Lethal Investments by Kjell Ola Dahl

By Kjell Ola Dahl

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Now he could confirm that the upper reaches of Grünerløkka were holding their own. And this was rather surprising. Because the woman in the flat shoes in the kitchen was, socially speaking, different compared with the Pakistani next door, who walked around in seventies clothing. His flat was furnished with flimsy, wobbly furniture from the Salvation Army shop. An unusually polite, plump man with fleshy cheeks and a toothbrush moustache. The type that shooed his wife straight into the kitchen the moment she shuffled in through the door.

He lit a cigarette. Went over to the window and opened it a crack while she welcomed her husband. He could hear the father indulging in horseplay with his child and the couple whispering. So as not to offend anyone, he tried to blow as much of the smoke as he could through the window. Soon they were in the living room. ‘Feel free to smoke,’ she assured him, flustered. ‘I’ll find you an ashtray. ’ The latter was said to her husband, who trooped in behind her. They greeted each other. The man was getting on for forty, but had stopped somewhere along the way.

It was a joke,’ she said with a strained smile. ’ The words were spoken with a face that said she was the kind to keep an eye on her husband. ’ Gunnarstranda detected some irritation at his question.  . ’ She threw out her arms. ’ ‘Do you know if she hung around with a particular group? ’ ‘I’m afraid I can’t help you there,’ she said firmly. But continued when the inspector said nothing. ‘Yes, she lived below us, and the times I met her she was on her own by and large. I suppose I must have seen her with other people, men and women, as you would expect.

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