Scandi Crime Fiction Round-Up

I’ve been on a big reading binge recently mainly due to long distance travel to Bouchercon, the US crime fiction convention. I’m going to do a series of round-ups of the next week or so as I have read some excellent books that I want to share with you.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m one of the judges for the Petrona Award for translated Scandinavian crime fiction. It’s usually around this time of year that I start to increase my Nordic Noir consumption to make sure I get my reading done in time for the judging in March.

51KZmDXMg9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s The Undesired is a standalone novel that looks at the historic abuse in a juvenile detention centre. A single father, Odinn is in charge of the investigation following the unexplained death of a colleague. He finds a disturbing link to an accident that killed his former wife and is forced to look behind the official files to discover the reason for the children’s deaths. Yrsa is a master of ramping up the tension in her books and here is no exception. I particularly liked the claustrophobic nature of the setting and the gradual revealing of the horror at the heart of the killings.

Stallo by Stefan Spjut is a fantastical tale that chronicles the abduction of children my stallomysterious creatures. Susso runs a website dedicated to sightings of these beings and when she receives news of a creature that has been spotted outside an old woman’s house she installs a camera to see if she can finally confirm their existence. The book is a meaty tale that will delight fans of writers such as Justin Cronin. It’s a mixture of crime  and fantasy and I thought the translation to be excellent.

defenceless200Kati Hiekkapelto’s The Hummingbird was shortlisted for last year’s Petrona Award. Her follow-up The Defenceless is also a powerful read tackling illegal immigration and the role of gang members in exacerbating the desperation of migrant workers. Hiekkapelto is unflinching in her chilling descriptions and, once more, it is her police investigator protagonist, Anna Fekete, who dominates the narrative.

Thanks to Hodder, Faber and Orenda Books for my review copies.

 

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6 thoughts on “Scandi Crime Fiction Round-Up

  1. I have both Kati’s books; in fact, I’ve started The Defenceless. Yrsa’s book sounds fantastic too. So jealous you were at Bouchercon! Pleased to see Catriona McPherson’s The Day She Died win Best Paperback Original – great book, which I reviewed a few months ago. I love both the Dandy Gilver series (reviewed one of them too) and her standalones (I’m reading Come To Harm atm too!)

  2. Pingback: My Top Reads of 2015 | crimepieces

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