For all of you who thought my five favorites would be Italian mysteries, sorry, I’ve moved north to more chilling tales (pun intended.) Scandinavian writers are all the rage right now and with good reason. To those who like their literature crisp and with an icy edge, try one of these excellent series.
Judi A., Oakmont PA
The first thriller in a new series, "Snow Angels" features Inspector Kari Vaara, the haunted, hardened detective who must delve into Finland's dark, violent underbelly. Above the Artic Circle in frozen Lapland, a young beautiful Somali girl’s mutilated body is found, a racial slur carved into her chest. Lapland is not known for its ethnic problems or for such vicious murders. Enter Inspector Kari Vaara, small town policeman who must keep details of this murder out of the press. Snow Angels is a revealing look at life in this insular nation and at its own xenophobia.
The premier Norwegian thriller writer, Jo Nesbo returns with an epic tale of suspense featuring detective Harry Hole as he investigates a series of brutal bank robberies. The fourth in this Norwegian series, Nemesis is a complex tale of treachery eloquently spun. An old flame is found shot after Harry has had dinner at her apartment. The police are calling it suicide until Harry finds convincing evidence that it was foul play and that is when Hole finds himself a suspect. He must now stay one step ahead of the murderer and two steps ahead of his colleagues. Jo Nesbo is the award-winning author of "The Redbreast" that features the maverick methods of detective Harry Hole and will be appearing at Mystery Lovers March 18th at 7:00pm.
An entertaining introduction to the work of an excellent Swedish author of thrillers, Karin Alvtegen, known as Sweden’s “Queen of Crime.” Sibylla Forsenstrom, daughter of well to do parents lives on the edge of society as a bag lady. By choice she has separated herself from all who know her and has become invisible. That is until an incident in The Grand Hotel focuses the spotlight on her. No longer invisible and hunted by the police as a serial killer, Sibylla draws on her inner strengths and emerges capable of unravelling the true cause of these murders with the help of 15 year old Patrik, who she meets when hiding in the attic of a secondary school. Can’t wait to read more of Karin Alvtegen.
In this extraordinary mystery from Gold Dagger Award-winner Arnaldur Indridason, the water level of an Icelandic lake falls suddenly, revealing a skeleton weighed down by a heavy device bearing Russian inscriptions.Indridason, following in the footsteps of Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill uses the same theme of death revealed by low water. Gloomy Detective Inspector Erlendur is the only one interested when a man’s body is found with a Russian spy device tied to his neck as a lake begins to lose water. The Draining Lake is a trip into the past, Iceland during the Cold War. No pun intended. If you like Nordic fiction this is one of the best....
This is above all a psychological mystery, as Sejer and Skarre carefully poke and prod the small community, where everyone knows everyone else, in order to unravel the tale that led to the killing of a well-liked teenage girl. Glass Key award winner, Karin Fossum’s first Konrad Sejer novel, had my heart in my throat from the very beginning when a small child is kidnapped. It also had a “suspenseful ending”.
ISet in modern-day Iceland--and already an international sensation--"Last Rituals" introduces one of the most compelling and exceptional new characters to appear in years, attorney Thora Guomunddottir. An award winning writer of children’s books, Sigurdardottir is a native of Iceland and portrays her native land with its dark history in a most enjoyable, witty and charming way. The main character, Thora and her new partner, Matthew Reich are asked to investigate the brutal death of a visiting student. The country’s history of witchcraft and torture, its dark traditions are a long way from modern Reykjavik. By blending the past and the present effortlessly, the writer delivers a compelling read