Dregs: another Scandi detective

William Wisting is the latest Norwegian detective to appear on our TV screens, and if you enjoy this style of calculated and complicated investigation then there’s a series of six books to look forward to. The first, Dregs, is very much cut from the same cloth as Wallander or Beck: this is Scandi crime and…

Best Crime Books 2019

The books we’ve read in the past 12 months have been packed with murder and mayhem, crime and punishment, despair and redemption – the very essence of the human condition, boiled down to brilliant crime-thriller fiction. We read more than 200 mystery and thriller books in 2019, from literary fiction by big-name bestsellers to dazzling…

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…

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…

Wolves At The Door: it begins where others end

This Scandi detective story can be seen as the companion piece to the earlier Wolves In The Dark, and you should read that episode in the Varg Veum series before starting this one. Otherwise, it’s tricky to pick up the threads of the earlier story – which is convoluted enough – before you become embroiled…

Kult: tracts and tropes

This earnest exposé tries hard to be an exciting multi-layered Scandi thriller, one which reveals the manipulative machinations of a global religious organisation as it gets its claws into the naïve young people of the Swedish suburbs. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a lumbering lorry. Kult suffers from too many plotlines, too many improbable homicides,…

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…