White Out: a winter chiller

Bump this book to the top of your Christmas reading list. White Out isn’t just set in the snowbound, windswept, wildlands of mid-winter Iceland, but the investigation actually takes place during the festive season. A young woman is found dead on the sea shore, beneath the cliffs where stand an isolated lighthouse and a tiny…

Splinter: brilliantly bewildering

Written almost a decade ago, this fiendishly tangled thriller presents its unreliable narrator front and centre. From the very first page, we don’t know if Marc Lucas has lost his mind or merely his memory. Bleeding and broken in mind and body, he engages in a desperate chase across Berlin, trying to discover the truth…

The Ice Star: unlikely Arctic adventures

Neither Nordic noir nor Scandi crime, The Ice Star is an action-adventure pursuit story which barrels back and forth across Greenland’s Arctic landscape. This is not an atmospheric, melancholic exploration of the long night of the Scandinavian soul, but rather a runaway sledge ride from one shoot-out to the next. The strong female protagonist is,…

Rellik: criminally brilliant

This is the crime drama of the year for me, and the BBC deserve considerable kudos for bringing a concept this challenging to our screens. It proves that intelligent and gripping thrillers aren’t the sole preserve of ScandiLand, and Rellik is every bit as good as the best Nordic noir. The six-part drama isn’t just…

The Monster Underneath: dream weaving

In the Hannibal Lecter series, investigator Will Graham exerts his psychoanalytic expertise and his emotional empathy to ‘get inside’ the heads of murderers and monsters. In an entirely matter of fact way, author Matthew Franks takes that premise one step further and gives his protagonist, Max Crawford, the ability to read people’s thoughts in the…