When it comes to holidays, for me there’s one category of books that beats all others, and that’s the detective story. Having spent most of my previous vacations immersed in English and American crime novels, a few years ago I moved on to Swedish ones.
To me it seems that today Swedish crime writers are giving Dame Agatha, Elizabeth George, Dennis Lehane and the lot a run for their money. There’s a wealth of good ones to choose from: Åsa Larsson, Marie Ljungstedt, Viveca Lärn, Camilla Läckberg, the duo Roslund & Hällström – just to name a few.
A couple of years ago I spent most of our trip to Turkey reading Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy and this year’s been devoted to another Swede, Lars Kepler (a pseudonym for the couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho-Ahndoril). Under Kepler’s name they’ve so far published 2 novels: The Hypnotist and The Paganini Contract, of which I’ve just completed the first one. It was indeed thrilling stuff and now I’m looking forward to diving into The Paganini Contract, which some critics have claimed is even better.
A funny detail in Kepler’s books is that the main character, detective Joona Linna is of Finnish descent, he even speaks with at bit of an accent and his colleagues call him a Moomintroll :-). I also appreciate the fact that Kepler has made Joona Linna a fairly balanced and (in spite of his troubled profession) seemingly happy individual. So no more of those dreadfully tiresome, unhappily divorced and half-drunk policemen that so many crime novelists seem to favour…
On that note – have a murderous holiday everyone!