What should I read after Stieg Larsson?
April 27, 2010 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Having just read Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, etc), and loved it, what should I read next?

I enjoyed the strong but eccentric female lead, and the overall themes. Suggestions?
posted by tonyx3 to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 71 users marked this as a favorite
I'm only halfway through Dragon Tattoo, but it reminds me of what I loved about Gorky Park.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:30 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

You will LOVE Out by Natsuo Kirino. (The Larsson books were recommended to me because of my love of all things Kirino.)
posted by meerkatty at 7:34 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was just thinking of asking this myself. Looking forward to the answers.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:39 PM on April 27, 2010

Perhaps it is because I read them almost one after the other, but I suggest Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin.

For some reason, Larsson also reminded me of Murakami, though Murakami makes use of magical realism quite often. Still, the sense of eccentricity and mystery is very similar.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 7:54 PM on April 27, 2010

The Wallander novels for more Swedish crime. I haven't read them but I saw the British tv series and liked it a lot. (I also liked Larsson's trilogy--although why he felt the need to list every piece of Ikea furniture by name is beyond me).
posted by cocoagirl at 8:06 PM on April 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Seconding Kirino.

Also try Arnaldur Indridason, Kjell Eriksson and Karin Fossum.
posted by BibiRose at 8:58 PM on April 27, 2010

Oh, and Smilla's Sense of Snow and other books by Peter Hoeg.
posted by BibiRose at 8:59 PM on April 27, 2010

Strong women? Smilla's Sense of Snow has a protagonist who could crack Salander like an icicle. So does Norman Rush's Mating, albeit in an entirely different climate.

If it was Salander's hacking you particularly liked, you might want to look at Ellen Ullman's Close to the Machine.

Larsson himself wore his influences on his sleeve. Namechecking only a few of the crime novelists he referenced in Dragon Tattoo, you might like Sara Paretsky, Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers.
posted by rdc at 9:06 PM on April 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

Mr. hgg suggests Cara Black--Murder in Belleville (first in a series with detective Aimee Leduc) and anything by Fred Vargas.

I second the suggestion above for Arnaldur Indridason and also recommend the Detective Inspector Irene Huss series by Helene Tursten. (I think this is like the third or fourth time I've mentioned Tursten in an AskMe thread, but she is a wonderful writer.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:50 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes I'm with cocoagirl. Wallander is a good character in a similar Scandinavian setting and has a burnt-out worldliness which is very appealing. I much prefer the Swedish version of the tv series you can catch some of it on BBC4 or iplayer if you're in the UK. Kenneth Branagh is good, but doesn't work as well as the Swedish actor imo. The books have a similarly sparse and direct style, and Larsson admired the books.
posted by multivalent at 5:13 AM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yep and seconding hurdy gurdy with the Fred Vargas recommendation. I would go for the Commisaire Adamsberg series.
from Wikipedia:

1996 - L'Homme aux cercles bleus; English translation: The Chalk Circle Man, 2009
1999 - L'Homme à l'envers; English translation: Seeking Whom He May Devour, 2004, (Prix Mystère de la critique)
2000 - Les quatre fleuves; English translation: The Four Rivers. Graphic novel (with Edmond Baudoin).
2001 - Pars vite et reviens tard; English translation: Have Mercy on Us All, 2003, (Prix des libraires)
2002 - Coule la Seine (ill. by Edmond Baudoin). Collection of three novellas: Salut et liberté, La Nuit des brutes, and Cinq francs pièce.
2004 - Sous les vents de Neptune; English translation: Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand, 2007
2006 - Dans les bois éternels; English translation: This Night's Foul Work, 2008
2008 - Un lieu incertain; English translation: A Dubious Place
posted by multivalent at 5:16 AM on April 28, 2010

The progenitor of both Wallander and the Millenium Trilogy is the Martin Beck series from the 1960s and 70s by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. It's excellent.
posted by grumblebee at 6:26 AM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Larsson also mentions Val McDermid several times. I'm in the middle of "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and plan to look up VMcD when I'm finished with the trilogy. I've heard good things about her work.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 7:32 AM on April 28, 2010

Speaking of Val McDermid, she is quoted as saying "Without Aud, it's hard to see how there could have been a Lisbeth Salander" in reference to Nicola Griffth's fantastic Aud Torvingen trilogy (The Blue Place, Stay, Always).
posted by jzed at 8:42 AM on April 28, 2010

1. I third fourth fifth Wallander. My own favorite is the first one "Faceless Killers." Kind of a Swedish In Cold Blood. The other ones that people seem to like are Sidetracked and One Step Behind (both are serial killer books, which are great, but I'm a bit tired of the serial killer genre). I'm not sure the Wallander novels have the scope of Larsson being more straight ahead police procedurals, but one suggestion might be a non-Wallander Mankell book, The Return of the Dancing Master.

2. Re: Val MacDermid: Try A Place of Execution. I think that one is pretty darned good. I heard her latest one is pretty good, but I haven't read it, so, you know, good luck on that one. I'm not as big a fan of the others, again because I'm a little bit tired of the serial killer deal, but MacDermid has a huge fan base, and as these things go, I think she does have a good atmospheric touch.

3. I'm going to throw out a curve ball here but one that might work for you. John Le Carre is espionage, not so much mystery (though he has mysteries inherent within his espionage thrillers) but the Smileyad, or whatever, the three MAIN books featuring the character George Smiley, respectively, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy, and Smiley's People have given me a lot of satisfaction, and I'm huge fan of the Scandinavian mystery, and Mankell particularly. Word of advice: skip Honourable (though I'm sure some will disagree) and simply start with Tinker, and finish with Smiley's People. The flick version of Smiley's People with Alec Guiness as Smiley is pretty darned entertaining as well.
posted by CarsonDyle at 11:37 PM on April 29, 2010

Thanks for all the good suggestions, folks!

I just read The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith (the first of the Aud Torvingen books). It was ok, but it's still a fairly straighforward crime/detective story.

I think one of the things I liked about the Millenium books is that they aren't really detective books, or even crime books, really. They have crime in them, sure, and some elements from crime fiction, but they go bigger than that.

Especially in the second two books, it's less 'try to figure out who the culprit is' and more several people or groups, working from different angles to right a grievous wrong, with themes of social injustice, oppression (in this case against women in general, Salander in specific in the last two books), and generally sticking it to the man, so to speak.

That said, any other suggestions for someone who loved Millenium, but doesn't really like detective novels?
posted by tonyx3 at 5:30 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I realize you're not into typical detective stories but I find that I'm compelled to suggest to you Jo Nesbo's "Harry Hole" detective series http://en.wikipedia.org/wik/Harry_Hole

Probably because many of the novels are set in Sweden's Scandinavian neighbor Norway, it makes an almost natural companion to Larsson's trilogy.

Although different on the surface, the protagonist - recovering alcoholic and murder detective Harry Hole - shares Blumquist's charm, cynicism and nose for crime. You won't find a Lisbeth Salander in the series and Nesbo's style differs from Larsson's but the similar setting and the fullness of the protagonist's character suggest to me that those who've enjoyed the Millenium trilogy would also relish Hole and his uncompromising drive for the truth.
posted by urig at 12:38 AM on March 3, 2011

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