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The Land of Dreams (Part 1 in the Minnesota Trilogy) by Vidar Sundstøl is a crime novel that takes place on the shores of Lake Superior. It follows Eirik Nyland, a Norwegian homicide detective who was summoned to Minnesota to help solve the mystery of a murdered Norwegian, who was vacationing on in northern Minnesota with his friend.
Along the way, he meets a series of characters, including Lance Hansen, who have lived in the small towns along the North Shore their entire lives. The book alternates primarily between Lance and Eirik’s point of view, allowing the reader different perspectives on the case. When Lance discovers more than he wants to, the reader is privy to both members of law enforcements’ thoughts.
The book is loaded with details about the North Shore and has a good deal of its history as well. Sundstøl, who lived on the North Shore for a couple of years, is clearly fascinated with the cultural link between his home country of Norway and the Norwegian/Swedish-American pride of the area.
The book isn’t fast-paced, but follows a calm, steady investigation into the murder and the lives of those that the murder effects. It also leaves off on a somewhat unresolved place. I have a feeling that I’ll need to read the other two books in the series to find a sense of closure.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, especially to someone feeling homesick for the North Shore. There are a lot of little details that I didn’t necessarily find necessary (like people wearing Twins and Vikings hats, people eating Old Dutch potato chips), but are things that, I suppose, people find unique about the area I call home.
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