“Øystein Wiik’s writing is only getting better and better, and this year’s book, White Panter, is a crime novel masterpiece… So visually written and exciting, it feels like having seen a really good movie! I really recommend it!”
Liv Lysaker, LO-Media
The shipowner Herman Nordahl dies in a fire at his apartment. The autopsy reveals that he has been tortured with a tool called the Somali Virgin, which has been frequently used in Africa during dictatorial rule. Pastor Hellener, who was supposed to preside over Nordahl’s funeral, never shows up. Instead, he is found dead in a snowy field.
Meanwhile, Tom Hartmann is in the Arabian Gulf aboard the oil tanker, Fenris Fighter, in order to write a novel. The tanker is hijacked by Somali pirates who embark on a journey across the Red Sea. Alone aboard the ship are Tom Hartmann and a young boy. Can Hartmann prevent the impending catastrophe?
“Øystein Wiik has found his place in Norwegian crime fiction. Tom Hartmann is a passionate opera lover, and the grandiose and pompous dramaturgy of the opera is also characteristic of Wiik’s novels. There is nothing ordinary about them, quite the opposite. The appeal lies in the absolute absence of realism.
White Panter is great entertainment, from start to finish. Øystein Wiik has done a good job with this very complex plot. He writes efficiently, with a steady hand, and is mastering the art of driving forward the suspense in the text. Even though the events and the milieu the events take place in are fiercely dramatic, he is also able to get quite close to the many characters. Hats off to that.”
Torbjørn Ekelund, Dagbladet
“Let’s say this straight away: Øystein Wiik is an even better mystery writer than he is an opera singer. This says a lot, for Wiik is one of the most acclaimed tenors in Norway. He should also quickly be recognised as one of our foremost crime writers.
This is perhaps the book’s strongest quality: The fact that Wiik makes you believe that this could be real. That this could actually happen, here and now. No matter how many refined torture methods a crime writer invents, the book would lose one of its dimensions if the reader didn’t believe that this could really happen. Wiik has really taken good care of that extra dimension.
In addition to that, his references to his opera surroundings also work for the average reader. He never falls for the temptation to be a “besserwisser”; he’s explaining metaphors and sidetracks in a way that feels natural. Good, and informative!
He also keeps the best suspense for the last fifty pages. Then there is a speed and a drive in the book that few other crime books will repeat this year.
In short: There is a vast range between Øystein Wiik’s quality as a tenor and an opera singer, and his work as a crime novel writer. But he has the potential to become world famous, this is beyond any doubt. “Black Panther” is his best book yet!”
Anders Mehlum Hasle, Sandefjords Blad