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About Everything Wiki » Books » 8 Addictive Scandinavian Detective Stories

8 Addictive Scandinavian Detective Stories

18 Jan 2024, 00:01, parser
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Scandinavian noir as a genre originated back in 1965, when journalists Mai Chevall and Per Valais began writing a series of detective stories about Commissioner Martin Beck. World fame was brought to him by the best-selling novels by Yu Nesbe about the detective Harry Hole and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson.

What can no Scandinavian detective do without? Without incessant rain or snowstorm. Without the sense of hopelessness that haunts the characters. Without detectives, who, in addition to investigating violent crimes, are also forced to solve their own problems — from fighting addictions to difficulties in their personal lives. But the main component of such stories is an exciting plot. We have collected books that we cannot tear ourselves away from.

1. "The Fox Girl", Maria Grund

The debut, which brought Maria Grund the prize of the Swedish Academy of Authors of the detective genre — the most prestigious award in the field of crime literature.

The main characters of the book are female detectives. Sanna has been in the police for a long time, her job helps her cope with the loss of her family. Her partner resigns, and a young and intemperate Air is sent to replace him. The detectives' first joint case, the suicide of a teenage girl, will launch a chain of deaths throughout the city. The victims are connected by a strange painting depicting children in animal masks. A bonus to the colorful characters is an unexpected villain.

2. "Therapist", by Helene Flod

Helen Flood Aakvaag, an employee of the Norwegian National Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress, is hiding under the pseudonym Flod. It is no coincidence that the heroine of her debut novel "Therapist" is a psychologist.

Sarah receives clients in her home office, and her husband Sigurd, an architect, is often on the road. Life goes on as usual exactly until the day when Sigurd leaves for his friends' country house, but does not appear there. The first rule of the police in such cases is to suspect the other half of everything. But if Sarah is a criminal, then why is she so scared?

3. "The Sect from the Misty Island", Mariette Lindsteen

The novel is partially based on real events, which adds not only authenticity, but also goosebumps when reading. Many people think that only careless people get into sects, but this is not the case. The author of the novel Mariette spent 20 years in the Church of Scientology. She put her sad experience into a series of psychological thrillers — as a warning and motivation for those who find themselves in similar conditions.

The heroine of the story, Sofia Bauman, has just graduated from university. A young idealist happened to be at a lecture by the charismatic Franz Oswald. The man talked about a proper lifestyle and invited Sofia to work on a library in his community.

Unknowingly, the girl falls under the influence of Oswald's zombified followers. And now she is already living behind a high fence without a phone and communication with her loved ones and the world. But the girl is not satisfied with this. She will find a way to escape and only then will she realize that the main thing is not to leave the sect, but not to get into it again.

4. "The Rabbit Factor", Antti Tuomainen

This comedy‑crime thriller occupies the first lines of sales in Finland. But do not expect from him the oppressive gloomy atmosphere inherent in Scandinavian noir. An ironic detective is suitable for those who like complicated names, but are tired of bloody scenes.

At the center of the story is the mathematician Henry. He works for an insurance company, calculates the probabilities of various events all day long, loves order in everything and hates the corporate culture, which is why he quits. So Henry becomes the manager of a fading amusement park, at the entrance to which stands a huge figure of a rabbit with iron ears. These very ears will save the hero's life one day, but it's better to read about it.

The book has sequels with equally funny titles: "The Moose Paradox" and "The Beaver Theory".

5. "Diary of My Disappearance" by Camille Grebe

The second novel in a series of investigations by police psychologist Hanne Lagerlindshen. You can read it out of order, you will understand everything. This book is perfect for getting to know the author and the heroine.

Hanne, who was diagnosed with early dementia, separated from her husband. Colleagues do not know about the disease yet, and in order not to forget something important about current affairs, Lagerlindshen writes everything down. But one day she goes with her partner for an interrogation, after which he disappears. The detective herself is found in the forest by a teenager. The boy appropriated the diary to Hannah and turned out to be a kind of detective himself, not realizing what danger he was in...

6. "Purely Swedish murders. Vacation in Paradise", by Anders de la Motte and Mons Nilsson

The title of this novel refers to the cult detective series "Purely English Murders", an adaptation of the novels by British writer Caroline Graham. The tape and books are characterized by a slow narrative, not too bloody crimes and an inevitably happy ending. Something similar happened with the tandem of Anders de la Motte and Mons Nilsson.

"Vacation in Paradise" introduces readers to commissioner and workaholic Peter Winston, whom the boss literally kicked out on a long vacation. Peter resigned himself and went to see his daughter, who lives in a picturesque wilderness. Unfortunately, there is no way to rest — a realtor who was planning a large building was killed. Winston, of course, cannot refuse to help the local police.

7. "Murder by the Blue Sea" by Kristoffer Holst

The trend in Scandinavian detectives of recent years is to move away from the harsh template when the detective is tortured and the villain is too cunning, and add something vital. Tuomainen experiments with irony and black humor in The Rabbit Factor. Anders De la Motte in "Purely Swedish Murders" refers to the roots of the genre — classics in the spirit of Agatha Christie. And Kristoffer Holst adds a touch of romance to the plot.

The main character, reporter Cilla— explores the crimes of the past for the crime show. Many remained unsolved, such as the long-ago disappearance of the pregnant beauty Laila. At the same time, Cilla is trying to sort out her relationship with policeman Adam, but so far she often sees only his mother.

8. "The Mentalist", Camilla Lackberg and Henrik Fexeus

If, looking at the title of the book, you remembered the American TV series of the same name, feel free to open this novel. Moreover, one of the authors of the writing duo, Fexeus, is a psychologist specializing in non—verbal communication, and himself to some extent a mentalist.

According to the plot, a box pierced with swords is found in Stockholm, and inside it is a female corpse. Who thinks they're a brutal magician? Inspector Mina Dabiri and consultant illusionist Vincent want to figure this out. Both are not used to working in a team, each has their own cockroaches (she is afraid of germs, he cannot do without mathematical order), but you need to forget about disagreements when an innocent life is at stake.

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