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…

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…

Crime Time: recent releases and the best new books

Our regular round-up of intriguing new releases features indie authors and big-name bestsellers. This time we’ve got gritty Britcrime, a new Nordic noir author and the best-known heroine in Scandi crime, an English mystery, a radical interpretation of domestic noir, an American psychopath and hardboiled pulp fiction – and a dark fantasy set in an…

Killer Women: fierce females in crime fiction

There have always been women detectives: imagine how empty the golden age of classic crime would have been without Miss Marple! But for many years, men stole the show in mystery and thriller fiction, until enterprising authors finally started letting the women off the leash. These days, thrillers are full of compelling female characters. Let’s…

The Crow Girl: Scandi s-l-o-w

A great lumbering beast of a book, this one failed to grab me and – unusually – I bailed out after the first instalment (it’s effectively a trilogy in one publication). I found it long-winded, fragmented and unrewarding, veering between explicitly described violence (which I don’t mind so much if it serves a purpose) and…

The Girl Without Skin: ‘Greenland grim’

This book could be the start of a whole new crime genre – something like Nordic noir, with all of its gritty realism and cultural quirks: let’s call it Greenland Grim. In this new thriller you can almost feel the bitter Arctic chill streaming from its pages. The mystery begins in Greenland’s urban centre, Nuuk,…