At the end of July, The New York Times Book Review featured a guide to Nordic noir. Categorized by country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden), I was familiar with a few of the authors, but happily there were many unfamiliar names as well.
Keeping in mind that dark is the hallmark of the Scandinavian thriller, I am working my way through the list, avoiding the grim Nesbo and Larsson types in favor of (somewhat) less grim authors like Helene Tursten.
First read was The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe, a combination police procedural and psychological thriller featuring Stockholm Homicide Detective Peter Lindgren and profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schon, who come together over a decapitated corpse.
Peter is the usual divorced, depressed Swedish detective, but Hanne is a more interesting character, and their partnership is full of surprises. The story was much scarier than I like, but I couldn’t put it down!
I was less impressed with Leena Lehtolainen’s My First Murder, which I found rather unsophisticated. Anne Holt’s Blind Goddess was stilted and slow, but detective Hanne Willhelmsen has possibilities.