Thursday 21 June 2018


I've not read too much crime fiction from Scandinavia over recent years. More intent on stock-piling than actually reading them. I have six different authors from Norway to get my teeth into at some point....

Gunnar Staalesen, Karin Fossum, Jo Nesbo, K.O. Dahl, Anne Holt and Jorn Lier Horst

K.O. Dahl - The Fourth Man (2007)

Dahl is an unknown quantity - this has sat on the pile for a fair few years, along with the second in the series.

In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frolich of the Oslo Police saves Elizabeth Faremo from getting inadvertently caught in crossfire. By the time he learns that she is the sister of Jonny Faremo, wanted member of a larceny gang, it is already too late. He is obsessed. Suspected, suspended, and blindly in love, Frolich must find out if he is being used before his life unravels beyond repair.

Gunnar Staalesen - The Writing on the Wall (1995 - probably later in translation) 

Enjoyed something from Staalesen about a year ago - Wolves in the Dark, but I've not rushed back to him.

In this crime drama, set in Bergen, Norway, detective Varg Veum's adventures take him into a dark world of privileged citizens who have been drawn into cross-dressing, drugs, and prostitution. When the local judge is discovered dead and clad only in women's lingerie in a luxury hotel, Varg is called in to explain the judge's death. Soon, when a teenage girl suddenly goes missing and her parents ask that he find her,Varg finds that all of the clues lead him deeper into Bergen's criminal underworld.

Karin Fossum - Don't Look Back (2002)

Another author I thought I might have read, but I was wrong  - confusing her with Sweden's Karin Alvtegen, doh....

Beneath the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small village where the children run in and out of one another's houses and play unafraid in the streets. But the sleepy village is like a pond through which not enough water runs - beneath the surface it is beginning to stagnate. When a naked body is found by the lake at the top of the mountain, its seeming tranquility is disturbed forever. Enter Inspector Sejer, a tough, no-nonsense policeman whose own life is tinged by sadness. As the suspense builds, and the list of suspects grows, Sejer's determination to discover the truth will lead him to peel away layer upon layer of distrust and lies, in this tiny community where apparently normal family ties hide dark secrets. Critically acclaimed across Europe, Karin Fossum's novels evoke a world that is terrifyingly familiar. Don't Look Back introduces the tough, ethical Inspector Sejer to British readers for the first time.

Anne Holt- 1222 (2007)

Another speculative punt in the dark. I've heard of this series, but only bought this one which I liked the sound of.

1222 metres above sea level, train 601 from Oslo to Bergen careens of iced rails as the worst snowstorm in Norwegian history gathers force around it. Marooned in the high mountains with night falling and the temperature plummeting, its 269 passengers are forced to abandon their snowbound train and decamp to a centuries-old mountain hotel. They ought to be safe from the storm here, but as dawn breaks one of them will be found dead, murdered. With the storm showing no sign of abating, retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is asked to investigate. But Hanne has no wish to get involved. She has learned the hard way that truth comes at a price and sometimes that price just isn't worth paying. Her pursuit of truth and justice has cost her the love of her life, her career in the Oslo Police Department and her mobility: she is paralysed from the waist down by a bullet lodged in her spine. Trapped in a wheelchair, trapped by the killer within, trapped by the deadly storm outside, Hanne's growing unease is shared by everyone in the hotel. Should she investigate, or should she just wait for help to arrive? And all the time rumours swirl about a secret cargo carried by train 601. Why was the last carriage sealed? Why is the top floor of the hotel locked down? Who or what is being concealed? And, of course, what if the killer strikes again?

Jo Nesbo - Phantom (2012)

Read a few Nesbo's but only one Harry Hole so far - The Bat - 5 1/2 years ago!

When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong - fleeing the traumas of life as a cop - he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn't help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets of Oslo (and the careers of some of the city's highest officials), and into the maze of his own past, where he will find the wrenching truth that finally matters to Oleg, and to himself.

Jorn Lier Horst - Dregs (2011)

Liked the cover, liked the blurb, bought the book, shelved it, forgot it.

Meet Chief Inspector William Wisting, Head of CID in Larvik, Norway, the latest unforgettable import from Scandinavian crime fiction. An experienced policeman who is familiar with the dark side of human nature, he lives in challenging times for the Norwegian police force, meeting them with integrity and humanity, and a fragile belief that he can play a part in creating a better world. A police report of a shoe containing a severed foot washed up on the sand introduces CI William Wisting. Soon a second is washed up, but it is another left. Has there been some kind of terrible accident at sea? Does it indicate the killing and dismembering of two victims? Is there a link with the unsolved mystery of a number of disappearances in the Larvik area in recent months? In this gripping police procedural, Wisting gradually gets to the bottom of the mystery with the help of his all too human colleagues and his journalist daughter, Line.


  1. Oh, you've got some good ones there, Col. I really like Fossum's Konrad Sejer series. And the Holt and the Horst are also very well written in my opinion. When you get to them, I really do think you'll enjoy them. I hope you do.

    1. All three of your picks are new to me authors. I'm looking forward to them all, Margot

  2. I've read two or three Fossums and liked them a lot: definitely on my list to read more. With Holt, I much enjoyed 1222 but the next two of hers I read I thought were mediocre at best, so I gave up on her; it's possible, of course, that I was just unlucky. I've enjoyed the Nesbos I've read, although, oddly enough, the one I thought fell behind the rest was The Bat!

    Staalesen and Dahl both bob constantly near the top of my Try Next list; I really must get my act together on both off them. (I really like the series of movies/TV movies based on the former's Varg Veum novels, especially its first set.)

    Horst is new to me. Looks good.

    1. Hope you enjoy the Horst, Staalesen and Dahl when/if you get there. I'll let you know how these go in due course. (Whenever that may be.)

  3. I have read a couple of Ann Holt novels and one Nesbo. I liked what I have read by those authors. The others I have not tried. I have a good number of books by Scandinavian authors that I have not tried yet.

    1. I'm the same, more untried than tried. I kind of regret buying so many.

  4. I've tried Holt and Staalesen and liked them both, particularly Staalesen, must get something else by him. And I have a Nesbo lined up on the shelf.

    1. 3 from 6 not too bad. I never seem to fancy reading them when pondering my next book. But I enjoy them when I do pick them up.