yes, we have more links

Matthew Seamons is not impressed by Lars Keppler’s The Hypnotist, which he finds populated by flat and unsympathetic characters. The plot is clever, but the execution, he feels, lets it down.

At January Magazine, Tony Bushbaum disagrees, saying it adds up to more than the sum of its parts, has razor-sharp writing, and will be the book everyone is talking about this summer.

NancyO splits the difference with a very reasoned and thoughtful review.

CNN interviews the authors, who are planning a series of eight books. They say they originally tried to write anonymously but were found out by the media. They also say “we really need a kind of inner calm to be able to write, so we’re actually trying hard not to think about the success. ‘The Hypnotist’ has sold to more than 36 countries and has been a best-seller wherever it’s been published.” Hmm . . . maybe you need to work on that inner calm thing.

In non-hypnotic news, Peter Rozovsky has had several posts about Scandinavian crime fiction lately at his globetrotting blog, Detectives Beyond Borders. e uses a couple of quotes from Jarkko Sipila’s Helsinki Homicide: Against the Wall to introduce a question: what characteristics, if any, are common to Nordic crime fiction – and he gets lots of answers. He links to his review of The Snowman in the Philadelphia Inquirer and posts highlights of an interview he did with Jo Nesbo. And he takes some notes as he reads Harri Nykanen’s Raid and the Blackest Sheep, which he finds dark with a sprinkling of deadpan humor.

Among other mysteries, Marilyn Stasio reviews Hakan Nesser’s The Inspector and Silence, which she finds drier than most thrillers coming out of the north, with a morose and quirky hero in Van Veeteren.

Keishon reviews Jo Nesbo’s Nemesis at her blog which is (despite the name) not “just another crime fiction blog,” but a very good source of thoughtful reviews. She also recommends Johann Theorin and Arnaldur Indridason to readers who haven’t yet discovered them.

Kerri reviews Mari Jungstedt’s The Killer’s Art from her perch in paradise and finds it a bit flatter than other books in the series, but it still gets a pretty high score.

Fleur Fisher reviews The Gallows Bird and uses the occasion to unpack what it is she loves so much about Camilla Lackberg’s series and it’s “real people with real emotions.”

Maxine has early reports from Johan Theorin’s The Quarry and has made me exceedingly jealous.

Glenn Harper at International Crime Fiction reviews Mons Kallentoft’s Midwinter Sacrifice, which sounds quite unusual. Not as odd as sentient stuffed animals a la Tim Davys, but with the point of view of a corpse who apparently has not had a pleasant time of it.

Mediation’s To Be Read blog features an attempt to map Carl Mork’s Copenhagen, which has less definitive markers than Mankell’s Ystad or Larsson’s Stockholm. Still, he manages to illustrate it nicely with photos.

Stickers? We don’t need no stinking stickers, but the last one is priceless.

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3 thoughts on “yes, we have more links

  1. I was unimpressed with The Hypnotist. The book could have gone either way for a while, but the authors opted for excitement (chases, people leaping out of sheds etc) rather than plot, character or insight. It is as if they got bored with their set up a few chapters in and decided to switch direction. Pity as it had potential but what they did probably is more commercial and filmic.

    I seem to have been waiting forever for The Quarry, it’s pub date was pushed back here. From what you write it is even later in the US, I hope you get it soon. I haven’t finished it yet but am so loving it. (Terrible blurb on the back though, giving away something that doesn’t happen until 3/4 of the way through, how mad is that?)

  2. I am so glad that there are warnings about The Hypnotist. Because of various comments, I won’t be reading it. I think this kind of action and violence is simply due to a lack of good writing, and also perhaps to publishers’ directives on what they think sells.

    Why oh why can’t authors write character development, insights, a good plot line instead of this?

    And I saw your comment on FriendFeed about Nesbo and serial killers. I totally agree. I got a bit turned off in The Devil’s Star, while I thought Nemesis was one of the best thrillers I’d ever read.

    I have read in so many mysteries the author’s comments via a character that Scandinavian countries, in reality, have few or no serial killers, that unfortunately, that phenomenon is mostly found here.

    So let’s have some good, juicy detective stories without serial killers. And the more I read about The Snowman, the less enthusiastic I become.

    Nordic writers should look to the role models of Sjowall and Wahloo. They tracked individuals, uncovered elaborate crimes, had different characters, thinking, social issues. Their books stand the test of time. And to my knowledge, no serial killers.

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