Fascination with ScandiNoir
I’ve just heard that in Norway there is a tradition of reading Crime Fiction over the Easter break – it is called ‘paskekrim’ and has apparently spread to include more than just novels in Norway though the local bookshops take it very seriously, loading their shelves with more and more crime novels ready for the onslaught. Personally I can read crime novels all the year round but there is a discernible fascination with ScandiNoir in this country which seemed to start with Stieg Larsson’s ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and Henning Mankel’s Wallander series and has moved on over the last decade to include an array of TV programmes, mostly adapted from popular novels, featuring dark, cold landscapes which lend themselves so well to sinister and evil happenings.
Swedish authors such as Camilla Lackberg and Jo Nesbo are popular authors in translation of this genre – I have read all of Camilla Lackbergs books in series about Patrik and Erika, and love the way she balances the horrific details of the crimes being investigated along with the domestic story of the husband and wife (a police chief and an investigative journalist) who feature.
Camilla Lackberg titles are available on Libby.
I have come across a new author recently who sets his books mostly in the secluded and distant forests of Sweden. His name is Will Dean and his first series of books feature a deaf young female reporter who finds herself working for a newspaper miles from civilisation in the northern wilds of rural Sweden. Tuva Moodyson is dogged in her efforts to investigate crime even to the detriment of her own safety at times. She is an engaging character who encounters some horrific crimes amongst the inhabitants of these isolated towns surrounded by forest. The trees alternatively offer Tuva shelter or danger and inhabit the novels as an ever present backdrop to each book.
It did not really surprise me to learn that Will Dean, the author, who is originally from East Midlands, has set up home with his family and St Bernard dog Bernie in the middle of the forest in Northern Sweden, living mostly off grid. The inspiration for his stories lies outside his window every day though it does make me wonder if he lives in a state of perpetual fear if even half of the evil which he portrays in his stories is true! A brilliant storyteller whose books I would wholeheartedly recommend.
Dark Pines, Red Snow, Black River and Bad Apples are the first four in the Tuva Moodyson series.
There are also two other stand alones ‘The Last Thing to Burn’ and ‘First Born’ which are equally spine chillingly brilliant though not based in Sweden! He has a new one coming out soon called ‘The Last Passenger’ which I hear features a cruise ship where everyone mysteriously disappears mid-ocean except for one poor woman left to fend for herself. I am not sure that I want to read this though, as I would like to go on a cruise someday in the future without having been traumatised by the story!