Movie Monday: crime and punishment

From Nordic noir to Icelandic angst, big-bucks blockbusters to low-budget B-movies – here’s six flicks you might find flickering across your screen sometime soon. We steer you towards the ones to seek out, and suggest a couple which you might want to swerve around…   88 Billed as a cross between Memento and Kill Bill,…

Rapid Reviews: worldwide crime

Take a roadtrip with a US Marshall, travel back to Nazi Germany, explore the underbelly of the banking business in Switzerland, discover the strange side of Japanese noir, and meet one of Scandi crime’s finest detectives in his younger years. All this and more in these criminal escapades from international authors… The Pyramid by Henning…

The Rabbit Hunter: Swedish intrigue

On the face of it, this is a perfectly serviceable Scandi crime thriller. Dastardly psycho killer has spent years seething and scheming fiendishly, coming up with a dastardly plan to exact appalling retribution upon his enemies. He is undoubtedly an utter nutter; someone who is several rabbits short of the full warren, but he’s also…

The Shadow Killer: Iceland at war

It seems that there’s an insatiable appetite for crime novels which are also war stories – historical fiction which uses the international upheaval of WW2 as its dramatic backdrop. I blame Bernie Gunther… but find these philosophical investigations as compelling as any contemporary thrillers. It’s as if we still can’t come to terms with what…

Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

What’s new in crime fiction? This month’s selection of recent releases and forthcoming titles includes serial killers, American noir, Scandi crime, British coppers, a classic locked room mystery, punishing pulp fiction, an intriguing art investigation and a Cold War spy story; broken homes, an unfaithful husband and a dead wife; flashbacks to the Roaring Twenties…

The Mind’s Eye: a great start but slow progress

Van Veeteren is among the most famous of Swedish fictional detectives, but this was my first written encounter with the character. This book started off brilliantly with a mystifying mystery of the locked room tradition: a drowned wife in a locked bathroom, the husband so inebriated he could only remember their wild festivity of the…

The Darkness: deceptively simple

If Ragnar Jónasson was a painter, he’d be a meticulous minimalist, quietly capturing the essence of commonplace events in a low-key life – and then revealing a dazzling, broad canvas which weeps with compassion for the human condition. The Darkness, a standalone investigation set in Iceland, may easily be his best work yet translated into…