Obituary: Jon Michelet

Norwegian author and journalist Jon Michelet lost his battle against cancer on Saturday night. He died, surrounded by close family, at 73 years of age.

Since his literary debut in 1975 with Den drukner ei som henges skal, Jon Michelet has been one of Norway’s most critically acclaimed and best-selling authors.

He won the Riverton Prize twice for Best Norwegian Crime Novel: in 1980 with the first Vilhelm Thygesen book, entitled White As Snow (Hvit som snø), and then in 2001 with the ninth instalment in the series, The Frozen Woman (Den frosne kvinnen). Thygesen was eventually adapted for television by NRK in 1996.

However, Michelet’s later years were devoted to a series of novels known as the Hero Of The Seas (En sjøens helt) which illustrate the Norwegian naval effort during World War II. The sixth and final volume was due to be released last autumn but was postponed when he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

Michelet’s wife, Toril Brekke, said in a press release: “Jon made an enormous effort at the end to finish the final volume of Hero Of The Seas, and was very proud and relieved that he did so… He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.”

Hero Of The Seas will be adapted for television by Norwegian state broadcaster NRK, with a budget of NOK 130-150 million. The sixth volume, entitled Krigerens hjemkomst, will be published this autumn.