Read The Last Pilgrim Online

Authors: Gard Sveen

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Historical, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Police Procedurals, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Spies & Politics, #Espionage, #Historical Fiction, #Thrillers

The Last Pilgrim

BOOK: The Last Pilgrim
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The Last Pilgrim
Gard Sveen
AmazonCrossing (2016)
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Tags: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Historical, Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals, Thrillers & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Espionage, Historical Fiction, Thrillers
Literature & Fictionttt Genre Fictionttt Historicalttt Mystery; Thriller & Suspensettt Mysteryttt Police Proceduralsttt Thrillers & Suspensettt Spies & Politicsttt Espionagettt Historical Fictionttt Thrillersttt

Young, lovely Norwegian Agnes Gerner is waging a dangerous and secret fight. Outwardly, she is a devoted Nazi sympathizer engaged to a prominent businessman. In fact, she is part of an underground resistance doing everything to win the war against the Germans. The only hope she has of being reunited with the man she truly loves—who serves under the code name “Pilgrim”—is if the Nazis are defeated. Of course, there’s no guarantee that she’ll be alive when that happens…

Many years later, three sets of remains are found in a popular Oslo forest—two adults and a child. Despite his boss’s call to not spend extra time on the old case, Detective Tommy Bergmann cannot help but dig deeper, especially as he uncovers connections to a more recent murder. As he unravels the secrets of the past, it becomes clear that everything is permissible in war—and that only those who reject love can come out victorious.

**

About the Author

Gard Sveen is an award-winning crime novelist who divides his time between writing and working as a senior adviser to the Norwegian Ministry of Defense.
The Last Pilgrim
, his debut novel, was originally published as
Den siste pilgrimen
in Norway and is the first in the series featuring troubled police detective Tommy Bergmann.

The novel was an instant hit with critics and readers, and it went on to win the Riverton Prize in 2013, the prestigious Glass Key in 2014, and the Maurits Hansen Award, also in 2014. Sveen is the only author to date who has received all three honors for a first novel. The only other author who has managed to win both a Riverton and a Glass Key for their debut novel is Jo Nesbø.

Sveen is currently working on his third book in the Tommy Bergmann Series.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Text copyright © 2013 Gard Sveen

Translation copyright © 2016 Steven T. Murray

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Previously published as
Den siste pilgrimen
by Vigmostad og Bjørke in 2013 in Norway. Translated from Norwegian by Steven T. Murray. First published in English by AmazonCrossing in 2016.

Published by AmazonCrossing, Seattle

www.apub.com

Amazon, the Amazon logo, and AmazonCrossing are trademarks of
Amazon.com
, Inc., or its affiliates.

ISBN-13: 9781503937116

ISBN-10: 1503937119

Cover design by David Drummond

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

CHAPTER 44

CHAPTER 45

CHAPTER 46

CHAPTER 47

CHAPTER 48

CHAPTER 49

CHAPTER 50

CHAPTER 51

CHAPTER 52

CHAPTER 53

CHAPTER 54

CHAPTER 55

CHAPTER 56

CHAPTER 57

CHAPTER 58

CHAPTER 59

CHAPTER 60

CHAPTER 61

CHAPTER 62

CHAPTER 63

CHAPTER 64

CHAPTER 65

CHAPTER 66

CHAPTER 67

CHAPTER 68

CHAPTER 69

CHAPTER 70

CHAPTER 71

CHAPTER 72

CHAPTER 73

CHAPTER 74

CHAPTER 75

CHAPTER 76

CHAPTER 77

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

PROLOGUE

Whitsunday, June 8, 2003

Carl Oscar Krogh’s Residence

Dr. Holms Vei

Oslo, Norway

 

Only when she had parked in front of the large timbered house did the young housekeeper realize that the gate up by the road had not been closed. Even so, she remained sitting in her car for almost a minute to finish listening to a song on the radio. As the song faded out she turned off the radio, got out of the car, and looked back up the paved driveway.

The wrought-iron gate stood wide open, and she hadn’t opened it when she drove in.

It’s never left open,
she thought.

One thing she’d learned after almost a year of having Carl Oscar Krogh on her client list was that he was a stickler on that point. The first question he’d asked her when she arrived was whether she’d remembered to close the gate behind her. And the same reminder was always repeated as she left for the day: “You
must
remember to close the gate behind you.”

And the dog,
she thought.
Where’s the dog?

The frisky English setter, which still scared her a little, hadn’t barked or yanked on its chain in the backyard. The dog always made its presence known, excited to go out for the day’s long walk as soon as she got out of her car.

The housekeeper turned toward the house. She slammed the car door, a little too hard. The metallic thunk rang in her ears before everything went quiet around her, quieter than before.
And so much warmer,
she thought. The sudden heat wave that had descended upon the city yesterday no longer seemed pleasant, but unbearable.

After she had rung the doorbell twice, there was no longer any doubt.

Something was wrong.

She had a creepy feeling that somebody had quite recently—only a few minutes ago—stood on the stairs just as she was now. Someone who didn’t belong there.

She rang the doorbell again.

“Herr Krogh,” she called out. “Carl Oscar?”

Finally she put her hand on the heavy door handle. Locked. As she turned around, she silently cursed this huge, lonely property and the tall spruce trees forming a windbreak that blocked any view from outside. It was as though she was all alone in the world. Not a soul would hear her if she shouted.

She walked slowly around the side of the house. She stopped at the kitchen window, put her hands on the windowpane, and peered inside. Empty. Then she continued past the library down the flagstone path that led to the terrace in the rear. She moved cautiously, trying to make as little noise as possible. When she was three feet from the corner of the house, she stopped and ran her hand along the corner beam, which was warm from the blazing sun. Normally she would have waved off the bugs buzzing in front of her face, but now she didn’t even notice them. She was concentrating on staring straight ahead, which somehow calmed her. She scarcely noticed the city spread out far below and the zigzag pattern of white boats as they silently sliced across the fjord.

She rounded the corner of the house and noticed the white curtains billowing out of the terrace doorway.

Something flickered at the edge of her field of vision, something on the flagstones by the lawn furniture. A pool of red fanned out beneath the dead body of the dog. The black-and-white spotted throat gaped up at her. The blood looked as though it had hardly begun to congeal.

She considered running back to her car, but her legs propelled her toward the terrace.

As she moved slowly toward the billowing curtains, she silently prayed to God to watch over her.

She sidestepped the dead dog and entered the living room. In the middle of the floor lay what had once been Carl Oscar Krogh. Even his eyes were gone, chopped up like jellyfish.

How could they?
she thought.
How could anyone do such a thing to another human being?

CHAPTER 1

Monday, May 28, 1945

Jørstadmoen POW Camp

Former Stalag 303

Lillehammer, Norway

 

Captain Kaj Holt of the Norwegian Resistance movement Milorg stopped at the parade ground. He studied the barracks arranged in front of him for a moment. Then he turned around and looked toward the gate through which he had entered, as though to assure himself that it wasn’t too late to turn back.

Wasn’t it true that you should never ask a question if you didn’t want to know the answer? Maybe it was best not to know and instead resign yourself to the way things were, as normal people did, and get on with your life. The only problem was that he no longer had any life to get on with. The war would not let him go.

“It would’ve been best if they’d caught you too,” said Kaj Holt quietly to himself. That was what his wife had said.

A few minutes later, he had simply walked out the door, abandoning everything that had kept him alive for the past five years: his wife, his child, all of it. The first night he slept outside had felt like liberation.

He shook off the memories and pulled out the interrogation orders from the side pocket of his uniform jacket. He spread out the paper and read the words he himself had entered into the blanks on the form.
Hauptsturmführer Peter Waldhorst. Security Police (SIPO) Division IV. Foreign Service Post Lillehammer.
At the bottom of the page was Holt’s own signature. Although a handful of people knew that he was in Lillehammer, no one knew why he was there. That was best for the time being. Not many people knew that a group of German officers had been transferred to this camp, which still housed a large number of Soviet prisoners of war.

BOOK: The Last Pilgrim
10.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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