more reviews, an interview, an interesting article, and a very busy Norm

At Reviewing the Evidence, Yvonne Klein reviews an early stand-alone thriller by Arnaldur Indridason, Operation Napoleon, just published in Canada. Though she misses Erlendur, his gloomy series hero, she finds it a decent thriller with a rewarding sense of place.

In the same issue of RTE, Larissa Kyzer reviews Ake Edwardson’s The Shadow Woman, an early entry in the Erik Winter series which she feels is not as accomplished as his later work.

Keishon reviews one of my very favorite books, Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason.  She likes it, too.

Beth reviews Henning Mankell’s The Pyramid and is impressed by the five stories that reveal Wallender’s past.

Maxine Clarke, reviewing Red Wolf by Liza Marklund at Euro Crime, finds that the long wait since we’ve had a new translation in this series has appeared has been worth it. She concludes, “I found the novel a completely absorbing read and continue to regard this series as second to none in contemporary crime writing. Annika is both a serious-minded, determined protagonist, and a brave heroine for our strange, mixed-up times.” Add another “cracking read” to the to-be-read pile!

PBS, which has been running the BBC version of Wallander in the US, has an interview with UC Berkeley professor Linda Rugg on the Scandinavian crime fiction phenomenon. She has interesting things to say about the critical role the arts play in Scandinavia’s social project to create an ideal society.

Norm, a.k.a. Uriah, finds there are three top contenders for the Swedish writer(s) of the decade based on what awards they’ve gathered. He also is sharing his thoughts as he reads Leif G. W. Persson’s long novel with a long title. He reveals who is up for the top honors among Swedish crime novels this year. And, (does he ever sleep? has he an army of Norms fanning out to investigate all things mysterious?) he reviews Rosland and Helstrom’s Three Seconds, making it compete for a slot on my TBR pile.

Finally,Joe Martin has a long and intriguing essay on the Millennium Trilogy at his blog, Peace and Pieces. A brief excerpt:

These novels strike me as being of the most serious intent: they are neither pure entertainment, nor exploitation books. Larson managed, with increasing success in these books, to become something of a real stylist, and poses a lot of provocative puzzles and paradoxes about life in these, our times. The attitudes toward women are a barometer of our progress or lack thereof.

Yet, in addition, the truth belongs to those, according to Carl Jung who can look at the shadow side. If one critic here commented that the Swedes in their apparent social paradise “Look a lot more like us” in these books – it’s not that we aren’t a society more beset by violence and hatreds than Sweden. Almost any objective sociologist would say we are. Yet the fact that these phenomena exist everywhere, and seize control of our behavior, our politics and our sense of “right conduct” in business and politics is something that cannot be denied.

8 thoughts on “more reviews, an interview, an interesting article, and a very busy Norm

  1. Oh, so good to see a new post. I agree on “The Silence of the Grave,” being a favorite; it is one of my top reads also, and one of the top among Indridason’s books.
    I rue that I cannot get Liza Marklund’s books in my public library, and feel I’m really missing out on a good series. May have to actually find room in my budget for these.
    Yes, Norm has been posting a lot on Scandinavian mysteries. When I asked him about Henning Mankell’s standing, being surprised he wasn’t a top contender for Swedish writer of the decade, he replied that Mankell was the top contender for the previous decade.
    Am reading “City of Veils” by Zoe Ferraris and “Containment” by Vanda Symon to keep up with my informal global challenge, and feel I must finish before returning to U.S., British and Nordic works.

  2. Barbara, thanks for all the publicity and hype. The cheque [check] will be in the post. I do sleep, but as I am retired I have plenty of time for blogging. That is when I am not out enjoying the beautiful scenery of England’s South West.

  3. There is an excellent review of Shadow Woman up today at International Noir Fiction, Glenn Harper’s blog. I was not going to go back and read the early Edwardsons now being translated, but this review changes my mind!

    I am currently reading Operation Napoleon so will not read the review until I am done. I am quite enjoying it so far, not being sure what to expect when I started it.

    I just love that Annika series by Liza Marklund. I don’t know why exactly, but I just find it really “hits the spot”.

    • I will have to read Glenn’s review. I reviewed the Edwardson for Mystery Scene and actually liked it better than Sun and Shadow. It’s the opposite of fast paced, but once I got in the groove, I found the deliberate, painstaking investigation of a very old crime really intriguing. I’m not a huge Winter fan, though. I would probably dislike him in real life.

  4. Kathy, I’ll be interested in hearing what you think of City of Veils. I heard the author speak at B’Con. I started her first book, but had trouble wrapping my head around a traditional Saudi man interacting with a Western woman. I lived there, and the crazy social prohibitions make this seem too implausible (though so did she, and was more “inside” the culture than I ever was, having married a Saudi, so don’t take my word for it).

  5. I opened up “City of Veils,” and had a hard time with it, because of the oppression of women, and what women have to do to survive. (It made me exhausted to even contemplate the daily steps and rituals.) I wasn’t thinking so much about the author and her ex-spouse. She coped in some way.
    “Finding Nouf” was interesting as I learned about the culture, but I don’t know if I can read an entire book which is so filled with inequities and punishments for disobedience for such routine things.
    But if it’s a good read, I’ll find a way.

  6. “City of Veils” continues to be an excellent read, but it’s taking a long time–have to think, can’t just turn pages quickly.

    Was just wondering if anyone knows why more books by the excellent writer Kjell Eriksson aren’t being translated into English and published? Just looked up his name and he has written more books, but none seem to be in the pipeline for English publication? His books are so good. No, he’s not the next Stieg Larsson, but he is a very good writer of characters, plots, etc.

  7. Regarding Eriksson, since they didn’t even manage to publish what books they have done in order (the one that explains the backstory on the main character’s pregnancy etc is really good)…Mind you, he’s not a favourite author, but he’s just as good as other things being translated.

    Speaking of Swedish fiction, I just read the last Wallander (in German). Wondering why – not only have I read it months ahead of most of my friends and now can’t discuss it, it was depressing enough that it’s put a real crimp in my mood for the coming week! (There are some things I like realism in. Others not – and Mankell happened to go for one of the latter. It’s telegraphed enough that it wasn’t a shock, but even so…)

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