If it’s Nordic, it must be noir

Nordic (or Scandinavian) Noir didn’t begin with Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it certainly didn’t end with the author’s death at age 50 in 2004.  This mystery sub-genre is more popular than ever today, thanks to an ever-expanding smorgasbord of crime fiction fare.  On these fictional pages, police detectives are world-weary, worn down by the seeming futility of fighting against a host of social ills. What’s not to love, right?  But what I like best about Nordic Noir is location, location, location.  Not only does this genre rely on a well-developed sense of place, but climate and landscape frequently become so important to the story that they are more like characters than merely backdrops.

Tell me more, you say?  As a starting point, l would like to direct you to Nordic noir : the Pocket Essential guide to Scandinavian crime fiction, film & TV by Barry Forshaw, available from the library as an e-book.  Now you’re ready for Scandinavian Crime Fiction in English Translation, a one-stop website announcing new books (and e-books) which may be coming to your library soon.   Don’t forget to check out an interview with my favorite Swedish author, Henning Mankell, known to readers and PBS viewers alike for his Wallander series. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that more than two dozen of the best Nordic Noir authors have e-books available for loan through Wisconsin’s Digital Library.

Now, here are just a few of my favorite Nordic Noir authors, all of whom may be found on the MORE catalog Nordic Crime Fiction Quick List or by searching the catalog by author.

Jussi Adler-Olsen
Arnaldur Indridason
Kjell Eriksson
Karin Fossum
Anne Holt
Jorn Lier Horst
Asa Larsson
Henning Mankell
Liza Marklund
Jo Nesbo
Hakan Nesser
Helene Tursten
Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Who is your favorite Nordic Noir author?

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