Nordic Crime in March

Lately I have read two Nordic mysteries (both library books).

First Håkan Nesser, a Swedish stand-alone called “The Worms (or the Snakes) on Carmine Street”. Not translated into English yet.

A mystery which has a couple of things in common with Paul Auster´s New York trilogy. The narrator (a writer) loses his four-year-old daughter and is unable to write like before. He and his wife wander off to New York where they are involved in what looks like a long row of mysterious coincidences. Contrary to Auster´s postmodern meaninglessness there is more hope for a happy ending, however.

Difficult to say what I think about this very different mystery. As a rule I don´t mind a slow pace, but I didn´t really warm to the characters either. Besides, the translation was distracting to say the least.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir, The Day is Dark.

The fourth Icelandic Thora Gudmondsdottir mystery. For a change, the story is set in Greenland where some mine workers disappear. Thora´s German lover persuades her to go with him as his bank is financially involved in the mining project.

If you have liked the first three, I am sure you will also enjoy this one.

Håkan Nesser, Ormene på Carmine Street (2010)

Denne bog har flere ting til fælles med Paul Austers New York-trilogi. Forfatter-fortælleren mister sin fireårige datter og er ikke i stand til at skrive som før. Han og hans kone fortaber sig i New York, hvor de bliver hvirvlet ind i hvad der ligner en lang række mystiske sammentræf. I modsætning til Austers postmoderne meningsløshed er der dog lidt mere formål med de ugennemskuelige begivenheder her, mere tro på den lykkelige slutning.

Konklusion: jeg ved ikke helt, hvad jeg synes om bogen, som ikke var specielt godt oversat. Hvem siger dog ´et skilt med det sinistre navn´? Og jeg er ret sikker på, den enestående gravide kvinde i virkeligheden var single, eftersom vi aldrig hører mere om hende. Tjah.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Isblå spor (2011)

Den fjerde islandske Thora Gudmundsdottir-krimi. Til en forandring foregår historien i Grønland, hvor nogle minearbejdere er forsvundet på mystisk vis. Thoras tyske kæreste overtaler hende til at tage med til Grønland for at se på omstændighederne, da banken han er ansat af, er involveret økonomisk.

Biblioteksbog – spændende; god læseoplevelse som sædvanlig.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Håkan Nesser, Icelandic, review, review 2012, Swedish, Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Nordic Crime in March

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Dorte – Thanks for these peeks at what you’ve been reading. I think I would have to be in the right mood to read the Nesser. I generally enjoy his work but this one sounds like a different kind of novel.
    And of course, I like Yrsa’s work very much, so I’m glad you liked The Day is Dark :-).

  2. Bill Selnes says:

    Dorte: I am going to have to find Yrsa’s book. It would provide a 3rd book I have read that was set in Greenland. For our nearest large neighbour we know very little about Greenland in Canada.

  3. Margot: I have enjoyed each and every Van Veeteren novel, and his new series even more, but this one was an unlucky experiment in my opinion.
    Bill: Yrsa´s series is very stable, not quite realistic, but very fine apart from that. And I also enjoyed the Greenland setting though you may not learn that much about ordinary circumstances in this one 😉

  4. I have never read Nordic fiction, including mysteries, so I am making a note of some fine authors and titles here. I am looking beyond Steig Larsson, whose trilogy has become quite popular in India, or the prolific Jo Nesbo, about whom I read on the internet recently, to 20th century literature, maybe even earlier. I’ll have to see if the translated works of the latter are available in my country.

  5. Petty Witter says:

    Amazing how some titles speak to you, begging to be read – The Day Is Dark it seems is once such title.

  6. kathy d. says:

    I like Hakan Nesser’s Van Veeteren series. They’ve grown on me. I will try the stand-alone, if the library carries it eventually, after translation.
    And I do like Yrsa Sigurdadottir’s series so I will read it when the library has it. I’m still waiting for book three which is on order, but taking forever.

  7. I am just about to start a Nesser novel, the first one I have read.

  8. Tracy: and the novel lives up to the title. Excitement is one of Sigurdardottir´s strongest points.
    Kathy: yes, I also miss Van Veeteren a lot.
    Amanda: probably the Van Veeteren series? They are quiet, but of excellent quality.

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