Varg Veum: a wolf comes a-calling

In an extended moment of muppetry, I avoided reading Gunnar Staalesen’s Varg Veum series for decades. Every time a new episode featuring the Norwegian private detective arrived, my vision was averted. I looked the other way, put off by back-cover blurbs which compared the books to Henning Mankell, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. That old…

Nightmare In The Street: bitter, bleak and brilliant

Derek Raymond has fallen out of fashion of late, which is odd because his brutal, hard-boiled police procedurals from the late 1980s and early 90s should appeal to enthusiasts of ice-cold Nordic noir. Like his other books, ‘Nightmare…’ is the emotional equivalent of blunt force trauma. Its piercing prose and dagger-like dialogue seize your attention:…