The Island: isolation and intrigue

In a minor masterstroke, Icelandic author Ragnar Jónasson is telling his ‘Hidden Iceland’ series in reverse order. That’s not obvious when you read the first book to feature detective Hulda Hermannsdottir, The Darkness, which gets the ball rolling in the twilight of her career. But then all becomes obvious with The Island, set fifteen years…

The Courier: mainly history, not so thrilling

If you rate a book by its historical context, social insight and technical accomplishment then this Scandinavian story would be a full-on five-star phenomenon. It’s a consummate construction of complex timelines set in WW2 in Norway, the mid-1960s in Sweden, and the 21st century. A cold-blooded killing committed in the past can only be solved…

The Wolf And The Watchman: a Scandi stunner

Historical crime fiction novels typically lean towards the gentler end of the murder / mystery / suspense spectrum. Not this one. It is every bit as grim and grisly as a contemporary noir novel, and reveals characters as morally corrupt and callously cruel as any modern serial-killer thriller. But there’s much more to this gory…

The Whisperer: the silent sound of Scandi crime

You can rely on Karin Fossum to never write a normal crime novel. And this is a very long way from being normal, even for a genre as diverse and unconventional as Scandi crime. The Whisperer does feature Fossum’s long-standing investigator, Inspector Sejer, but that’s about the only thing this story has in common with…

The Chestnut Man: The Killing continues…

If a single book sums up the typical Nordic noir serial-killer-thriller then it’s this one. It sticks rigidly to the formula which has made Scandi crime so successful; grisly murders, political intrigue, multiple cliff-hangers, and investigative threads which appear entirely convincing in one chapter, only to be discarded in the next as another red herring…

Red Snow: a complex chiller

Like the very best Nordic noir, Red Snow conveys an eerie sense of place, of the suffocating claustrophobia endured by the inhabitants of a small Swedish town in frozen February. And like the very best crime fiction, the story in Red Snow centres on a remarkable protagonist, a touchstone for her time. Tuva Moodyson is…