Book Discovery: American by Day by Derek B. Miller
“ A gripping and timely novel that follows Sigrid—the dry-witted detective from Derek B. Miller's best-selling debut Norwegian by Night—from Oslo to the United States on a quest to find her missing brother. ”
This is the story
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. Sigrid is plunged into a United States where race and identity, politics and promise, reverberate in every aspect of daily life. Working with—or, if necessary, against—the police, she must negotiate the local political minefields and navigate the backwoods of the Adirondacks to uncover the truth before events escalate further. Refreshingly funny, slyly perceptive, American by Day secures Derek B. Miller's place as one of our most imaginative and entertaining novelists.
Reviews and What Readers Say
“ Sure Derek Miller's novels are smart and full of heart and savvy and hilarious, but even more than all of this, he's fun. He's as dedicated as any writer I know to the proposition that readers should enjoy themselves, should delight in the experience of life and language. If our hearts get broken along the way, so much the better. ”
“ If Tocqueville had written a police thriller, it might look something like this engrossing and wryly humorous but also deeply serious work. [American by Day is] for fans of Miller and his previous works (e.g., The Girl in Green), which were deservedly acclaimed."
" 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." ―Kirkus Reviews
" Soft boiled male American cop teams up with a hard boiled Norwegian female counterpart. Modest mayhem, sharp dialogue and excellent chemistry between the leads make this mystery thriller a winner. At first I thought that the Norwegians in American by Day seemed distressingly normal and the American characters by contrast seemed distinctly offbeat then I realized that is actually a pretty good description of real world differences between the inhabitants of the two countries. The book starts off slowly following the driven Norwegian cop from Norwegian by Night and does not pick up until the American cop comes on stage and proceeds to steal the show,a ex-divinity student who got so bored he ran for sheriff of a tourist town in upstate New York. Committed to being a decent human being and abhorring macho cops he blends a much needed sense of humor with his strait laced Norwegian counterpart's extreme professionalism. He even her lets her participation in the popular European sport of berating any available Americans for the usual laundry list of flaws(most all too true) roll off his back. The result is a marriage made in heaven and the book is sweet read from then on. Good chuckles,occassional deep thoughts and equally good supporting characters made the pages slide by. Though lacking the gravitas of his first two novels the may be his most accessible work to date. Goes into my reread pile.”
―Barry Melius, Amazon Client, Verified Purchase
“ Miller's books just keep getting better, and this one is terrific. It's funny, scary, thoughtful, and moving. Sigrid is a strong observant law enforcement woman who wryly notes the differences between Norway (yeah, Norway) and America -- scotch is Much cheaper here, but your chances of being shot, Much higher. Irv, the US Sheriff, is great, and I'd like to see a whole book with him as the main character. Marcus, the troubled brother, is the weakest depiction, but oh well. Hope Miller keeps going, and just sad we'll have to wait at least a year for his next one."
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DEREK B. MILLER has worked on international peace and security for think tanks, diplomatic missions, and the United Nations. His first novel, Norwegian by Night, was an Indies Choice Honor Book, an Economist best book of 2013, and a winner of the Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Dagger Award. His second novel, The Girl in Green, was published in 2017. Born and raised in Boston, Miller has lived abroad for more than fifteen years, in Norway, Switzerland, Britain, Israel, and Hungary. He now lives in Oslo, Norway, with his wife and two children.