How did it all happen? One day we came to work and suddenly all people wanted to read was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As soon as we got to grips with the spelling of the author’s name and the sequence of the trilogy the phenomenon was already in full swing.
The stock team was busy with new orders to satisfy the demand and we were discovering the vastness and diversity of Scandinavian creativity. Some of us took eagerly to reading and finding out directly what the fuss was all about.
There are the Icelandic authors – Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Arnaldur Indridason, the Swedish – Camilla Ceder, Camilla Lackberg, Hakan Nesser, Mari Jungstedt and the ever so depressive Karin Alvtegen (Stieg Larsson too, of course), the Norwegian – Karin Fossum, Jo Nesbo and Anne Holt, and Dane Leif Davidsen.
The story lines are interesting and the suspense keeps you pretty breathless. You’re drawn to the large frozen expanses of the far North and the characters, most of the time, reflect the gloominess of the environment. You’re drawn into their world, their weaknesses and strengths and their bright approach to solving the crime – or to eluding justice. A beautiful portrait of humanity in dazzling scenery and a writing technique honed to high standards.
The tradition stems back to the times of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, and more recently Peter Hoeg (do you remember Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow?) but the turning point in the popularity of the genre – if we can call it that – came about, sadly, with the death of Stieg Larsson and the publication of his trilogy.
Please post a comment if you’ve found a particular author that you want to tell people about – who have we missed?