A list titled "Nordic Noir" clearly needs no introduction.
by Kerstin Ekman, translated by Joan Tate
This densely plotted story is set in Northern Sweden right by the Norwegian border. The story centers on two murdered campers and the woman who discovered their bodies. This book is loaded with psychological nuance and a great sense of place.
by Hakan Nesser
Chief Inspector Van Veeteren cuts short his vacation to help a police chief in a remote town investigate not one, not two, but three axe murders. Combine this with a disappearing police investigator and Van Veeteren really has his hands full. This book won the Swedish Crime Writer's Academy Prize for Best Novel in 1994.
by Pernille Rygg
A young female scientist tries to make sense of the death of her detective father. While she is cleaning out her father's office she finds a butterfly pendant and an address of a young woman who had been murdered. The reader will really get a feel of the city of Oslo in this tense tale.
by Henning Mankell
One of the Kurt Wallander mysteries. Anti-foreigner prejudies in Sweden figure prominently in this compelling mystery.
by Per Wahloo, Maj Sjowall
This is the first in the wonderful Martin Beck series. A young woman's body is found in a Swedish lake and Beck not only tries to solve the murder, but also find out the identity of the woman.
by Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland
Reg Keeland from Albuquerque, New Mexico says:
You should read this book because it was one of the best thrillers I ever translated. The other two were volumes 2 & 3 of the same trilogy, which I think were even better! If you like literary crime fiction that moves like a runaway train, these are the books for you. Featuring one of the most engaging anti-heroines in the history of crime, Lisbeth Salander. Once you try it I guarantee you'll be hooked.
by Jan Costin Wagner, translated by John Brownjohn
Finland is the setting for this tautly-written psychological thriller.
by Arnaldur Indridason, translated by Bernard Scudder
Excellent Icelandic police procedural featuring Detective Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson. An elderly man is murdered and the only obvious clue is a three-word note left on the body. Wonderful read and the reader learns quite a bit about Iceland as well.
by Kjell Eriksson, translated by Ebba Segerberg
The mutilated body of cichlids tropical fish expert John Harold Jonsson is found in the snow. Homicide detectives Ann Lindell and Ola Haver try and solve the case. This police procedural reads like a very well-written psychological thriller.
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. more...
About Leah Smith
Leah lives near Washington D.C. and is an obsessive list maker. She loves lists so much that she creates topical bibliographies -- for fun. She also collects volvelles, nutcrackers, unusual names and map hankies. She talks about books and many other things on her blog, Fig Newtons and Scotch.
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