small village in northern Norway, home to the indigenous Sami people.

But in the last hours of darkness, a precious artifact is stolen: an ancient Sami drum. The most important piece in the museum’s collection, it was due to go on tour with a UN exhibition in a few short weeks.

Hours later, a man is murdered. Mattis, one of the last Sami reindeer herders, is found dead in his gumpy.

Are the two crimes connected? In a town fraught with tension–between the indigenous Samis fighting to keep their culture alive, the ultra-Lutheran Scandinavian colonists concerned with propagating their own religion, and the greedy geologists eager to mine the region’s ore deposits–it falls to two local police officers to solve the crimes. Klemet Nango, an experienced Sami officer, and Nina Nansen, his much younger partner from the south of Norway, must find the perpetrators before it’s too late…



  • "Gripping...Fascinating details, including the rift between the snowmobile lobby and the reindeer herders, enhance the fast-moving plot. Truc brings an obscure part of the world to vivid life."—Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review - Review of the Day)
  • "Originally published in French, and retaining the flavor of that language in an English translation, this is a lyrical, exotic mystery set in a remote Norwegian village...The novel combines a compelling mystery and equally compelling characters...Readers who follow Nordic noir should really enjoy this one."—Booklist
  • "Truc reveals the many layers of the mystery slowly...The breathtaking beauty of the Sapmi-the Arctic Tundra-is the real scene-stealer... Go ahead. Reader FORTY DAYS WITHOUT SHADOW. But, be warned: you will be very tempted to include Kautokeino in your short-term travel plans. Might as well shop for a chapka now."—BookBrowse
  • "As much a fascinating anthropological study and travelog as a compelling police procedural, this debut crime novel immerses the reader in the barren lifestyle of the Sami reindeer herders in northern Lapland....This atmospheric thriller leaves a lasting impression with its depiction of an ancient culture under pressure from the modern world. Aficionados of the genre who enjoy intriguing settings in their mysteries and fans of Tony Hillerman, James Lee Burke, and Henning Mankell will delight in discovering this young French writer."—Library Journal
  • "Haunting...Forty Days Without Shadow is more that a splendidly told murder investigation and its consequences. It is a fascinating telling of bloody history, culture, and indigenous people struggling against all odds to survive. The winter scenes are frighteningly real, at times leaving you breathless and filled with awe. A book you will not forget. A powerful, ingenious piece of crime noir."—New York Journal of Books
  • "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."—Télérama magazine, "Best Crime Novels of 2012"
  • "It's always a pleasure to encounter a really unusual setting for crime fiction, but novelty alone is no good - it needs a decent story to go with it. Luckily, Forty Days Without Shadow by Olivier Truc scores both ways...This dense but tense thriller is full of local colour."—Morning Star (UK)
  • "Olivier Truc's debut novel is a fascinating thriller by a writer who is already a master of the genre."—Librairie Garin
  • "A beautiful thriller that carries us away to a mysterious land."—L'Unita
  • "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."—Librairie l'usage du monde
  • "A unique setting, the snow, the freezing cold, reindeer, unforgettable characters...make this novel a must-read book."—Il Fatto Quotidiano
  • "A dark, highly original novel."—Livres Hebdo
  • "The bone-numbing cold of a snowy vastness underlines a chilling story. 8 stars."—Peterborough Telegraph (UK)
  • "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."—Librairie L'Atelier
  • "This is a superb story....Truc stands out in his masterful depiction of characters."—La Razón
  • "Deep historical research and in-depth first-hand knowledge allow Truc to accomplish an impeccable backdrop, a true immersion into this little-known indigenous culture."—Diario del Alto Aragón
  • "An inspiring crime novel out of the original and fascinating setting."—Verdens Gang

On Sale
Nov 18, 2014
Page Count
480 pages

Olivier Truc

About the Author

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 (The Reindeer Police, 2008). He has previously published two non-fiction books. Forty Days Without Shadow is his first novel, and was published in the original French by Éditions Métailié in September 2012.

Learn more about this author