Nesbo, Jo. Blood on Snow.

NY: Knopf, 2015.

This one is a departure for Nesbo, being a standalone novel and not part of the Harry Hole series. Moreover, the protagonist isn’t even close to being one of the Good Guys, but the author manages to make him sympathetic anyway. Or at least understandable.


Published in: on 13 May 2016 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Griffith, Nicola. The Blue Place.

NY: Morrow, 1998.

At twenty-nine, Aud Torvingen no longer wanted to be associated with the Atlanta Police Department for various reasons, not even the elite squad, so she retired and went into private security consulting. This was made easier by the fact that she’s also moderately wealthy, being the daughter of a successful Chicago businessman and a Norwegian diplomat who is now that country’s ambassador to the UK. She also has a deep, rich talent when it comes to violence.


Nesbo, Jo. The Bat.

NY: Random House, 2013, 1998.

A Norwegian woman has been raped and gruesomely murdered while visiting Australia and, because she was a minor television celebrity back home, the Oslo police have sent Harry Hole (pronounced “HOL-eh,” as he eventually gives up explaining) of the homicide division to observe the investigation. To Harry, “observe” translates as “mix straight in,” and he’s soon completely involved, interviewing witnesses and chasing suspects around Sidney, Brisbane, and assorted small towns in between. (more…)

Nesbo, Jo. Cockroaches.

NY: Random House, 2013.

I have a thing for Scandinavian mystery writers and Nesbo’s series (now up to ten volumes) about Oslo police detective — and ongoing train wreck — Harry Hole has gotten steadily excellent reviews. But for some strange reason, it has taken them a very long time to publish the first few books in English translation — especially since several of the later books have been out for some time now.


Holt, Anne. 1222.

NY: Scribner, 2011.

This Norwegian author is reputedly a big deal in Scandinavian crime fiction, especially with her highly successful “Hanne Wilhelmsen” series, but this is apparently the first to be translated into English — and it’s the eighth one in the series. Which doesn’t make a lot of marketing sense, since it means we can know very little about the main character’s background — which turns out to be a very significant factor in the story. (more…)

Published in: on 9 November 2012 at 8:04 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

Nesbo, Jo. Headhunters.

NY: Random House, 2008.

I sort of have a thing about Scandinavian mystery and suspense fiction and I read quite a lot of it, but Nesbo is a new one to me. This gripping, dead-run yarn features Roger Brown, a corporate headhunter — by his own reckoning, the best of his kind in Oslo, the “king of the heap.”


Published in: on 13 July 2012 at 6:05 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Benn, James R. Billy Boyle.

NY: Soho Press, 2006.

It’s always nice to discover a successful new mystery novelist, especially when the setting is also unusual. The title character here is a Boston Irish cop who is in his early twenties when the U.S. is swept into the War by the attack at Pearl Harbor, having just made detective a few days before.


Fossum, Karin. Don’t Look Back.

Orlando: Harcourt, 2002.

I have found that mystery novels written by Scandinavian authors usually have a quite different feel from than those written originally in English, and in a way that I find appealing.


Published in: on 1 January 2012 at 6:11 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,