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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…


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Reader Reviews


"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 ordinary...an original and fascinating setting."—Verdens Gang
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