Tuesday 7 January 2014


After reading a total of maybe 3 or 4 Scandinavian Crime books in the couple of yours preceding 2013, I thought it was probably time to stop talking and blog-commenting about Scandi crime and actually go and read some.

In theory I wanted to read 1 a month throughout the year, but as long as I achieved a total of 12 in 2013, I would consider my challenge met.

Here's what I read:

January - Jo Nesbo - The Bat (4)

February - Arnaldur Indridason - The Draining Lake (5)

March - Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Played With Fire (4)

April - Leif G. W. Persson - Between Summer's Longing And Winter's End (4)

April - Camilla Lackberg - The Stranger (2)

May - Leif G.W. Persson - Another Time, Another Life (4)

June - Asa Larsson - The Savage Altar (4)

July - Jo Nesbo - Headhunters (3)

August - Leif G.W. Persson - Linda, As In The Linda Murder (4)

September - Karin Alvtegen - Missing (3)

October - Leif G.W. Persson - He Who Kills The Dragon (5)

Nov/December - Leif Davidsen - Lime's Photograph (4)

December - Hallgrimur Helgason - The Hitman's Guide To Housecleaning (3)

In summary, I read 13 books in the year, the majority of which were very enjoyable. 

4 by Persson, a couple by Nesbo and 1 book each from another 7 authors. 

10 male written books by 6 different authors, 3 female authors,

8 from Sweden, 2 from Norway, 2 from Iceland and 1 from Denmark.

I'm grateful to my local library for providing 3 of the read, Net Galley provided 1, 4 books were pre-owned and another 4 were acquired (along with unread others) for the purposes of meeting the challenge.

Leif G.W. Persson was my favourite author of the bunch, though I will want to read more from Nesbo and Indridason. Indridason would be my second favourite author if pushed to choose.

Persson whilst enjoyable and entertaining, by turn proved frustrating and infuriating. At times bang on the money......at times long-winded and guilty of wandering off topic. More from him would be good for sure, but hey let's save the rain forests.......shorter offerings please!

Scandinavian plans for 2014? None, I will try and get a bit further along with Nesbo's Harry Hole series, but I'm stalled until my local library gets hold of Cockroaches. 

Indridason and Stiegg Larsson, I'd love to read more from in 2014, as much to put the Dragon trilogy to bed as anything. I do feel as though I have scratched the Scandinavian itch for a while.

Regrets? I probably would have liked to read Hoeg's Smilia book as well as a couple from Nesser, but they are lurking on the library, so I will get to them at some point. 

The benefit of this post will mean I can now remove my 2013 Scandinavian side-bar!


  1. It's always good to succeed at a challenge you've set yourself isn't it. Given the relative placements of these authors in your list I'd think you might enjoy Roslund and Hellstrom books if you're ever in the market for more Scandi crime - one of them is a journalist and one an ex-con and they have had huge success with three or four books - I've read two and I loved one and didn't much like the other but mostly because of the violence which I am squeamish about whereas you're probably not. And James Thompson is good too - he was born in America but has lived and worked in Finland for a dozen years or so and has a series set there that is good and contains none of the 'soap opera' elements that you found in the Lackberg.

    Of course you'll need to get through your existing 2000 odd books first but just in case :)

    1. Bernadette, you're right.he says with a smug grin!
      R+H, I have seen some reviews for and kind of thought maybe......but sort of declined due to the length of them and the amount of books I already have. I looked on Amazon, I of them is available for a pound, so I might take a punt, but don't know when I'll get to it. You're right insofar as I don't think the violence would deter me.

      James Thompson, I'm unfamiliar with, but I'll check him out thanks.
      I have had Hans Koppel(?) recommended to me, but am undecided as yet - have you read him?

  2. Col, my geography about Scandinavia is better than my knowledge of Scandinavian fiction which seems to be taking the shape of a growing literary movement. It's time I brought some balance there.

    1. Prashant - I will try and get you to set your comics aside for a while and read some contemporary crime fiction.......only joking - read what makes you happy!

    2. Col, I'm reading one contemporary novel including Indian fiction for every two early or vintage books. I hope to post some reviews soon as I find time.

    3. Looking forward to your reviews and all your other entertaining posts.

  3. I should copy you and do a Scandi challenge - I dabble in the water now and then, but don't take it seriously enough!

    1. Moira, I prefer it if you undertook a Noir-hard-boiled challenge, but hey - baby steps first.....

  4. Col - Well done on completing the challenge you set yourself. And I think you've read a good cross-section of what's out there too. If you ever get the chance, I hope you'll try some of Håkan Nesser's work. He's done some excellent novels I think.

    1. Margot - it's been noted, hopefully I can squeeze in a Nesser at some point this year!

  5. Very impressive. I did not read as much Scandinavian fiction in 2013 as I thought I would. I did buy a lot of books by Scandinavian authors though. One of them was by Persson.

    1. Tracy, I hope you enjoy Persson when you get there...........which one was it?

    2. Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End. I was motivated by your review.

    3. Cool.....it's a great book, if not a wee bit over-long, but I'll be curious to see how you find it.