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Hans Olav Lahlum

  • Publication date: August 2011
  • Publisher: CAPPELEN DAMM
  • Country: NO
  • 318 print pages
  • Detective novel/Crime fiction


  • Epoch: Historical
  • Location setting: Norway
  • Themes: Surpassing oneself, PEOPLE facing life


An old-fashioned murder mystery set in Norway in 1969.


Shortlisted for the 2016 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.

Judges comments:
"An accomplished homage to Agatha Christie, SATELLITE PEOPLE adds a Nordic twist to classic crime fiction tropes. References to Christie novels abound, but Lahlum uses a Golden Age narrative structure to explore Norway's wartime past, as Inspector Kristiansen and Patricia investigate a former Resistance fighter's death. Excellent characterisation, a tight plot and a growing sense of menace keep the reader guessing until the denouement."

Hans Olav Lahlum is a Norwegian historian, crime author, chess player and organizer, and politician. He has written biographies on Oscar Torp and Haakon Lie, and a history book about all the Presidents of the United States.


The date is 10th May 1969, a Saturday. DSI Kolbjørn “K2” Kristiansen is in his Oslo office when he receives a phone call from Ferdinand Schjelderup, the legendary multi-millionaire and resistance fighter. Schjelderup wants to see DSI Kristiansen about a family matter: one of his nearest and dearest relative is planning to kill him. Before the meeting takes place, Schjelderup collapses and dies during a Sunday dinner, at which ten members of his circle are present. The powerful, much disliked patriarch has been poisoned and the murderer sat at his dining table. Exactly on which seat is the question that drives this thrilling crime story. The plot thickens, as one mysterious letter after another warns of further deaths among the guests at Ferdinand Schjelderup's last meal. DSI Kristiansen needs help and he seeks it from his secret consultant, professor Borchmann's part-paralysed, witty daughter Patricia Louise I. E. Borchmann.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Hans Olav Lahlum (1973–) is a historian. He made his literary debut with the critically acclaimed biography Oscar Torp in 2007. He has since published five crime novels and five non-fiction books.

    His crime novels have become bestsellers in Norway, and will shortly be available in Danish, English, Italian and Korean.