Not-To-Be-Missed Nordic Noir Thrillers: 5 of the Best
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Just what is it about Nordic Noir that has us hooked?
Ever since Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbø burst onto the scene - along with their TV counterparts like The Killing and The Bridge - it seems we can't get enough of dark, abandoned warehouses and grumpy, dysfunctional characters.
But with a proliferation of noir reading material out there, how on earth do you sort out the wheat from the chaff?
Here's a good place to start - check out my five choices of gripping Scandinavian sleuthing.
1. Jens Lapidus, Top Dog
Top Dog: The brilliant Scandi-noir thriller, for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbø (Stockholm Noir)
For decades, a secret network in Stockholm has been exploiting young girls, ruthlessly eliminating anyone who threatens to reveal their secret. As oddly paired duo Teddy and Emelie - the thug and the lawyer - investigate, the terrifying noose tightens. The police force has established a special team to find out just who's involved in the network, but can't seem to get close enough. And who is it that's trying to silence Teddy and Emelie, using any means necessary?
2. Søren Sveistrup, The Chestnut Man
The Chestnut Man: The chilling and suspenseful thriller soon to be a major Netflix series
'A full-throttle thriller in the tradition of classic Stieg Larsson, drenched in atmosphere and charged with adrenaline. I loved this book' A. J. Finn, author of The Woman In The Window
'A cracking ending that left me STUNNED' 5***** Reader Review
THE CHILLING DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF HIT TV SHOW THE KILLING, perfect for fans of THE FALL and DES
3. Yrsa Sigurdardottir, The Absolution
The police find out about the crime the way everyone does: on Snapchat. The video shows the terrified victim begging for forgiveness. When her body is found, it is marked with a number 2...
Detective Huldar joins the investigation, bringing child psychologist Freyja on board to help question the murdered teenager's friends. Soon, they uncover that Stella was far from the angel people claim - but even so, who could have hated her enough to kill?
Then another teenager goes missing, and more clips are sent. Freyja and Huldar can agree on two things at least: the truth is far from simple. And the killer is not done yet.
A brilliantly suspenseful story about the dark side of social media, The Absolution will make you wonder what you should have said sorry for...
4. Maria Adolfsson, Fatal Isles
A remote island. A brutal murder. A secret hidden in the past . . .
In the middle of the North Sea, between the UK and Denmark, lies the beautiful and rugged island nation of Doggerland.
Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby has returned to the main island, Heimö, after many years in London and has worked hard to become one of the few female police officers in Doggerland.
So, when she wakes up in a hotel room next to her boss, Jounas Smeed, she knows she's made a big mistake. But things are about to get worse: later that day, Jounas's ex-wife is found brutally murdered. And Karen is the only one who can give him an alibi.
The news sends shockwaves through the tight-knit island community, and with no leads and no obvious motive for the murder, Karen struggles to find the killer in a race against time.
Soon she starts to suspect that the truth might lie in Doggerland's history. And the deeper she digs, the clearer it becomes that even small islands can hide deadly secrets . . .
5. Ragnar Jonasson, The Darkness
A body is found off the coast of Iceland.
A cursory police investigation calls it suicide. She's just another statistic, soon forgotten.
But not by Reykjavik Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir.
Difficult and unconventional, Hulda is being forced into early retirement.
Offered one last cold case to investigate she chooses Elena's.
And when she discovers another woman vanished at a similar time, she believes a killer roams free.
With days before she's stripped of her badge, can Hulda catch the killer alone?
Please recommend any books within this genre that you have particularly enjoyed.