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American by day / Derek B. Miller.

By: Miller, Derek B, 1970-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Transworld Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2018Copyright date: ©2018Description: 338 pages ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780857525369; 0857525360; 9780857525376; 0857525379.Subject(s): Policewomen -- Norway -- Fiction | Missing persons -- Fiction | Sheriffs -- New York (State) -- Fiction | Race relations -- Fiction | Murder -- Investigation -- Fiction | New York (N.Y.) -- FictionGenre/Form: Thrillers (Fiction)DDC classification: 813.6 Summary: She knew it was a weird place. She'd heard the stories, seen the movies, read the books. But now police Chief Inspector Sigrid Ødegård has to leave her native Norway and actually go there; to that land across the Atlantic where her missing brother is implicated in the mysterious death of a prominent African-American academic. America. And not someplace interesting, either: upstate New York. It is election season, 2008, and Sigrid is plunged into a United States where race and identity, politics and promise, reverberate in every aspect of daily life. To find her older brother, she needs the help of the local police who appear to have already made up their minds about the case. Working with, or, if necessary, against, someone actually named Sheriff Irving 'Irv' Wylie, she must negotiate the local political minefields and navigate the back woods of the Adirondacks to uncover the truth before events escalate further.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

'A superb novel on all levels' Marcel Berlins, The Times

'Derek B Miller writes the kind of crime fiction the world needs right now. Principled, but not afraid to get down and dirty - and shot through with some of the sharpest humour you're likely to find.' Joseph Knox, bestselling author of Sirens

She knew it was a weird place. She'd heard the stories, seen the movies, read the books. But now police Chief Inspector Sigrid deg rd has to leave her native Norway and actually go there; to that land across the Atlantic where her missing brother is implicated in the mysterious death of a prominent African-American academic.

America.

And not someplace interesting, either- upstate New York.

It is election season, 2008, and Sigrid is plunged into a United States where race and identity, politics and promise, reverberate in every aspect of daily life.

To find her older brother, she needs the help of the local police who appear to have already made up their minds about the case. Working with - or, if necessary, against - someone actually named Sheriff Irving 'Irv' Wylie, she must negotiate the local political minefields and navigate the back woods of the Adirondacks to uncover the truth before events escalate further.

At once a thrilling race-against-time crime story, a personal journey through grief and a meditation on the world in which we live, American By Day once again shows Derek B Miller to be one of the most imaginative, ingenious and entertaining writers working today.

She knew it was a weird place. She'd heard the stories, seen the movies, read the books. But now police Chief Inspector Sigrid Ødegård has to leave her native Norway and actually go there; to that land across the Atlantic where her missing brother is implicated in the mysterious death of a prominent African-American academic. America. And not someplace interesting, either: upstate New York. It is election season, 2008, and Sigrid is plunged into a United States where race and identity, politics and promise, reverberate in every aspect of daily life. To find her older brother, she needs the help of the local police who appear to have already made up their minds about the case. Working with, or, if necessary, against, someone actually named Sheriff Irving 'Irv' Wylie, she must negotiate the local political minefields and navigate the back woods of the Adirondacks to uncover the truth before events escalate further.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Sigrid Ødegård's hands rest on the unopened blue folder as she stares out the window of her office. The seal of the Politi is embossed on the front in gold, red and black, meaning that someone decided to break out the good stationery for this one. It displays no author or title but she knows what it contains and she is in no rush to read it. Only two short months ago, in June, the entire city of Oslo, Norway, was trimmed with lilacs. Sigrid's father had once told her that the early summer flowers were her mother's favorite, and when the season was at its peak in Hedmark, their farmhouse was filled with them: a bouquet in each bathroom, a vase on the kitchen table. Their errant petals, he said, would drift through the house after her family as they journeyed its hallways stirring them up and scattering them in their wake. This collective movement ​-- ​this collective memory ​-- ​however, was thirty-five years ago. Sigrid was five years old when Astrid died. Sigrid wonders, looking out over the park with its August sunbathers and running children, whether those memories are even hers. They might have been given to her by her father. And if the memories are not hers, are they less precious or, perhaps, more? She turns her attention from the window to the blue folder. This, she's been informed, is the final report and verdict about the events last month that resulted in the shooting-deaths of four hostage-takers at a summer cabin near the Swedish border in the village of Glåmlia. She was the commanding officer and had made the decision to utilize the emergency response force ​-- ​the Beredskapstroppen. Their assault killed three of the perpetrators. Sigrid, herself, killed the fourth. Conscious of being watched through the glass by the prying eyes of her department, Sigrid flips open the cover but doesn't read the words. She should have closed the blinds after she'd received the folder from the young cop who'd knocked on her door to deliver it. He was blond and looked worryingly pale despite it being late summer. She'd found his boyish face immediately annoying. "Thanks," she'd said, and started to close the office door. "You're welcome," he'd said and then ​-- ​oddly ​-- ​extended his hand. She couldn't think of a reason why he'd do this but she shook it to make it go away. He seemed pleased with this and walked off. During the past month the internal affairs department has been studying the events leading to the shootings in accordance with standard procedure. The report was standard procedure, though, only in the sense of being formalized; it was hardly common. The last time a Norwegian cop had fatally shot anyone was two years ago, in 2006, and before that it had been . . . forever. A decade? It simply didn't happen in Norway. Violent crime was very low, murder rarely happened, and when it did it was usually between people who knew each other, and most often between lovers. The man was always to blame. Their training, at the academy, had been focused on how to deescalate a situation and gain a measure of control over it rather than rush in and encounter it. This is not what happened last month. It was still the right call, she thought; they had taken a man, woman and child hostage. Under her fingertips, though, was the institutional wisdom of her department on the same topic. It may, or may not, be the same as her own. They had chosen to deliver the file to her today, on Friday. Without reading it she'd never know whether the decision was sadistic or gracious. The summer house where the shootings took place was deep in the woods behind a small field. It was a little larger than a standard hytte. It was a place intended for serenity. A hunting lodge. An escape for lovers. A moment after she had sprung from the police car with her colleague Petter, a young man emerged from the cabin ​-- ​a man she had never seen before ​-- ​and he ran in her direction. To her? Toward her? At her? He was in motion, that was all she understood. His motive was opaque. Her fear and his direction, however, were not. As she watched him she'd half expected him to stop. People usually change their behavior when seeing a police officer. They drive more slowly. They become more aware of their actions. They drop the weapon. They raise their arms. He kept running. She called for him to halt. He kept running. She saw the carving knife in his hand immediately. It seemed less dangerous than it did incongruous. There they were, in that beautiful season when the natural world was at its most expansive; the moment Norwegians wait for and dream about all through the dark year so that its arrival is both blessed and wistful for being so short. And there he was, silently running toward her with a knife designed to slice meat. If she'd delayed he'd have been on top of her. So she shot him. And then she shot him again. "Screw it," she mutters in her native language and starts reading the file. His name was Burim and was from Kosovo, apparently. His family fled to Norway as refugees from the war in the 1990s. His father had died of health complications after being freed from a Serbian internment camp. The report attributes the death to malnutrition and damage to internal organs likely caused by beatings at the camp. Young Burim, fatherless, had fallen into the wrong crowd in Oslo as he failed to assimilate into Norwegian culture. His immigrant experience and his behavioral patterns in Norway ​-- ​concluded a forensic psychologist ​-- ​suggested immaturity rather than malice or ambition. That was who she had killed. However, the report continued to explain that the legal findings about her own guilt or innocence in the matter were based on a study of the facts of the case, and the circumstances of the encounter between the assailant (him) and the officer on the scene (her). She reads about the events that were in part described through Petter's own testimony as he had eyewitnessed the shooting from his side of the patrol car. The report contains a narrative account of the shooting. To Sigrid it reads like historical fiction. It is a story about a woman with her own name but this fictional character is clearly not Sigrid herself because the author of this story wasn't at the cabin when all this happened. There was no video and other than Petter no witnesses. How could anyone possibly know what she'd really been doing let alone thinking? Sigrid flips to the next page and reads on. On what basis does this bureaucratic reenactment draw its claims and attributions of cause and effect? Who is this writer who drew conclusions what happened at the moment Sigrid pulled the trigger on her weapon? And who is this forty-year-old Norwegian police officer named "Sigrid Ødegård" who shot the man and instead of rushing over to care for his wounds, ran instead to the eighty-two-year-old American man who had tumbled out of the cabin, his neck slashed with a knife? The report does not mention the gentle and soft hand of the old man reaching up to touch her face, leaving his own fingerprints in blood on her cheek. It does not mention how she did not see those fingerprints until later that night when she returned to her own apartment in Grønland, alone, and looked in the mirror. Why was that not in the report if this writer knew her so well? By page twelve it is clear that both Sigrid and her literary doppelgänger have both been exonerated. Sigrid raises her eyes to see whether any of the junior staff are watching her with the file. As none of them are looking at her it is clear that, moments earlier, all of them were. She returns to the report, increasingly attentive to its fictions and assumptions; false premises and confident rhetoric. And the more she reads past its bureaucratic surface and its misplaced certainty, the more Sigrid can sense a higher firmament of truth. Excerpted from American by Day by Derek B. Miller All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In Norwegian by Night, Norwegian police chief inspector Sigrid Odegård shoots a man while protecting herself from a perceived attack. He dies in her arms, a moment she's never been able to get past. If he'd only understood her warnings-he didn't speak Norwegian-would she have reacted so quickly? Now Sigrid is in America, looking for her estranged brother: he's missing after the suspicious death of the woman he loved, a professor of African American studies. Miller's latest novel is about redemption, both Sigrid's and her brother's. It's also about differences, how being young and black in America paints a target on your back and how difficult it is to get beyond color here even if one is trying to. Lastly, it's a novel about detection: Sigrid is a solid sleuth but so is the sheriff in upstate New York, whose contrarian ways irritate but also attract her. VERDICT If Tocqueville had written a police thriller, it might look something like this engrossing and wryly humorous but also deeply serious work. For fans of Miller and his previous works (e.g., The Girl in Green), which were deservedly acclaimed. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/17.]-David Keymer, Cleveland © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In the summer of 2008, 40-ish Chief Insp. Sigrid Odegård, the heroine of this outstanding crime novel from Miller (Norwegian by Night), travels from Oslo to upstate New York to look for her missing brother, Marcus. Marcus is the prime suspect in the murder of his African-American lover, Syracuse State University professor Lydia Jones, who was thrown out of the window of a building that Marcus was seen entering shortly before. Damning evidence includes traces of skin under Lydia's fingernails that match Marcus's DNA. A specialist in race relations, Lydia was tormented by the recent death of her nephew, shot by a white policeman. Sigrid soon joins forces with Sheriff Irving Wylie, a former biblical scholar with a deceptively aw-shucks manner. Wylie is quick to rebut her laconic Norse insights on such matters as American individualism and police methodology. Leavened throughout with Miller's wry reflections on Norway's "chronic sense of discontentment," this incandescent exposé of European and American mores profoundly entertains and provokes disturbing questions about personal and societal values. Agent: Rebecca Carter, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (U.K.). (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The plot starts out simply enough. Oslo Chief Inspector Sigrid Ødegård, exonerated after killing a man in a hostage-taking incident, takes time off to visit her widowed father. But her father has other plans for her and sends Sigrid to America to find her missing older brother, Marcus, whose last letter to his father was disturbing. In upstate New York, where Marcus is an adjunct professor, Sigrid encounters Sheriff Irving Wylie, an unlikely lawman with an MA in divinity studies, and learns that Marcus is a suspect in the death of his lover, African American professor Lydia Jones, who was bereft after her 12-year-old nephew was shot and killed by a white cop, who was later cleared of all charges. What lifts this well above average are the characters, notably Sigrid and Irv, and their relationship and discussions, ranging from the investigative process to the characteristics of their respective countries, as they determine to what extent they can work together to achieve their desired goals. Miller (Norwegian by Night, 2013) offers a slightly different spin on Scandinavia-set crime fiction, wrappinga thriller plot around the character-driven substance of literary fiction to produce a hybrid that is compelling from any angle.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2018 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Seasoned Norwegian cop Sigrid degrd travels to upstate New York to find her missing older brother, Marcus, a troubled soul suspected of pushing his African-American girlfriend, Lydia Jones, to her death.Sigrid teams up with Sheriff Irving Wylie, a folksy, quit-witted good guy with hip musical tastes to go with his master's in divinity, who's been looking for Marcus in relation to Lydia's death. Having recently shot to death a hostage-taker back in Norway, where such acts are rare, she is quickly indoctrinated to American gun cultureand heated racial politicsby a white cop's fatal shooting of Lydia's 12-year-old nephew. The boy was playing with a cap gun. An analytical type in whom Irving sees a "neo-Zen-pragmatism" (there's also a touch of Fargo's Marge Gunderson in her), Sigrid surprises with action moves seemingly learned from the American cop shows streaming back home. To prevent SWAT vehicles from following her to her brother, who she's sure is innocent of any crime, she treats them to a hail of Molotov cocktails. Miller, an American living in Oslo, can get didactic at times, but he more than makes up for that with his lively discussions of the sometimes-odd differences between American and Scandinavian cultures and his ability to blend lighthearted exchanges and dark drama. The bantering between cops is lifted by sure comedic timing. "It's hard to ignore the moose sitting on your waffle," says Sigrid. "What?" says Irving. "That might not translate," Sigrid says.Like his acclaimed debut, Norwegian by Night (2013), Miller's highly enjoyable new book is a solid mystery wrapped up in musings about individuality and freedom, grief and sadness. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.