Winner of the Riverton Prize for best Norwegian crime novel and named by Dagbladet as one of the top twenty-five Norwegian crime novels of all time, The Land of Dreams is the chilling first installment in Vidar Sundstøl’s critically acclaimed Minnesota Trilogy, set on the rugged north shore of Lake Superior and in the region’s small towns and deep forests.
The grandson of Norwegian immigrants, Lance Hansen is a U.S. Forest Service officer and has a nearly all-consuming passion for local genealogy and history. But his quiet routines are shattered one morning when he comes upon a Norwegian tourist brutally murdered near a stone cross on the shore of Lake Superior. Another Norwegian man is nearby; covered in blood and staring out across the lake, he can only utter the word kjærlighet. Love.
FBI agent Bob Lecuyer is assigned to the case, as is Norwegian detective Eirik Nyland, who is immediately flown in from Oslo. As the investigation progresses, Lance begins to make shocking discoveries—including one that involves the murder of an Ojibwe man on the very same site more than one hundred years ago. As Lance digs into two murders separated by a century, he finds the clues may in fact lead toward someone much closer to home than he could have imagined.
The Land of Dreams is the opening chapter in a sweeping chronicle from one of Norway’s leading crime writers—a portrait of an extraordinary landscape, an exploration of hidden traumas and paths of silence that trouble history, and a haunting study in guilt and the bonds of blood.
About the Author
Vidar Sundstøl is the acclaimed Norwegian author of six novels, including the Minnesota Trilogy, written after he and his wife lived for two years on the north shore of Lake Superior. The Land of Dreams was nominated for the Glass Key for best Scandinavian crime novel of the year, and the series has been translated into eight languages. The remaining novels in the trilogy—Only the Dead and The Ravens—are both forthcoming from Minnesota.
"The Land of Dreams is a brilliant investigation into the darkest of all mysteries—the human heart. In its complexity and beauty, the story is every bit the equal of the landscape in which it is set, the stunning North Shore of Minnesota." —William Kent Krueger, author of Ordinary Grace
"Scandinavian noir meets Minnesota noir. . . . Sundstøl weaves a rich sense of Northland history and heritage into his crime novel. His deep knowledge of—and love for—the Lake Superior region comes through on every page." —Brian Freeman, author of The Cold Nowhere
"Norwegian crime novelist Sundstøl’s stellar psychological thriller, the first in his Minnesota Trilogy, stunningly evokes the North Shore of Lake Superior and its people. Nunnally’s convincing translation helps bring it all to unforgettable life." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Sundstøl’s superb first entry in his acclaimed Minnesota trilogy, now published for the first time in the United States, interweaves a Nordic noir flavor with the history and heritage of Minnesota’s Cook County. Fans of Scandinavian crime novels and mysteries with a Minnesota setting will enjoy this chilling psychological thriller." —Library Journal
"The novel will certainly appeal to Scandinavian crime-fiction fans, but the vivid Minnesota setting should expand its audience considerably. A fine mix of history and mystery." —Booklist, starred review
"The novel’s most gripping theme: that history can be like an “ancient monster” hiding, waiting, unseen and unspoken, until a storm exposes it — and then we must confront that which we’ve silenced, ignored or simply forgotten." —Star Tribune
"What wonders there are in America’s own backyard, if we only think to look. That’s what the Norwegian writer Vidar Sundstøl does in The Land of Dreams." —The New York Times
"The story is very far from complete, but it has created a world, past and present, and not terribly benign, that I can scarcely wait to enter again." —Washington Post
"Sundstøl’s dialogue with the universe, with nature’s physical contact, reaches mythological heights. Its lyricism strikes like an arrow in the heart of the target." —Le Figaro (France)
"The first of Sundstøl’s Minnesota trilogy to be published in the U.S. is literate, lyrically descriptive, and mystical. The next can’t come too soon." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review