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Scandinavian crime beyond Nesbo, Mankell and Larsson

Scandinavian crime fiction has been around since the 1960s but there has been an explosion of interest in it around the world in the last 15 years or so. Readers of all kinds have connected with the dark, broody atmosphere of these novels and the often fatalistic detectives who are generally loners with unhealthy lifestyles and, often, surprising connections to the criminal world.

There are several different kinds of books within Scandinavian Noir, as it’s often called, so if you like great crime writing you are bound to find a fantastic author on our Scandinavian Noir bookshelf.

If you are interested in learning more about how this genre started, we recommend the husband-and-wife team of Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall, who have often been credited with inventing Scandinavian Noir. Many readers will also remember the first big international bestseller in this genre, Smilla’s Sense of Snow (published in some countries as Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow), a deeply atmospheric crime novel featuring a girl with special abilities. Of course another girl with special abilities is Lisbeth Salander, from Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

For fans of psychological thrillers  Karin Alvtegen,  the grand-niece of Pippi Longstocking creator Astrid Lindgren, is a must read. As are “inspector” novels from authors Henning MankellArnaldur Indridason, Ake Edwardson, Jo Nesbo and Karin Fossum.

For those who enjoy stark realism, we recommend  Anne Holt, a Norwegian lawyer and former Minister of Justice who has won high praise from Val McDermid.

In the last couple of years we have seen some fantastic debuts, with books such as The Boy in the Suitcase, The Hypnotist and The Hanging. It is a really great genre to get hooked on, so check out our Scandinavian Noir bookshelf and let us know if we missed any of your favorite authors!