Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Five notable crime novels from Scandinavia

Martin Österdahl has studied Russian, East European studies, and economics. He worked with TV productions for twenty years and was simultaneously the program director at Swedish Television. His interest in Russia and its culture arose in the early 1980s. After studying Russian at university and having had the opportunity to go behind the Iron Curtain more than once, he decided to relocate and finish his master’s thesis there.

The 1990s were a very exciting time in Russia, and 1996, with its presidential election, was a particularly crucial year. Seeing history in the making inspired Österdahl to write the first novel in the Max Anger series, Ask No Mercy. The series has been sold to more than ten territories and is soon to be a major TV series.

At CrimeReads he tagged five crime novels from Scandinavia that show the breadth of the genre, including:
A Conspiracy of Faith, by Jussi Adler Olsen

A bottle is found by police in Scotland. Inside is a cry for help, scripted in blood. When the bottle eventually lands in the hands of Danish detective Carl Morck he sets his quirky cold case group into action. The hunt is on for a madman kidnapper who preys on members of an austere religious sect, exploiting their reclusive nature to ransom two siblings at a time without fear of the police finding out. Morck faces the obstacles, small and large, by perceiving them as essentially analogues to everything that Denmark’s welfare state has turned rotten. The end takes us to a remote boathouse where the suspense is built to a perfect pitch, leading to a very satisfying end.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue