When Time Runs Out by Elina Hirvonen, tr. from the Finnish by Hildi Hawkins, Bonnier Zaffre, Mantle
Ruth Morse

What is one to do when confronted with such a book? It’s a bit like We Need to Talk About Kevin, but much less well written, and certainly much less focussed. A family of four, a marriage much less happy than the wife’s narrative voice allows, a daughter who has fled from the claustrophobia of her home, a son on the spectrum—one kind or another, and an absent father. We don’t hear much from either of the men, and the chain of voices is otherwise mechanical. It isn’t a jigsaw, but it has puzzle aspects

Dark Pines: Will Dean talks to Crime Time

Dark Pines: Will Dean talks to Crime Time

My debut novel, DARK PINES, is set in the wilds of central Sweden. I hail from the East Midlands but five years ago I moved to live full-time in a small boggy clearing at the centre of an enormous forest north of Gothenburg. I write Nordic Noir from the perspective of an outsider. I’m not a Scandinavian writer but I’ve been travelling to the Nordics every year for twenty years, and I now live in Sweden with my Swedish wife. DARK PINES is set in an isolated town in Värmland, four hours north of my forest…

Down for the Count by Martin Holmén, trans. Henning Koch
Ruth Morse

This is the second episode in the Harry Kvist trilogy. Like its predecessor, it’s a first-person narrative. Clinch took my breath away, and this is worse. Or, perhaps, given the point of Noir, better. Harry (Kvisten to his friends) is an ex-boxer, repo man (with a specialty in bicycles), funeral parlor and mortuary assistant, as well as general investigator. He also spends time in Långholmen Prison, in Stockholm between the wars.

The Girl in the Fog by Donato Carrisi, trans. Howard Curtis, Little, Brown: Abacus

The Girl in the Fog by Donato Carrisi, trans. Howard Curtis, Little, Brown: Abacus
Ruth Morse

Hitherto, Carrisi’s books have been very long, and somewhere in the middle the supernatural has usually made an appearance, though sometimes it’s a conference of priests with forbidden knowledge. The plots usually hinge on violence towards women (here a kidnapped young girl), and the décor is usually dark night. This time it’s fog in a mountain village and there’s no priest, but there is an evangelical church whose congregation calls itself the brotherhood

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