The big new thing in mystery books is Nordic Noir. What is this Nordic Noir, you may ask? Well, it was basically spawned by the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and therefore has many of the same attributes or as this hilarious article describes the Seven Dwarfs of Nordic Noir – Guilty, Moody, Broody, Mopey, Kinky, Dreary and Anything-but-Bashful. I myself loved the Millenium Trilogy and so I decided to do some more Nordic Noir reading. I started with Snowman, which I liked pretty well and Jo Nesbo recently released the newest tome in the Harry Hole series – The Leopard.
So two young women have been recently found, killed in a most horrific way – they have drowned in their own blood from 24 strange puncture wounds in their mouths. The police are baffled and there are no good clues. Then a MP also gets killed by being hung in a public place which decapitates her and the hysteria reaches a fever pitch. The police decide to find Harry Hole, veteran serial killer finder, but he has disappeared. When one enterprising young detective finally finds him, he is mired in the opium dens of Hong Kong and doesn’t want to return to Norway. Harry reluctantly agrees when he finds out his father is dying. Now, he is investigating these three strange deaths which seem to have one thing in common : a trip to a remote cabin. There are several more names on the list of people at the cabin who are in danger. Will Harry find out who the culprit is before they are all killed? What happened at this cabin? Will he ever get it together and find love or happiness or just maybe not want to kill himself?
I have got to say this was one of the goriest books I’ve ever read…so if you are not into that sort of thing, skip this one. The Leopold’s Apple (I’ll let you find out all about it in the book) is fictional but super creepy torture weapon. This book had a bunch of plot twists and turns, it kept me on the edge of my seat. I actually liked this one better than The Snowman. Harry Hole is his usual messed up, smart self. The killer is both psychotic and brilliant. The cabin deal is very intense. I loved the story and the mystery. If you like Nordic Noir, this is a good one! I give it eight shoes – teeteringly high stiletto pumps (it hurts so good!).
Three appeals : dark, intense setting, creepy thriller, twisty turny mystery
Red Flags : Sex, Violence, Gore, Language – not for children…
This is Jo Nesbo’s 6th Harry Hole installment, so if you like this one you should definitely try the others. The Snowman is similarly awesome. Other authors most frequently cited in the Nordic Noir realm include : Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and Camilla Lackberg. They all have series attributed to them and similarly contain the Seven Dwarfs 😉
Specifically you should also try :
1) The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
On a cold and rainy Stockholm night, nine bus riders are gunned down by an unknown assassin. The press, anxious for an explanation for the seemingly random crime, quickly dubs him a madman. But Superintendent Martin Beck of the Stockholm Homicide Squad suspects otherwise. This apparently motiveless killer has managed to target one of Beck s best detectives and he, surely, would not have been riding that lethal bus without a reason.
Do you like Nordic Noir? Who is your favorite?