Author Jørgen Jæger has created a stir with his new crime novel Knight’s Cross, in which the Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet, Ap) leader and former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is the main suspect in a rape and murder case. Other authors criticized the work, saying it’s not appropriate to base such a fictional character on a real person.
In the book, two bodies are found and an armoured cash transport vehicle is brutally robbed, reported newspaper VG. All signs point to Stoltenberg as the perpetrator. Jæger said on Tuesday the story unfolds in the context of a terror threat against Norway during the Stoltenberg era, and is within the boundaries of what’s ethical.
Other authors strongly disagreed. Ingvar Amjørnsen told VG Jæger went way too far by setting the story around a public figure, who everyone in Norway knows, and giving him lines and intentions that aren’t real. Jon Michelet also said it’s not appropriate. “If you use historical or contemporary people, the characters must be true to themselves,” he argued. “As an author, you must respect the lives of others.”
Jæger said he’d tried to write a fictitious prime minister, but it was “all wrong”. Stoltenberg declined to comment to VG.