Some Scandinavian books I am looking forward to reading

As an avid follower of Karen’s Amazon lists and Euro Crime blog, I am eagerly awaiting several novels and keep checking them out on Amazon, which then obligingly keeps reminding me about them. Despite the windy weather, summer must be nearly upon us because several of these tempting books are finally about to be published. Among those that I am keenly awaiting are:

Outrage by Arnaldur Indridason, translated by Anna Yates and published by Harvill Secker, who currently have a very good list of translated crime fiction. This Icelandic novel is the seventh in the Erlunder series (the first two have not yet been translated but reviews of the rest, several by me, can be found at Euro Crime). Along with Vargas and Camilleri, Indridason is a favourite among the Euro Crime regular reviewers. In Outrage, the investigation is undertaken by Det. Elinborg as Erlunder is away. I hope my favourite depressive will make more than a brief appearance, though.

Misterioso by Arne Dahl, translated by Tiina Nunnally and published by Pantheon. As the blurb puts it: “The first novel in Arne Dahl’s gripping Intercrime series—widely considered to be one of Sweden’s best—Misterioso is a penetrating, dark, and absorbing introduction to this acclaimed author’s world.” Arne Dahl is the pen name of Swedish literary critic and novelist Jan Arnald.

Until Thy Wrath be Past by Asa Larsson, translated by Laurie Thompson and published by MacLehose Press. This Swedish novel is the fourth in the Rebecka Martinsson series. The first three titles, beautifully translated by Marlaine Delargy, are among my very favourite crime novels (see my Euro Crime reviews). I’ve had to wait a while for the fourth novel owing to a change of publisher, but I am sure the wait will be worth it. Two strong female protagonists (a financial lawyer and a police detective) and journeys into the dark secrets underlying “respectable” society and family lives – perfection. (The publisher has not listed the translator on the Amazon entry, to its shame.)

The Day is Dark by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, translated by who knows?* and published by Hodder and Stoughton. Another Icelandic series, this one about witty lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir, her predilection for mysteries and her complicated but warm family and (attempted) romantic life. Reviews of the first three titles can be read at Euro Crime. *It is very remiss of the publisher not to list the translator on its website or on the book’s Amazon listing. There is a big, silly promotional sticker on the cover, but no mention there or in the bibliographic details of the translator. The first novels were translated by the late Bernard Scudder (1 and 2), Anna Yates (2) and Philip Roughton (3).

The Quarry by Johan Theorin, translated by (I guess!) Marlaine Delargy and published by Doubleday (another publisher with a black mark from me for not listing the translator). Johan Theorin is in my opinion the best Swedish crime-fiction author writing today (and perhaps the best crime author from anywhere?), he is certainly in a different class to “hyped” authors such as Stieg Larsson, “Lars Kepler” and Sissel-Jo Gazan. This book is the third in his loose series set on the island of Oland. My reviews of the previous two titles (both CWA winners) are at Euro Crime.

The Caller by Karin Fossum, translated by K E Semmel and published by Harvill Secker (the only publisher among this book collection that bothers to acknowledge the translator in online listings, though gets a black mark here for the sticker on the front cover comparing this author to Jo Nesbo – polar opposites!). This is the eighth in the Inspector Sejer series: the first has not been translated from its native Norwegian but reviews of the rest (some by me) are at Euro Crime. These novels are not “crime fiction” but rather seek to illuminate some aspect of human psychology and failing. I also highly recommend Fossum’s standalone novel, Broken, which would be a perfect introduction to this marvellous author.

This list is not comprehensive (of course!) but highlights some of the books I shall definitely be reading. Some other Scandinavian offerings that are not quite out yet I’ve already been lucky enough to read in proof – reviews of these will be appearing at Euro Crime over the next few weeks or months: The Dead of Summer by Mari Jungstedt (translated from Swedish by Tiina Nunnally); The Dinosaur Feather by Sissal-Jo Gazan (translated from Danish by Charlotte Barslund); The Hypnotist by “Lars Kepler” (translated from Swedish by Ann Long); and Winter of the Lions by Jan Costin Wagner (translated from German by Anthea Bell; the book is set in Finland). I’ve also recently reviewed on Euro Crime some very good new titles, including the superb Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen (translated from Danish by Lisa Hartford) and The Gallows Bird by Camilla Lackberg (translated from Swedish by Steven T. Murray).