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…

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…

Chilled To The Bone: death in a cold country

An engaging blend of blackmail, sexual mischief, coldly calculated murder and a solid police procedural, this Icelandic investigation combines a well-woven plot with a cast of intriguing characters. Sergeant Gunnhildur, the resolutely down-to-earth pragmatist, is the anchor around whom the storyline revolves, and she’s currently one of the most interesting female investigators in crime fiction.…