- Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Recently I’ve read a few Scandinavian mysteries, and I’ll review them as I find time. I downloaded this one, Chasing the Storm by Martin Molsted, because it attempts to do something highly counterintuitive – creating a modern Norwegian action hero. Also this hero is named Torgrim Rygg, and Rygg is one of my ancestral names.
The story starts in Hamburg when Rygg – a former soldier in some sort of special force, now working in business and missing the action – witnesses an assassination attempt on a man, and instinctively sets out in pursuit of the assailant. He doesn’t catch him, but the intended victim, a Russian named Marko Marin, is so impressed with his response that (after doing some research on him) he asks him to help him with a dangerous project. This leads to perils and complications, and soon Rygg has happily bid farewell to conventional life and joined forces with Marko, who is a “journalist” of some sort, investigating an international conspiracy connected with the hijacking of a ship in the Baltic.
The whole thing is a little overcooked for my taste – frequent hops from one exotic place to another, danger at every turn… I had trouble believing the characters’ motivations and persistence. Also there are some odd sexual elements, such as Rygg’s cold-blooded seduction of a lonely, middle-aged woman in pursuit of information, and the three-cornered relationship he comes to enjoy with Marko’s beautiful girlfriend, Lena.
Entertaining in a Hollywood action movie sort of way, I found Chasing the Storm good enough for passing the time in the hospital, but nothing I strongly recommend. Cautions for just about everything you imagine.