Book reviews by country: Sweden

For my series this summer, I am providing selections of book reviews by country. Either the author is from the country named in the post, or the book is set there.

is a big favourite of mine: I have 37 archived reviews of books from this region, and probably a few more on Euro Crime. They start, properly, with Roseanna, the first of the magnificent ten-book classic series by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (various translators). I have so far read and reviewed nine of these, saving up the tenth one because it is the last.

Following in the footsteps of these authors, I've read and reviewed some of the Kurt Wallendar series by Henning Mankell (various translators), though most of these novels I read as they were translated (out of series order, annoyingly) some years before I had ever heard of blogging, or of Sjowall and Wahloo, so have not written up reviews of them. Most recently, I enjoyed this author's non-series novel The Man From Beijing.

There are several other Swedish authors who are serious favourites of mine. Asa Larsson, whose books Sun Storm, The Blood Spilt, and The Black Path are darkly excellent and wonderfully translated by Marlaine Delargy. There are three more to go in this series. Helene Tursten writes about the admirable Detective Inspector Huss (followed by The Torso and The Glass Devil), various translators. I am hoping so much the rest of her books will be translated into English.

Karin Alvtegen is another huge favourite: her (non-series) novels Missing, Betrayal, Shadow and Shame (Anna Paterson and Steve Murray have translated these) are totally my kind of book. Kjell Ericksson and Ake Edwardson write solid police procedural series set in Uppsala and Gothenberg, respectively. And on the islands, Johan Theorin is a wonderfully talented author whose novels are set on the island of Oland. Echoes from the Dead is a marvellous debut, and The Darkest Room deservedly won the 2010 CWA International Dagger. The translator, again, is the excellent Marlaine Delargy. The nearby island of Gotland is the scene of the novels by Mari Jungstedt (translator Tiina Nunnally), a nice mix of police procedural, journalism and romance.

One cannot mention Sweden, of course, without the magnificent Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I've reviewed all three novels (ably translated by Reg Keeland) and am thrilled at the amazing success that they are now enjoying.

Add to this array of talent the novels of Inger Frimansson (Good Night, My Darling, The Shadow in the Water, and Island of the Naked Women); Hakan Nesser (the highly enjoyable if often bleak ten-book Inspector Van Veeteren series set somewhere that seems suspiciously like Holland to me); Camilla Lackberg (translator Steve Murray); and the duo Roslund-Hellstrom, and it begins to become apparent why I spend so much time in this neck of the woods.

My Swedish reviews.

Book reviews by country: The Netherlands

For my series this summer, I am providing selections of book reviews by country. Either the author is from the country named in the post, or the book is set there.

 I may not have read and reviewed many novels by authors in The Netherlands, but I have certainly enjoyed them. Saskia Noort's two short but totally gripping books Back to the Coast and The Dinner Club absolutely go down a treat. So does The Reunion by Simone van der Vlugt and Close-Up by Esther Verhoef. There is something energetic about all of these novels that really carries the reader along. They all have strong psychological elements about them, concerning errors of perception in a landscape where nothing is as it seems. 

My reviews from The Netherlands.