While I like to travel to places that are warmer than the one I leave behind, it doesn’t follow that I only read crime fiction from warmer climes. I’ve read Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko novels set in the former Soviet Union, including one set on a factory ship on the Bering Sea, which still makes me feel cold just thinking about it. I’ve read Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander books. I read Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels, set in perennially cold and wet Edinburgh, and Annie Hauxwell’s Catherine Berlin novels, which upped the ante by moving from cold and wet London, to freezing cold and snowing Moscow.
But the recent explosion in Northern European crime fiction has left me cold (pun intended) — largely because I have a contrary nature, which makes me less likely to like something because/when it is popular.
However, I’m about to run a workshop on setting in crime fiction, and I feel it would be remiss of me not to include at least one example from the more recent crop of Scandinavian crime fiction. Hence this call for help.
Nordic noir fans, please use the comments section to leave a paragraph or two (at most) that typifies a great example of a depiction of setting in a Scandinavian crime novel. Bonus points if the excerpt also uses setting to shed light on character. Please include the title of the novel and the author’s name.
Whoever nominates the excerpt I choose to use for my workshop will receive a selection of writing exercises designed to help you develop a strong sense of place in your own writing (if this would be useful) and/or my eternal gratitude.