THE INFORMER is the first novel by Danish horror writer Steen Langstrup published in English. It was nominated Best Nordic Crime Novel of the year and selected as one of the best thirty-six novels for a relaxing beach read by a major Danish newspaper.
And it’s every bit of it.
Set during 1944, a dark time for the Danish people, it’s the story of a hunt for an informer in Sabotage Group BB. Germany had invaded Denmark four years before and the government’s attempt to co-operate with them has gone awry. A few months before, the Gestapo had rounded up most of the police force and deported them to concentration camps. Criminals run the streets now. The Gestapo replaced the police with the Hipo, a hand-picked force that are bullies more than anything.
All that is history.
Sabotage Group BB has a traitor in it’s midst. Suddenly, missions are going wrong. The German authorities were waiting for them when they rolled in. They barely escape.
It’s a mixed group: a minister, a prostitute, an ex-cop, a sixteen year old raw recruit. The hooker’s life is saved on the second mission by the kid, killing two Germans about to shoot her.
It has to be one of the group. A small unit unknown to other resistance teams, it can’t be anyone else. Unthinkable though.
The author of fifteen novels, Steen Langstrup was unfamiliar to me. Based on this novel, THE INFORMER likely won’t be the last for me. The man knows how to tell a story and showed me a bit of history about WWII. Several of his works have been translated into English, with more to come, including Sabotage Group BB tales.
Recommended. Should be on a lot of reading lists. Well worth the modest price.