More Scandi Crime Fiction

My reading at the moment is oscillating between Scandinavian crime fiction for the Petrona Award and ghost stories that bring back memories of my teenage years. More of the supernatural in a post next week. Meanwhile, all the Scandi books that I read were by familiar authors and it was a bit of a mixed bag.

 MemoRandom by Anders de la Motte is his take on a familiar trope of crime novels, that of y450-293memory loss. David Sarac wakes up from a car crash and can only remember that he is a police officer and he needs to protect his informant, Janus. As his colleagues desperately try to elicit the identity of Janus, Sarac’s memory returns only in fragments. Natalie Aden, his carer who has also been tasked with spying on him, helps him piece his past together as his life becomes increasingly endangered. As I’d expect from De La Motte,  MemoRandom is a fast-paced thriller with an entertaining storyline. There’s always something enjoyable about a book with a race to the conclusion. The translation was by Neil Smith.

I’m a big fan of Arnaldur Indridason but Oblivion proved to be a disappointment. There51jsnkgzk9l-_sx328_bo1204203200_ were all the elements that I enjoy in Indridason’s writing – the Icelandic landscape, the descriptions of native food and, of course, his detective Erlendur. While the writing was good, I found the plot to be lacklustre which is a shame as I persevered with it until the end. It’s a decent enough read and sits alongside the other books well enough. Fingers crossed for the next one. The translation was by Victoria Cribb.

9781910124048In comparison The Caveman by Jorn Lier Horst is a cracker and his best book yet. There are two storylines both of which were fascinating. William Wisting is investigating a serial killer who may have made his way from the US to Norway. The presence of CIA agents adds to the pressure on his team to find the murderer. Meanwhile, Wisting’s daughter, Line, is doing a story on a man whose body was sitting, undiscovered, in his living room for four months. Focusing on the loneliness of some Norwegians, she soon realises that there is more to the man’s death than a sad story. Lier Horst has always excelled as a writer of police procedurals but here the story telling is second to none. I didn’t want the book to finish as I was so engrossed in the narrative. More please! The translation was by Anne Bruce.




12 thoughts on “More Scandi Crime Fiction

  1. tracybham

    Once again I lament that I am not keeping up with Scandinavian crime fiction, but I am glad you are keeping me up to date on authors I have not tried yet.

    A question on Jorn Lier Horst: Does it matter where I start reading his books. As I have none of them yet, can I pick anyone to try? You know I usually like to go in order but I am willing to try a different approach.


  2. The annoying thing is, I don’t think they’ve published Jorn Lier Horst’s books IN order but I will defer to Sarah on that one…
    Good news about The Caveman, I’ve just started that – I got Horst’s name from here, for Dregs or The Hunting Dogs. I’m waiting on a review copy of Oblivion, so I hope it’s not TOO disappointing.
    I’m blaming you for this sudden interest in ScandiNoir (a bit late to the party, but I’m here!) Btw, whenever Amazon recommend me books, guess what’s guaranteed to be first??!


      1. I’ll keep you posted! Maybe if I review that one positively, they’ll send me the next one. They sent me their catalogue a couple of weeks ago, and there were some real gems in it! My Dad knows where they’re base of operations is, as he’s from there, and he says it’s pretty big. I thought I was far from civilization – which is basically the Central Belt in Scotland – but not compared to them!


  3. kathy d.

    Gosh, more books to read! I just finished the excellent book “The Defenceless,” by Finnish writer Kati Heikkapelto. And want to read the Eva Dolan book I have, the third one.
    And then on to more Nordic noir. I have not read Horst’s books, but I can see that I should. Will put The Caveman on my list after The Hunting Dogs.
    It irks me that readers over in the States are reading “The Girl on the Train,” which still ranks high on best-seller lists when such good European crime fiction is not publicized over here nor do the libraries carry much of it.


  4. Graham Minett

    Came across Jorn Lier Horst a couple of years ago with The Hunting Dogs and really enjoyed it. Have been meaning to read another William Wisting for a while but never got round to it. Thanks for the nudge – will try The Caveman


  5. I am also hoping for more Horst translations as there are only 4 so far. I will be reading Oblivion soon, too. I am finally reading all of Henning Mankell’s Wallanders series, but only about 3 books in so far. I will interrupt that with Astri My Astri.


  6. Pingback: Review: The Caveman (2015) by Jørn Lier Horst (trans: Anne Bruce) – A Crime is Afoot

  7. Pingback: Review: The Caveman (2015) by Jørn Lier Horst (trans: Anne Bruce) – A Crime is Afoot

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