Summer of malice

Photo courtesy of Robert Wangard.

From the author of “Target” and “Hard Water Blues” comes the third installment in the Pete Thorsen mystery series: “Malice.”

Robert Wangard has done it again in this crime thriller featuring Norwegian-American Pete Thorsen. An ex-private investigator who has seen more than his fair share of violence, Thorsen decides to stay far away from the recent brutal murder that has shocked his small community in rural Michigan.

But even as Thorsen tries to escape to a world of Viking longboats while he works on an article on the topic, he is confronted with the repercussions of the murder. Against his better judgment Pete agrees to help the dead man’s widow sort out her late husband’s financial affairs, and he soon is confronted with details from the very investigation he wants so badly to stay out of.

Things spiral out of control fast as Pete and his loyal friend Harry McTigue begin to uncover a scandal of dirty money, crooked real estate developers, and personal betrayals. When Pete’s beloved lakeside cottage is set aflame and his stepdaughter Julie is stalked one night on her college campus, the hardy Norwegian-American realizes something must be done.

Wangard’s latest thriller is a harrowing ride with intriguing plot twists and memorable characters, and is also colored by main character Pete Thorsen’s love of his Norwegian heritage. When he mixes up a drink to combat the stress of the investigation, he uses nothing other than Thor’s Hammer vodka. Going for a relaxing swim in the lake outside his cottage, he recites the names of Viking kings to help calm his nerves. Wangard does an admirable job of bringing out Thorsen’s love of his heritage in subtle yet memorable ways.

Wangard splits his time between a Chicago suburb and northern Michigan. He’s a member of Sons of Norway (Skjold Lodge, Palatine, Ill.) and writers’ organizations including Mystery Writers of American and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. As has been the case with his last two books, Norwegian-American readers especially will love “Malice,” and will find Pete Thorsen and his world both believable and relatable.

Readers can find “Malice” and Wangard’s other books in their favorite bookstores or online at and All of Wangard’s books are available as eBooks. Pick up “Malice” for a thrilling summer read.

This article originally appeared in the July 6, 2012 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.