Dregs by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (310 pages, August 2011, Sandstone Press Ltd, ISBN: 1905207670)
DREGS is the sixth in the Chief Inspector William Wisting series set in the small coastal Norwegian town of Stavern, and the first to be translated into English.
The book opens with the discovery of a left foot washed up by the tide. What is strange is that it is the second left foot to have appeared in recent days. An extensive search has not turned up any right feet. There have been only four people reported missing in the last few months: three old men and one young woman. The men all disappeared within a week of each other and the woman a few days afterwards. No trace of them or reason for their absence has ever been determined. Wisting decides to reinvestigate the disappearances as a key witness was overlooked first time around but then she also disappears.
Meanwhile, Wisting's journalist daughter is back in the area researching a new article on what affect prison has had on criminals and her interview subjects begin to overlap with her father's.
Still more feet keep turning up and then a very large clue is also washed up which allows Wisting to steadily crack this very puzzling mystery.
At the core of DREGS is a very well thought-out plot, which keeps the reader and police baffled until the very end. The widowed Wisting is a steady, thoughtful detective with a wry outlook on life who is ably supported by a small team. I do hope that more of this series is translated as, based on DREGS, it is well worth seeking out.