Bits and Pieces

Profmike reads Jo Nesbo’s Nemesis and pronounces it well worth the read. “What Jo Nesbo has also done – very cleverly, in my opinion  – is to introduce a larger, overarching narrative that spans across the series of Harry Hole novels. . . . This is writing that is far more complex that it at first seems, extremely readable, combining old-fashioned structures and the steady hand of the popular novelist with more contemporary perspectives and sensibilities.”

Becky, who reads A Book a Week, thinks Arnaldur Indridason has scored a hit. “I always like mysteries that are about something else besides the mystery. The Draining Lake is about a lot more than just who is the dead guy at the bottom of the lake. That’s why I think it’s the best Indriðason book I’ve read. He’s really hitting his stride as a mystery craftsman and as a novelist.”

Mark Rose at Bookasm thinks Johan Theorin’s Echoes from the Dead works very well and is a good example of the region’s crime fiction. “Some universal memes exist that seem to exemplify Scandinavian mystery fiction: They are all ineffably sad, they all seem to focus on domestic mysteries with crime close to home, there is a ton of self-contemplative navel gazing, and they’re not afraid to use less-than-glamorous characters as our main focal points.” (Hmm . . . one could also argue that Scandinavian mysteries are as likely to examine social issues as they are domestic crimes – if one can generalize at all. I wouldn’t say, for example, that Helene Tursten or Hakan Nesser write sad books . . .)

And finally . . . do you Facebook? Then join the new group, Fans of Scandinavian Crime Novels. And if you simply want to keep up with crime fiction from all over, check out the Crime and Mystery Fiction room at FriendFeed – thanks owed to Maxine Clarke for setting it up.

Nesbo speaks

I’ve signed up for a mysterious little Internets-thingy called FriendFeed that makes RSS feed aggregators social and am now receiving updates on crime fiction from multiple sources. (Thanks, Maxine!) One of the links that I discovered is a short interview with Jo Nebso posted at This Writing Life. One interesting tidbit – when asked how he got started writing, he responded that he read a lot first. “I basically postponed writing as long as I could, that was until I was 37. Then I started writing like a madman.”

No kidding – he has quite a long list in the Harry Hole series already, and each volume is quite long, generally 500 pages or more. But they fly by all too quickly.

Meanwhile, over at International Noir, Glenn Harper ponders Asa Larsson’s The Black Path, which he reckons is her best book yet. He makes some fascinating points about the book, including some great insights about one of the characters living in the future, and concludes “blogging and conversing in the crime-fiction blogosphere is proving to be a great way to think about what crime writers are doing and what crime fiction does and can accomplish in terms of both fiction writing and the relationship of the genre to contemporary life.” Very true – especially at his blog.

more reviews . . .

Dick Adler of the Trib is impressed by The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, now that it’s finally reached the US market. In the UK, lucky Brits get to read Arnaldur Indridason’s latest Erlenedur novel, Arctic Chill, and The Telegraph recommends that they do.

Margaret Cannon of The Globe and Mail thinks Asa Larsson’s The Black Path is well worth following, but Richard Lipez of the Washington Post thinks it meanders too much.

And finally – OffMyTrolley thinks Karin Fossum’s Black Seconds is first rate.