review round-up and misanthropy to look forward to

Uriah (aka Norm) reviews Jo Nesbo’s Redeemer – “absolutely superb crime fiction” – which I am eager to read.

Peter Rozovsky comments on the music references in Redeemer, and what they say about change in a detective character who is maturing. He also points to an earlier instance of a music reference demonstrating how very funny some Scandinavian writers can be.

And if you think stuffed animals for characters was a one-off aberation in Scandinavian crime fiction which is otherwise straightforward realism, Karen Meek of Euro Crime points out a forthcoming translation of Unfun by Matias Faldbakken. The  summary bears repeating:

Using the dramaturgy of the rape/revenge flicks of the Seventies as a framework for his narrative, Faldbakken cooks up a grotesquely hilarious and challenging story about the crew around the online slasher game ”Deathbox”, at the center of which are the ’violence intellectual’ Slaktus and his former girlfriend and victim Lucy, an anarchist who embodies the horror film’s Final Girl trope. Problematizing concepts of oppression, freedom, and power in different contexts, Faldbakken lets Lucy meet out revenge on her oppressors in a narrative littered with references to popular culture, which bears Faldbakken’s trademark of being at once seriously disturbing and highly entertaining.

One decidedly unfun tradition for translations, however, is preserved here – we’ll get to read the third book in a trilogy first. But who can resist a trilogy titled “Scandinavian Misanthropy?”

And catching up on all the news that fit to feed – among FriendFeed friendsShots Magazine has an interview with Camilla Lackberg, Reg reports that Stieg Larsson won the Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year award at the Galaxy British Book Awards, which apparently is called “the Nibbies.” CrimeFic Reader has more at It’s a Crime! (Or a Mystery). And Random Jottings has good things to say about Lackberg’s The Preacher, which she found a “tightly plotted, well thought out thriller” that was less morose than she expected from watching Branagh’s Wallander.

Redeemer reviewed

Marcel Berlins says good things about Jo Nesbo’s The Redeemer in The Times. “The Norwegian Jo Nesbo has been gradually climbing up the competitive league of Nordic crime writers. With The Redeemer he’s touching the summit, and his hero, the stubborn, insubordinate Oslo detective Harry Hole, has become my favourite copper from those parts. . . . Terrific shocks, tension and atmosphere.”

In The Independent, Jane Jakeman says of The Redeemer, “I will never feel happy confronting my vacuum cleaner now that Jo Nesbo has revealed its sinister possibilities.” She  finds it a complex and disturbing book, but too long and digressive for her tastes.

But Margaret Cannon of the Globe and Mail says it’s a “tour de force. Nesbo has a plot here that is so tightly constructed and compelling that it’s impossible to put the book down.”  She concludes,

What’s clever is just how the clues are dug up in a seemingly impenetrable case. There is no connection between the killer and the victim, no weapon and, of course, no discernible motive. How Hole uncovers the links in a chain of death is what keeps the story moving, and Nesbo never lets up on the truly gripping suspense. Absolutely Nesbo’s best translated into English so far, and, I expect, one of the year’s best.

Note to self: stop drooling on the keyboard . . .