I entitle this posting “Now Reading” even though I am referencing two books I read last weekend while in a cabin in the woods in Wisconsin: The Undesired by Ysra Sigurdardottir and Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum. The “Now Reading” title though remains appropriate because I liked both books and authors enough that I know I will be reading much more of them.
Scandinavian Noir has been my genre of choice for awhile now. They have in fact been practically the only fiction books I have been able to read from start to finish.
I have especially enjoyed Icelandic Arnaldur Indridason and Swedish legend Henning Mankell. Over the past year I have read the following of both:
Jar City (2004)
Silence of the Grave (2005)
The Draining Lake (2007)
Arctic Chill (2008)
Reykjavik Nights (2014)
Into Oblivion (2016)
Faceless Killers (1991)
The Dogs of Riga (1992)
The White Lioness (1993)
The Fifth Woman (1996)
An Event in Autumn/The Hand (2004)
While I buy a lot of books, I do not purchase many mysteries. In part because I read them or abandon them so quickly. But mainly because I know they are not books I am going to want to read again. No matter how good the mystery is, once read, I am not going to pick it up again.
Hence, I read most of my mysteries as library books. EBooks downloaded onto my Kindle. It is what I enjoy in place of television or movies. But in the end it is the same. Something good and satisfying that takes my mind away from other things.
I will no doubt be mentioning other Sigurdardottir and Fossum books here over the next year because I will definitely be checking out more of their books from the library.
Check out both The Undesired and Don’t Look Back out. You’ll enjoy them both.
Plot Summaries from GoodReads.com
(One of the things that has traditionally kept me from doing book reviews here is plot summaries. I hate writing them. I am solving that now by quoting from, and providing a link to, GoodReads.com. Follow the links to learn more about these books.)
The Undesired by Ysra Sigurdardottir
Aldis is working in a juvenile detention centre in rural Iceland. She witnesses something deeply disturbing in the middle of the night; soon afterwards, two of the boys at the centre are dead.
Decades later, single father Odinn is looking into alleged abuse at the centre following the unexplained death of the colleague who was previously running the investigation. The more he finds out, though, the more it seems the odd events of the 1970s are linked to the accident that killed his ex-wife. Was her death something more sinister?
Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum
Meet Inspector Sejer: smart and enigmatic, tough but fair. At the foot of the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small, idyllic village, where neighbors know neighbors and children play happily in the streets. But when the body of a teenage girl is found by the lake at the mountaintop, the town’s tranquility is shattered forever. Annie was strong, intelligent, and loved by everyone. What went so terribly wrong? Doggedly, yet subtly, Inspector Sejer uncovers layer upon layer of distrust and lies beneath the town’s seemingly perfect façade.