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Nordic Crime fiction continues to captivate readers, new titles from Sweden and Finland.
Nordic fiction fulfills expectations by delivering on the genre's promise of brutal crime, astute detective work, and a heavy dose of ambience in a simple and realistic style. Can we ever get enough?
“Fans of Nordic crime should give this inventive author a read. Room No. 10 is an unusual and engaging experience.”
Mr. Thompson knows Nordic Noir. Having published three critically acclaimed books in the Inspector Vaara series, with a fourth, Helsinki Blood, due for release on March 21, he is a member in good standing of the Nordic crime writers community that has soared in notoriety since the publication of Stieg Larrson’s Millenium series.
James Thompson, a Kentucky native, has made Finland his home for 15 years. His stories are deeply immersed in Finnish culture. As a foreigner though, his vantage point is unique, obliging him to view Finnish society with an analytical eye that often lends a controversial element to his work. Mr. Thompson’s third novel, Helsinki White, draws attention to that country’s rampant racism.
Setting is a critical element in this genre. Mr. Thompson’s first novel Snow Angels was filled with icy descriptions of Finnish Lapland, a chilling backdrop to a brutal murder. The review of Room No. 10 notes Edwardson’s microscopic focus:
“The novel is weighted heavily toward description of nearly every aspect from the setting, Gothenburg, to exposition concerning anything and everything. Pages are dedicated to a discussion of pancakes and syrup, and as mentioned, every facet of Winter's inner world and his ambivalence toward nearly everything.”
Both authors paint likeable characters who are a curious combination of loyal, playful, and savage. Regarding Detective Winter and team Mr. Thompson comments:
“The investigative crime team sometimes teases and bullies, at other times showing empathy toward one another, as alpha males and longtime colleagues are wont to do.”
One area of contrast is that Mr. Thompson’s guys are more typically Nordic in their stoicism, while Edwardson delves more deeply into his character’s psyche:
“Winter questions the value of his life, relationship, and career, then proceeds to question his questioning of it, again and again, from different perspectives—
Both investigative teams possess keen powers of observation and have acute insight into people and their motivations;
Connect to New York Journal of Books and read Jim Thompson’s full review of Ake Edwardson’s Room No. 10. Experience this captivating genre through the eyes of two accomplished authors.
NYJB reviews Room No. 10 by Jim Thompson (http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/
While at http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/
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