Nordic noir represents the bleakest of the bleak, often centreing on brutal crimes tinged with shocking violence. The tales invariably feature protagonists who, while possessing a generally ferocious sense of justice, are nonetheless tortured, brooding, and generally introspective. The settings, whether city streets or remote villages, are desolate and harsh. Combine these elements with densely plotted mysteries that often feature more than a few shocking turns and a spartan, direct prose style to accentuate the genre’s dark themes and it is not difficult to see why Nordic noir has been so influential and successful a piece of the crime genre.
THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Alex Dahl
Cecilia Wilborg seems to have it all: a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a gorgeous home in the affluent Norwegiantown of Sandefjord. She works hard to keep everything together because she knows that one mistake from her past that could bring it all crashing down. When someone forgets to pick up their little boy at the local pool, Cecilia agrees to take him home, only to find an abandoned, empty house. It’s the first step in the unraveling of her meticulously crafted life, as her world collides with someone who knows her deepest secrets.
THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE by David Lagercrantz
In the fifth installment of the Millennium Series, brilliant hacker and troubled outsider Lisbeth Salander is as close as she’s ever been to unraveling the mysteries of her traumatic childhood. In order to finally do so, she turns to Milael Blomkvist, editor of the investigative magazine Millennium. The duo soon find themselves in the midst of one of the most dangerous predicaments either has ever faced.
THE CROW GIRL by Erik Axl Sund
The 2016 bestseller focuses on the murder investigation that follows after the body of an abused young boy is discovered in a city park. As Detective Jeanette Kihlberg dives into the case, she is drawn into a deep and complex web of violence and corruption. Originally published as a trilogy in Sweden, The Crow Girl is an intricate and emotionally complex read
THE ICE BENEATH HER by Camilla Grebe
The Ice Beneath Her is the American debut of acclaimed Swedish author Camilla Grebe. Taking place in Stockholm, the novel follows a group of investigators unraveling the threads of a brutal murder that is eerily similar to an unsolved killing from a decade previous. It is an ingeniously plotted and twisting thriller.
I’M TRAVELING ALONE by Samuel Bjork
This American debut for Norwegian author Samuel Bjork is a chilling thriller centering on the hunt for a vengeful killer targeting children in disturbing fashion. The novel follows Investigators Holger Munch and Mia Kruger – a brilliant and haunted detective with her own unnerving past – as the delve into a cast with increasingly personal implications.
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