Scandinavian Crime Fiction
liffhangers Crime Fiction
Cliffhangers Crime Fiction
Books and videos for mystery mavens
Books and videos for mystery mavens
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Directory of Scandinavian Crime Fiction
(Bestsellers first, then alphabetically by author's last name)
The Department Q Thrillers are genuinely suspenseful and darkly humorous, so it is not surprising that they top Danish--and international--bestseller lists. In each book, the members of police Department Q race against the clock to solve the case before the next victim dies.(Bestsellers. Police Procedurals. Set in Denmark.) Dark cold-case police procedurals with roots deep in painful past tragedies, the kind of sorrowful personal histories that the hero, Inspector Erlendur, is trying to escape in his own life. (Bestsellers. Police Procedurals. Noir aka Hardboiled. Set in Iceland.) Nurse Nina Borg gets into big trouble when she puts herself between vulnerable people and the criminal predators who threaten them. These shocking literary thrillers venture into the darkest corners of contemporary Europe. (Bestsellers. Noir aka Hardboiled. Private investigators. Female Heroes. Literary. Set in Denmark.) A disgraced journalist and an anti-social waif team up to fight the powers of darkness in this rip-roaring, three volume tale of payback and revenge.(Bestsellers. Noir aka Hardboiled. Female Hero. Set in Sweden.) Swedish Everyman police officer Kurt Wallander is one of the all-time great detectives. He worries. He whines. He wheezes. And he solves spectacular, over-the-top crimes in Ystad, Sweden aided by a long-suffering team of police investigators. (Bestsellers. Police Procedurals. Set in Sweden.) Usually, the heroes in Nordic Crime are a morose bunch, but detective Gunna Gisladottir proves that you can do it all--catch the bad guys, take care of the children and run up the stairs two at a time--without succumbing to despair, depression or heart failure. She's a winner and so is this series. (Police Procedurals. Female Hero. Set in Iceland.) BFFs Rick and Lind investigate the same crimes for different reasons: one is a cop, the other a journalist. Nicely paced investigations and nuanced descriptions of people and communities--no cliches here. (Police Procedurals. Female Heroes. Set in Denmark.) Impressionistic Nordic police procedurals with more violence and less angst than Wallander (Police Procedurals. Set in Sweden.) These taut, atmospheric, psychological mysteries dig deep into human motivation and unearth a bottomless swamp of mud, muck, and evil things that will murder you in the night. Great writing
(Psychological Suspense. Female Hero. Set in Sweden.)
Boston cop Magnus Jonson doesn't fit in at the Reykjavik Violent Crimes Unit where he has been assigned to brief the peace-loving Icelanders on American-style (i.e. very violent) crime. The Icelanders won't let Magnus carry a gun, bully the suspects or follow his gut. And his superiors seem to expect that he will obey orders. (Police Procedurals. Set in Iceland.) Lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir, takes everything in stride except boredom and being inappropriately dressed. When her clueless but innocent clients wind up in jail, she leaps at the opportunity to launch her own investigation and clear their names. (Cozies. Female Hero. Private Investigators. Set in Iceland.) Private investigator Varg Veum pursues the scumbags who hurt children in this series of violent, noir crime novels.
(Noir aka Hardboiled. Private Investigators. Set in Norway.)
by Arnaldur Indridason
Translated into English by Victoria Cribb
Superb storytelling in this police procedural, set in Iceland, ratchets up the psychological suspense.
Summary: Inspector Erlendur of the Reykjavik, Iceland Police Department has a particular knack for finding missing persons. He takes on the kind of dark cold-cases that have roots deep in painful past tragedies, the kind of sorrowful personal histories that Erlendur is trying to escape in his own life.
In Hypothermia, Erlendur investigates a suicide that only he finds suspicious and discovers a crime so devious and daring it almost defies belief. In the process, he starts to face down a ghost who has haunted him since childhood.
Review: Indridason is a virtuoso story teller. Hypothermia is complex, haunting and deeply satisfying. I like learning more about Erlendur's past and seeing more of his relationships with his semi-estranged children and totally estranged ex-wife.
This is one of my favorite Scandinavian mysteries because Indridason is the kind of storyteller who could make the phone book interesting.
by Åsa Larsson
Translated to English by Marlaine Delargy
WINNER! Sweden's Best Crime Novel Award
Atmospheric psychological crime novels plumb the mysteries of human motivation. World-class writing
Summary: Unhappy, overworked Stockholm lawyer Rebecca Martinsson goes home to a small village above the Arctic Circle when a childhood friend needs her legal help. The case turns out to be so emotionally and physically traumatic that Martinsson begins to fall apart.
In The Blood Spilt, Martinsson, barely on her feet after the traumatic events of the first book (Sun Storm) is drawn into another murder case in the far north, this time of a feminist priest who had raised passions in her community to a fever pitch.
Review: I didn't want this book to end! A fascinating cast of characters and an edge-of-your seat climax. Larsson is a skillful writer and top-notch story teller. PLUS: Heroine Martinsson's slow psychic unraveling is scary, unsettling and riveting to watch. PLUS: Fantastic descriptions of nature and animal behavior.
This is one of my favorite Scandinavian mysteries because Larsson 's hero, Rebecka Martinsson, seems so real.
Crime in a Cold Climate: Mysteries from Iceland, Denmark and Sweden
by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis
Translated into English by Lene Kaaberbol and Tara Chace
Summary: Nurse Nina Borg works at an internment camp for asylum seekers in Copenhagen, Denmark where she encounters the world's most vulnerable children, some of whom are targets for predators. She does her utmost to protect them, which gets her into lots of trouble and makes for a series of terrific stories.
In Invisible Murder, three separate stories add up to one big problem that only Nina Borg can solve: a Hungarian student searches for his brother, the Danish counterterrorism service gears up to protect an international summit and a mysterious illness afflicts a group of Roma travelers hiding out in Denmark.
Review: A shocking story told in the most suspenseful way. Plus: Life in Hungary's Roma communities. Plus: Europe's Underground Railroad.
This is one of my favorite Scandinavian mysteries because of the great writing and a female hero who risks everything to protect the vulnerable and is not admired for it. More about the Nina Borg Mystery/ Thriller Books including list of books in chronological order, series review, series guide, book reviews and book summaries (Bestsellers. Noir aka Hardboiled. Private investigators. Female Heroes. Literary. Set in Denmark and Hungary.)
Above: Author Arnaldur Indridason
Above: Author Lene Kaaberbol
Above: Author Agnete Friis
Above: Author Asa Larsson