Dave Lull kindly sent me a link to an interesting article on Scandinavian crime fiction: Booklist Online – Hard-Boiled Gazetteer: Scandinavia, by Bill Ott (FEATURE). According to Bill Ott, the author, the current plethora of "Scandinavian noir" is rooted in the fall of the iron curtain and the subsequent waves of immigrants to a region that until then had been "defined by its insularity and lack of diversity". In a rich mixing of metaphors that will cause eyebrows to be raised at Language Log Plaza, Bill Ott says that the result was a "hard boiled melting pot waiting to be cracked".
Henning Mankell (Sweden) is said to be the first example of this new style, and after a potted summary of the Wallender books, Mr Ott turns to each Scandinavian country in turn, providing some "type example" authors and summaries of their books. Iceland is Arnaldur Indridason; Denmark Peter Hoeg; Norway Pernille Rygg (whom I hadn’t realised is Norwegian), Ann Holt, Karin Fossum and Gunnar Staalessen; and Sweden is Mari Junstedt, Kjell Eriksson, Kerstin Ekman, Harkan Nessar, Ake Edwardsen, Helene Tursten, Maj Sjowall/Per Wahloo and Asa Larsson. No mention of my favourite, Liza Marklund. It’s a good article, though, and worth reading if you’d like a brief tour of the main stops along the snowy wastes of ice-cold noir.