Tag Archive > Scandinavian crime fiction

The Killer’s Art

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The Killer's Art by Mari Jungstedt, book reviewWho would have thought that the picturesque Baltic island of Gotland could be the scene of so many brutal murders? The Killer’s Art is the fourth instalment of Mari Jungstedt’s Inspector Knutas series set on the Swedish island and it opens with one of the most shocking murders yet. Previously Jungstedt has set her stories in rural Gotland, but now she moves to the main town, the historic port of Visby for her main crime scene.

Early one Sunday morning in the heart of winter, a hotel worker on her way to start an early shift makes a gruesome discovery: she finds the body of well known local art dealer Egon Wallin hanging from one of the towers of Visby’s ancient city walls.

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Hypothermia

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Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason, book reviewThe sixth of Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason’s novels featuring the lugubrious Erlendur, ‘Hypothermia’ is something of a departure from the format of those that preceded it. Here Erlendur more or less goes it alone as he carries out his own off the record investigation into the case of the apparent suicide of a woman at her holiday home in Iceland’s Lake District; Erlendur is not directly connected with the case but becomes involved when it is found that the dead woman lived on his patch. Everything seems straightforward until a couple of days later when a friend of the dead woman asks to see him; she tells him that there is something that doesn’t seem quite right with the events around Maria’s death and that, although Maria had been depressed for several years since the death of her mother, with whom she and her husband, Baldvin, lived, she doesn’t believe that she would have killed herself.

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Three Seconds

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Three Seconds By Anders Roslund, By Borge Hellstrom, book reviewWith the novels of Stieg Larsson riding high in the bestsellers charts, it’s hardly surprising that “Three Seconds” is being mentioned in the same breaths. It’s been a long time since Swedish crime fiction enjoyed so much international success with recent output tending to emulate Henning Mankell’s highly popular Wallander series of atmospheric police procedurals.

Three Seconds” centres on Piet Hoffman, an ex-con turned police informer. He’s not just any informer, though; Hoffman has managed to infiltrate the very heart of the Polish mafia’s control of Sweden’s illegal drugs scene which operates behind the façade of an international security firm.

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Last Rituals

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Last Rituals By Yrsa Sigurdardottir, book reviewNot long after a German student is found brutally murdered in Reykjavik’s university, a suspect is arrested. Soon afterwards, lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir receives a phone call from Matthew Reich, a German acting on behalf of the dead student’s family; they don’t believe that the drug dealer charged with Harald’s murder is the killer and they’d like Thora, who has been recommended to them because she studied in Germany, to help with a private investigation into Harald’s death. It soon becomes apparent that Harald led a less than conventional lifestyle; his post mortem reveals that he underwent several dramatic procedures to change his appearance, and the valuable pieces of art on the walls of his flat point to a morbid fascination with a thoroughly unpleasant subject.

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The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

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The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (Kurt Wallander Mysteries) by Henning MankellWhen the two men washed up on the Swedish coast in a life raft turn out to be Latvians, Inspector Kurt Wallander hopes it will be a simple matter of passing the investigation over to Major Liepa, his Latvian counterpart asked to come to help with the case. However, when Major Liepa is found murdered shortly after his return to the Latvian capital, Riga, Wallander finds himself packing a bag and crossing the Baltic to assist with the investigations because the Latvian police believe that Liepa’s death may be linked to the case he had been working on in Sweden.

The Dogs of Riga” takes a profound turn from ordinary police procedural to international thriller that may disappoint some readers. The book is the second of Henning Mankell’s series of novels featuring the lugubrious – some might say thoroughly miserable – Kurt Wallander.

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Unseen

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Unseen By Mari JungstedtThe night after a party which culminated in an argument with her husband, Per, in front of their friends, the body of Helena and that of her dog, are found butchered on a beach on the Swedish island of Gotland. When Per’s fingerprints are found on the murder weapon the prosecutor instructs Inspector Anders Knutas to charge Per with killing his wife. But the Inspector is not entirely convinced and is proven right to have his doubts what appears to be a second victim of the same killer is found.

When the first body is found, Stockholm-based news journalist Johan Berg receives a tip off phone call from someone who has been supplying him with useful information for years.

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The Fire Engine that Disappeared

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The Fire Engine That Disappeared  By Per Wahloo, By Major Maj SjowallOne cold winter’s night police detective Gunvald Larsson temporarily covers for a junior officer charged with keeping a watch on the house of a suspect. While he is on shift there is an explosion and Larsson becomes a hero, rescuing several people from the burning house. The suspect is not one of the survivors; initial reports suggest that he was dead before the explosion, probably suicide and it is also believed that the method of his suicide later caused the explosion. The case is quickly closed but Larsson, on sick leave after being slightly injured in the fire, quietly sets out on his own investigation, refusing to believe that the answer is so simple. His doubts are confirmed when the body of a “business associate” of the dead man, both known to be involved in car thefts, is recovered from the docks and the case has to be re-opened.

The Fire Engine That Disappeared” is the fifth novel in the ten book series featuring Martin Beck.

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