>Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2010 Update # 2


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As most of you know I’m participating in the 2010 Scandinavian Reading Challenge hosted by Amy at The Black Sheep Dances. My original book selection included the following titles:

The Fire Engine That Disappeared by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Read

Sun Storm (aka The Savage Altar) by Asa Larsson. Read

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason. Readth_scandinaviamap-1

The Mind’s Eye by Håkan Nesser. Read.

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø. TBR.

Missing by Karin Alvtegen. TBR.

However as I’m planning to read the six books of the CWA International Dagger shortlist before the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in July and I have just received today The Darkets Room by Johan Theorin, I will use this book in addition to Nemesis.

So far this year I have also read: Tainted Blood (aka Jar City) by Arnaldur Indriðason and Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum. And waiting in my TBR pile besides Nemesis are: Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason; The Redeemer and The Snowman by Jo Nesbo; The Pyramid and The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell; The Serbian Dane and The Woman from Bratislava by Leif Davidsen; The Indian Bride and The Water’s Edge by Karin Fossum; The Consorts of Death by Gunnar Staalesen.

You still have time to join this Challenge, click here.

The Savage Altar by Åsa Larsson

The savage altar th_scandinaviamap-1 Larsson, Åsa. Original title: Solstorm (2003). Spanish title: Aurora boreal (2009) (Translated by Mayte Giménez, Pontus Sánchez) 384 p. Publisher: Seix Barral. ISBN: 978-84-322-2851-3.

This book was a Christmas present. I read it in Spanish. The Savage Altar (2007) was originally translated into English as Sun Storm (2006) in the U.S. This is Åsa Larsson’s first novel in an intended series of six of which so far four have already been published (thank you Dorte for your information). In Spain only the first two books are available as of this writing.

The action is set in the northernmost city in Sweden, Kiruna, during the seven days following to the brutal murder of a charismatic preacher Viktor Strandgard in February 17. His “eyes have been gouged out and the long hair is covereaurora Boreald in blood…There is a cut on the right of the neck, but no bleeding, and the hands are missing.” His sister Sanna discovers the body and turns to her old friend Rebecka Martinsson for support. Rebecka , a tax attorney in a Stockholm law firm, immediately returns to Kiruna, the small town she’d left in disgrace years before. And when Sanna is arrested for the murder, Rebecca feels she has to prove her innocence as well as take care of her two young girls. In trying to solve the case, Rebecka must relive the darkness she left behind in Kiruna, delve into a sordid conspiracy of deceit, and confront a killer whose motives are dark, wrenching, and impossible to guess.

Sun Storm Åsa Larsson takes a look into the influence that an intolerant and oppressive religious community exercises over its members. The suffocating atmosphere is very well described. The setting is brightly brought to life, one can even feel the cold. There are also some very well drawn characters: Rebecka Martinsson (her name pays homage to Martin Beck as it was pointed out by Alice at Mis Detectives Favorit@s), Anna-Maria Mella (a heavily pregnant police inspector) and the old neighbour Sivving Fjallborg. Maybe it is a little over-written at the end but all in all this is a stunning debut. I found it such a compelling reading that it was difficult to put it down.

Åsa Larsson (1966) is a Swedish crime-writer. Although born in Uppsala, she was raised in Kiruna. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Larsson was a tax lawyer, a profession she also shares with the central character of her novels. The Savage Altar was shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger. Her second novel, The Blood Spilt, won the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award. The 2007 Swedish film Solstorm is based on The Savage Altar.

>Scandinavian Reading Challenge – Update


th_scandinaviamap-1 I’ve finally make up my mind, but I’ve failed to choose one book/author for each Scandinavian country. And the reason is that I’ve remember two new to me authors that I was very eager to read since quite some time ago. I’m also very grateful for all the recommendations I’ve received which will be included in my wish list.

Therefore to participate in the 2010 Scandinavian Reading Challenge I’m plannig to read:

  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Read
  • Sun Storm (aka The Savage Altar) by Asa Larsson. TBR.
  • Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason. TBR.
  • Nemesis by Jo Nesbø. TBR.
  • The Mind’s Eye by Håkan Nesser. TBR.
  • Missing by Karin Alvtegen. TBR.

Four of my favourite writers: Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, Jo Nesbø and Arnaldur Indriðason. And three new to me: Asa Larsson, Håkan Nesser and Karin Alvtegen.

Thank you Amy for having set this one up.

To join this Challenge you can find more information here.

>Scandinavian Reading Challenge


th_scandinaviamap-1 I have just sign for a new challenge hosted by Amy at The Black Sheep Dances.

The goal is to read 6 books by Scandinavian authors before December 31, 2010.

I take for granted that we can consider Scandinavian countries, for the purpose of this challenge, not only Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, but also Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. (Wikipedia).

Paraphrasing Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, I’m also seriously addicted to crime fiction, therefore I’m restricting my participation in the 2010 Scandinavian Reading Challenge to crime fiction titles. I’m not sure whether participants can use books of any other genre.

Why? “Because Murder is More Fun Away From Home“, Peter Rozovsky dixit at Detectives Beyond Borders

To join this Challenge click here

I have so far in my TBR pile 4 books:

1) Silence of the Grave (2001) by Arnaldur Indriðason (Iceland)

2) Nemesis (2008) by Jo Nesbø (Norway)

3) Sun Storm (aka The Savage Altar) (2006) by Asa Larsson (Sweden)

4) The Fire Engine That Disappeared (2009) by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (Sweden)

For the balance I was thinking to choose one book from Leif G.W. Persson and another one from Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.

Your suggestions are welcome.

Don’t know what to read? The following links will provide some useful tips.

Scandinavian Crime Fiction in English

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Salomonsson Agency

Mystery Readers Journal Scandinavian Mysteries

Petrona: The enduring appeal of Nordic novels

International Noir Fiction

DJs krimiblog

Crime Scraps

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