For A Flavour of Scandinavian/Nordic Crime Fiction

During a conversation with Barry Forshaw, author of Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) at The Rap Sheet, Ali Karim asks him: For readers who want to get a flavor of Scandinavian/Nordic crime fiction, but don’t have a lot of extra time, which five or so works would you recommend their reading?

And he goes for:

  • Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, aka Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1992), by Peter Høeg
  • The Laughing Policeman (1968), by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
  • The Redbreast (2000), by Jo Nesbø
  • Firewall (1998), by Henning Mankell
  • Woman with Birthmark (1996), by Håkan Nesser
  • Jar City (2000), by Arnaldur Indriđason

You can read more at The Rap Sheet.

See also Maxine’s review at Petrona.

7 thoughts on “For A Flavour of Scandinavian/Nordic Crime Fiction”

  1. I think these are all good suggestions (though I thought Firewall was a bit silly & not the best Wallander, & I enjoyed The Locked Room, The Terrorists & other Martin Beck books more than The Laughing Policeman). One could equally well write:

    Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin
    Sun Storm by Asa Larsson
    Paradise by Liza Marklund
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
    The Caller by Karin Fossum

    (my list is a bit Swedish oriented, I agree that the Indridason and Hoeg books are excellent examples for Iceland and Denmark, respectively, though I might choose The Drowning Lake rather than Jar City – all his are great, though.).

    1. Thanks for your comments and ideas Maxine. I’ll certainly include Karin Fossum in my list, though have not read many yet, and Theorin’s Echoes from the Dead. From Martin Beck series The Locked Room, Wallander’s The Fifth Woman and Indridason’s Voices or Hypothermis (have not read The Drowning Lake). Last but not least Nesbo’s The Redeemer will probably be my choice today. Unfortunately my knowledge of Nordic crime fiction is quite limited. I’ve just read a couple of books by Asa Larsson and only one by Liza Marklund.

  2. Jose Ignacio: I appreciated reading the list. I have read half of the books. I would also add Stieg Larsson. I found his triology great reading. If the list is written again in a year I expect Jussi Adler-Olsen will be on it.

  3. Glad to see he mentioned Nesbo at least ;-). Karin Fossum was a great find for me last year but I feel as though I haven’t read her best book yet. Nesser and Mankell, I’ve never read believe it or not and Marklund, read only one and that was her first one which I think was re-titled to Exposed.

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