Trapped: outstanding Icelandic noir

The first season of the outstanding Icelandic crime-drama TRAPPED used the hook that the cast were physically confined in a remote small town, cut off by roads blocked with huge snowdrifts; ferries frozen in the fjord. Typical Nordic noir territory. The second series goes a more philosophical route. We return to the same small-knit community…

Bingeworthy Boxsets: TV crime series

Ready to settle down on the sofa to watch some superb long-form crime drama? We’ve six suggestions to keep you entralled for hours — from the icy expanse of Iceland to the grimy backstreets of Britain, via spellbinding Canadian noir and the very best Scandi crime. Let the long winter nights roll on… LUTHER season…

Rapid reviews: criminal activity

Some thrilling suggestions for your bookshelf: an espionage adventure; top-notch Nordic noir; the introduction of an ice-cold assassion; stalking a serial killer with second sight; a schizophrenic investigator — we’ve been reading all these and more cracking crime fiction this month. Oh, and a Jack Reacher rip-off you might want to steer clear of… RED…

Nocturne For Madness: hardboiled brilliance

In this, the first Thomas Haftmann book, we encounter the controlled madness of two men, one a former cop, the other a misfit and killer of women. Ex-homicide cop Thomas Haftmann is recently divorced and working as a PI. Barely surviving financially, and haunted by his own twin demons of gambling and alcohol, Haftmann gets…

Unknown Male: Japanese secrets

Japanese noir can be an acquired taste. It’s often stranger than the Scandi stuff: written in stylish prose that contrasts shattering acts of violence and fleeting images of bewildering beauty. It can be subtle to the point of obscurity yet explicit to extremes. This is not a genre for those who flinch easily, and unfamiliar…

Cold Fear: Lisbeth lite

This is a tricky book to love. On the surface, it has all the elements of a compelling Scandi crime thriller. We’re saturated in an unfamiliar culture, given revealing glimpses of the Greenlandic people and the harsh life they endure. Clinging to existence in small communities which hug the coastline, the Greenlanders apparently thrive in…

The SCU series: psycops and serial killers

This long-running series of paranormal thrillers makes a great change of pace from my usual selection of bitter-bleak mysteries, gruelling spook stories and grimly hardboiled noir. The Special Crimes Unit of the FBI investigates weird things – sudden outbreaks of bad stuff far beyond the spree or stalking activities of a ‘normal’ serial killer. Each…