Can you recommend Scandinavian Noir-lite books?
July 31, 2020 11:05 AM   Subscribe

I read the girl with the Dragon tattoo years ago, but now I have very little stomach for any sort of torture and 100% no ability to read anything where bad stuff happens to kids. I have no issues with gore as long it’s not torture related. Just looking for some escape this summer - does anything fit this criteria?
posted by gryphonlover to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe the Martin Beck books? It's a long time since I read them, but don't remember torture or child abuse in the first one at least. Review, interesting article, long interview (which mentions that some of the books do include child abuse, so be careful).
posted by paduasoy at 12:05 PM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Kristin Lavransdatter
posted by tacit_urn at 12:35 PM on July 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Jussi Adler-Olsen is very popular. I haven't read his books, but I have seen several interviews with him, and he seems to be a very sympathetic person.
posted by mumimor at 1:00 PM on July 31, 2020

I loved Kristin lavrensdatter but it’s not at all noir.
posted by pairofshades at 2:01 PM on July 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

I recently read P D James' An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and was shocked at how good it is.

Protagonist Cordelia Gray is likable, indefatigable, indomitable, implacable, and so, so capable. There is a noir feel to the entire book, but the sheer luminosity of Jame's prose keeps the gloom from being lowering or oppressive. The sequel, The Skull Beneath the Skin, is just as good and it's a great pity there aren't more. I had no idea what a great writer James is before reading these books.
posted by jamjam at 2:14 PM on July 31, 2020

Oh, and for a bonus, she butts heads with with James' most famous protagonist, Adam Dalgliesh — and wins!
posted by jamjam at 2:18 PM on July 31, 2020

If you like queer content, Nicola Griffith's Aud Torvingen novels.
posted by liminal_shadows at 7:24 PM on July 31, 2020

Tove Jannson’s Moomin books are for children - but she was not at all afraid to have plentiful Scandi Nordic noir in them too.
posted by rongorongo at 12:14 AM on August 1, 2020

The Wallander series by Henning Mankell
posted by mulcahy at 7:27 PM on August 1, 2020

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