YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT:
SCANDINAVIAN MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE
SO YOU'VE READ ALL THREE STIEG LARSSON BOOKS,
Scandinavian Literary Thriller Authors
AND YOU WANT MORE...
Stieg Larsson's phenomenally successful books are just the tip of a Scandinavian iceberg of riveting suspense fiction written by
Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic authors virtually unknown to American readers.
Walden Pond Books carries the very best of the Scandinavian literary thriller renaissance.
Discover authors Karin Alvtegen, Aka Edwardson, Kerstin Ekman, Kjell Eriksson, Karin Fossum, Peter Hoeg, Arnaldur Indridason,
Jan Kjaerstad, Camilla Lackberg, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Asa Larsson, Henning Mankell, Lisa Marklund, Jo Nesbo, Hakan Nesser,
the writing team of Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, the writing team of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo,
Johan Theorin, James Thompson, and Helene Tursten. Their best works are all on the shelves at Walden Pond Books!
Drop by Walden Pond Books at 3316 Grand Avenue and browse. Or - if you see a book listed here that you know you've just got to read immediately - call us at 510-832-4438 and we'll hold that title for you at the front counter or ship directly to your home.
(in alphabetical order)
- Karin Alvtegen (Sweden)
||Karin Alvtegen - without any training or thought of becoming a novelist - resolved to write her way out of some family tragedies: The result was Missing which won Scandinavia's prestigious Glass Key award for Best Crime Novel of the Year, and was nominated for the 2009 Edgar Award for best novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Her next novel, Betrayal, was shortlisted for the Glass Key award, and also for the Swedish Crime Writers Academy award for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the year. Reviewers have called Alvtegen's most recent novel, Shame, her finest novel to date -- the work, in the words of one critic, of "a modern-day Strindberg." (Karin Alvtegen is the great-niece of Astrid Lundgren, author of the ever-popular "Pippi Longstocking" books.)
- K.O. Dahl (Norway)
||Award-winning author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Finally, with his gripping and intelligent novel, The Fourth Man, this master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic. Dahl is a true master at merging the suspense of the classical whodunit with the detailed precision of the police procedural novel. Start with The Fourth Man (the first in a series featuring Detective Inspector Frank Frolich and Detective Chief Inspector Gunnarstranda), continue with The Man in the Window, and The Last Fix. Questions of love and betrayal, loyalty and guilt consume these investigations, just as they fill the private lives of the investigators. Caution: highly addicting!
- Ake Edwardson (Sweden)
||Åke Edwardson is a professor at Gothenburg University, the city
where many of his Inspector Winter novels are set. A long-time number one bestseller in his native Sweden, Edwardson's profile was conspicuously raised when his novel Frozen Tracks was chosen as a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Until now, however, the novel that launched Edwardson's critically acclaimed Erik Winter series has never been available in the United States. With a new series translator who fully captures Edwardson's signature atmospheric style, Death Angels is America's introduction to Sweden's youngest Chief Inspector.
- Kerstin Ekman (Sweden)
||In a forest outside the remote Swedish village of Blackwater, a woman stumbles upon the site of a grisly double murder - a crime that will remain unsolved for nearly 20 years. Ekman's novel is a unique thriller in which the hearts and minds of the characters are as strikingly compelling as the exotic northern landscape that envelops them.
"Wonderful..powerfully enigmatic. . .extremely intelligent. . .Blackwater works so brilliantly both as a mystery and an evocation of an unfamiliar world." - Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
- Kjell Eriksson (Sweden)
||Already a huge star in Europe and the Nordic countries, Kjell Eriksson has American critics also raving, with every review of his three spellbinding novels featuring Police Inspector Ann Lindell studded with words like "stunning," "chilling," "haunting," "ingenious", and "brilliant."|
("Stunning . . . haunting . . . can chill you to the bone."- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times)
Start with The Princess of Burundi, follow up with The Cruel Stars of the Night, and race to read Eriksson's latest, The Demon of Dakar.
- Karen Fossum (Norway)
||Norway's “Queen of Crime” began her writing career as a poet,
her first prize-winning collection published in 1974 when she was just 20, but it took her another 20 years to find her true métier in crime writing. Her series of detective novels featuring the tough but fair and highly intelligent Inspector Konrad Sejer begins with Don't Look Back.
Critically acclaimed across Europe, Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer novels are masterfully constructed, psychologically convincing, and compulsively readable, and are now available in the United States for the first time. "Psychologically astute, subtly horrifying" - The New York Times
- Peter Hoeg (Denmark)
||Peter Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow was an early entry in the
Scandinavian Literary Thriller Renaissance. With its Hemingwayesque prose, a plot revolving around a powerful Danish corporation involved in a strange conspiracy, and a strong, fascinating and eccentric heroine, Smilla's Sense of Snow was selected as 1990's Best Book of the Year by Time Magazine. Hoeg's latest novel, The Quiet Girl, is now available in the United States and has been likewise
met with critical acclaim: "Treat The Quiet Girl as a thriller, and you'll sprint happily to its unexpected and enigmatic ending. Treat the novel as a love story, and you may be surprised by the deep silence of its final pages."--The Washington Post. "Completely immersive and riveting" -- The New York Times.
- Arnaldur Indridason (Iceland)
||From Iceland, the land of the saga, journalist Arnaldur Indridason burst onto the literary scene with Jar City, an absorbing police procedural dense with psychological pressure, haunted by past secrets.
Indridason won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel for both Jar City and its sequel, Silence of the Grave, and in 2005 Silence of the Grave also won the Crime Writers of America Gold Dagger Award for best novel of the year. Three more outstanding novels featuring Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson (Voices, The Draining Lake, and Arctic Chill)
have established Arnaldur Indridason as one of the most critically acclaimed authors of the Scandinavian Literary Thriller Renaissance.
The sixth in the series, Hypothermia, has just been released.
- Lars Kepler (Sweden)
||As The Hypnotist swept through Sweden's and then every European best seller list earlier this year, it was revealed that the author's name "Lars Kepler" was actually a pseudonym.
Several well-known Swedish authors, including Jan Guillou and Henning Mankell, had to publicly deny their authorship. So in the end,
amid a media frenzy, the authors - Alexander and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril - a married couple, 42 and 43 years old, had to go public.
"This is the thriller that's taking Europe by storm. Ferocious, visceral storytelling that wraps you in a cloak of darkness that almost blots out the light, but still feeds the imagination: Stunning!" - The Daily Mail (U.K.).
- Jan Kjærstad (Norway)
||The first in Jan Kjaerstad's Wergeland trilogy, The Seducer (followed
by The Conqueror and The Discoverer) has been hailed as a postmodern masterpiece.
An international bestseller and winner of Scandinavia's top literary award, The Seducer will rivet readers to the edge of their seats. Protagonist Jonas Wargerand is a successful TV documentary producer and a notorious womanizer. One day he returns from the World's Fair in Seville and discovers his wife dead on the living room floor. What follows is a quest full of twists and turns to find the killer. As Jonas investigates his wife's death, the reader also begins to investigate Jonas himself, and the road his life has taken to reach this point.
Translated into English for the first time, the subsequent novels in the trilogy are now finally available in the United States.
- Camilla Läckberg (Sweden)
||The Ice Princess
is the first of Camilla Läckberg's seven novels set in the Swedish coastal town of Fjällbacka and marks the American debut of
the number-one best-seller in Sweden and the winner of France's 2008 Grand Prix de Litt'rature Polici're for Best International Crime Novel.
The female protagonist, Erica, a writer struggling with her latest book, deals with her grief over her parent's untimely death and her mixed feelings about returning to her hometown. Läckberg skillfully details how horrific secrets are never completely buried and how silence can kill the soul. The town of Fjallbacka and its crimes and people will soon be as popular here as they are in her native Sweden.|
- Asa Larsson (Sweden)
||On the floor of a church in northern Sweden, the body of a man lies mutilated and defiled - and in the night sky, the aurora borealis dances as the snow begins to fall. So begins Asa Larsson's Sun Storm, winner of Sweden's Best First Crime Novel Award and an international literary sensation. Follow with The Blood Spilt, and continue on to Larsson's latest, The Black Path. This trilogy features an unforgettable heroine: prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson. In prose that is both lyrical and visceral, Asa Larsson has crafted novels of pure entertainment - taut, atmospheric mysteries that will hold you in thrall until the last, unforgettable page is turned.
- John Ajvide Lindqvist (Sweden)
||Lindqvist has achieved cult status in Europe
for his unique melding of horror, mystery, and psychological thriller.
Start with Let Me In, Lindqvist's internationally acclaimed novel whose movie adaptation won the Tribeca Film Prize for Best Feature Film. When the blood-drained body of a teenage boy is discovered, twelve-year-old Oskar personally hopes that revenge has come at long last - revenge for all the bad things the bullies at school do to him.
And then he befriends the precocious girl next door who only comes out at night. . . Lindqvist's latest, Handling the Undead, is being hailed
as a masterpiece of horror that transcends its genre by showing what the return of the dead might really mean to those who loved them.
Starred reviews from both Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews!
- Henning Mankell (Sweden)
||Mystery aficionados need no introduction to Henning Mankell - the dean of Nordic mystery authors. With the U.S. publication of Faceless Killers in 1996, Mankell launched the career of Inspector Kurt Wallander, the hero of one of the most acclaimed series in international crime fiction. As well as the nine entries in the Inspector Wallander
series, Mankell has also contributed a dozen electrifying stand-alone thrillers which have established Mankell
as "by far the best writer of police mysteries today. He is in the great tradition of those whose work transcend their chosen genre to become thrilling and moral literature." - Michael Ondaatje. Mankell's The Return of the Dancing Master or his latest, The Man From Beijing, are prime examples of absolutely masterful thrillers.
- Liza Marklund (Sweden)
||Until now, American readers know Marklund only as James Patterson's co-author of The Postcard Killers. But in her native Sweden, Liza Marklund is renowned as Scandinavia's most successful female crime writer. Her novels featuring the gutsy reporter Annika Bengtzon instantly became international best-sellers, and Marklund's books have sold 9 million copies in 30 languages to date. Finally, with the February, 2011 publication of Red Wolf, readers in the U.S. will get their chance to immerse themselves in one of the most compelling of all the Scandinavian thriller series.
- Jo Nesbø (Norway)
||Universal praise has greeted every one of Nesbo's three
novels that follow the career of detective Harry Hole. Nesbo's debut, The Redbreast, garnered unanimous starred reviews
from the critics: "An elegant and complex thriller. . . Ingenious design. . . Harrowingly beautiful scenes." -- New York Times Book Review. The follow-up, Nemesis, was hailed as "a beautifully executed heist drama. . . Expertly weaving plot lines from Hole's last outing, Nesbo delivers a lush crime saga that will leave U.S. readers clamoring for the next installment." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review). Nesbo's mastery of pace and tension is especially evident in his most recent entry in the series, The Devil's Star, and Harry Hole is acclaimed "the best lone-wolf cop for the 21st century" -- Library Journal (starred review).
- Hakan Nesser (Sweden)
||Hardly anyone else in the world tells crime stories in such a unique way
or features such a memorable investigator.
Now the novel that introduced the unforgettable Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is available for the first time in English.
Hakan Nesser debuts his protagonist in Mind's Eye, a tale of murder and suspense that reveals the deep humanity of the characters portrayed even as it sends chills up the spine. Riveting, intellectually satisfying, and unexpectedly poignant, Mind's Eye unfolds like a chess match where each move could prove deadly. Nesser's next entry in his Chief Inspector Van Veeteren series is Borkman's Point,
followed by The Return and Woman with Birthmark. Inspector Van Veeteren has claimed his place amongst the great European detectives. Even Oprah has taken notice: "Van Veeteren is the most appealingly unlovable hero ever!" -- Oprah, The Oprah Magazine.
- Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom (Sweden)
The writing team of Roslund and Hellström made their U.S. debut with Box 21, a remarkable tale of loss, addiction and revenge set in Stockholm’s seedy underworld. This dark and gritty tale revolves around Lithuanian sex slaves Lydia and Alena, vicious mob enforcer Jochum Lang, and Hilding Oldeus, a desperate heroin addict. Their stories converge when cranky, old-fashioned police inspector Ewert Grens is assigned to the investigation of Lydia's horrific murder. Box 21 is a Scandinavian thriller of the highest order: a mindblowing psychological drama written with powerful intensity. Roslund and Hellstom's latest novel, Three Seconds, won last year's
"Best Crime Novel" award in Sweden and has just been released in the U.S. to critical acclaim:
"Extremely difficult to put down. . . Crime fiction rarely gets as good as this." -- Booklist (starred review).
- Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Iceland)
||Set in modern-day Iceland - and already an international
sensation - Last Rituals introduces one of the most compelling and exceptional new characters to appear in years, Thora Gudmundsdottir, in a tale of medieval witchcraft and modern murder. Thora, an attorney and single mother of two, uncovers
contemporary horrors in Iceland's grisly history. In the long, cold shadow of dark traditions, nothing is quite what it seems . . . and no one can be trusted. In My Soul to Take, the chilling follow-up to Last Rituals, Thora Gudmundsdottir is once again pulled into a darker side of Iceland's history as she hunts for a savage killer. Once again, the critics and fans rave!
- Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (Sweden)
||The novels by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
are classics in the field. Between 1965 and 1975, the husband and wife team collaborated on ten mysteries featuring Detective Inspector Beck of the Stockholm Homicide Squad which challenged and changed the genre forever.
Vintage/Black Lizard Press announces the re-launch of the Martin Beck Police Mystery series, with fresh introductions from some of the biggest names in Crime Fiction today. All ten books from Edgar Award-winners Sjowall and Wahloo are now available in paperback. Start with the very first, Roseanna. And don't miss The Laughing Policeman, the incredible fourth novel in the series. The final twist on the final page is legendary in thriller fiction.
- Johan Theorin (Sweden)
||Johan Theorin's first novel, Echoes From the Dead, is as chilling as it is psychologically acute - a gripping study of loss, sorrow, and true evil. Set predominantly on the Baltic island of Öland, Theorin's deeply disturbing debut will remind many of Henning Mankell both in its thematic intensity and dark tone. Winner of the Swedish Best First Crime Novel Award, the novel's themes of greed and revenge lead to a stunning surprise ending. Theorin returns to the island of Öland for his follow-up, The Darkest Room, a powerhouse of suspense - at once a crime novel and a searing family drama which won Sweden's Best Crime Novel Award last year and the International Dagger Award this year. The third in the series, A Place of Blood, is due for U.S. release in early 2011.
- James Thompson (Finland)
||James Thompson is an American writer who has lived in Finland for over a decade. His first thriller in a new series, Snow Angels, features Inspector Kari Vaara, a haunted, hardened detective who must delve into Finland's violent underbelly. Two weeks of unrelenting darkness and soul-numbing cold fall upon Finnish Lapland, a hundred miles into the Arctic Circle, just before Christmas. It is the time the Lapps call "kaamos". Some get through it with the help of cheap Russian alcohol; some sink into depression.
This year, it may have driven someone mad enough to commit murder. The brutalized body of a beautiful Somali woman has been found in the snow, and Inspector Kari Vaara must find her killer. It will be a challenge in a place where ugly things lurk under frozen surfaces, and silence is a way of life.
- Helene Tursten (Sweden)
||Helene Tursten's Irene Huss mysteries are among the finest in the genre and they have been made into a film and a TV series.
Detective Inspector Irene Huss of Göteborg, Sweden, is not the stereotypical hard-boiled heroine. With a chef husband and twin teenage daughters, she must balance her home life and her work life, in which there are always too few cops and too many cases.
The picture Tursten provides in her first novel, Detective Inspector Huss, of Sweden's growing anti-immigrant resentment - embodied in Huss' skinhead daughter - imbues this novel with a cold chill of dread. Tursten's next novel, The Torso, is absolutely outstanding - the scenes in which Huss tracks her killer through the underbelly of Copenhagen are unforgettable. The shocking ending of Tursten's third entry in the series, The Glass Devil, questions the very nature of justice and evil. All three are "must-reads"!
Scandinavian authors not yet published in the U.S.
(but so good that they probably soon will be):
- Leif Davidsen (Denmark) - U.S. editions currently out of print
- Inger Frimansson (Sweden) - Needs new (better) translations
- Anne Holt (Norway) - U.S. editions currently out of print
- Wexi Korhonen (Finland)
- Jens Lapidus (Sweden)
- Leena Lehtolainen (Finland)
- Kristian Lundberg (Sweden)
- Harri Nykanen (Finland)
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