Danish Detective Carl Morck is a walking tormented shell of his former self. Recently returned to work, he is living with post-traumatic stress disorder following an incident that ended with the shooting death of one of his colleagues and a shot that paralyzed his friend, Detective Hardy. Morck was also injured by a shot to the head. So far the perpetrators have not been found and Morck lives with survivor’s guilt. He is difficult to get along with, often late to work, and no longer has his heart in his work.

September 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Denmark, Drift-of-Life, Noir, Sleuths Series

BAD INTENTIONS by Karin Fossum

Karin Fossum’s BAD INTENTIONS is about three friends, now in their twenties, who have known each other since they were six. On the surface, Axel Frimann is by far the most successful. He is well-spoken, good-looking, nicely dressed, and drives a Mercedes; his job at an advertising agency pays well. Philip Reilly, on the other hand, is disheveled, has long, stringy hair (“he looked like a troll from a fairy tale”), and spends a portion of his small salary as a hospital porter getting high. The third member of the trio is Jon Moreno.

August 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Norway, Psychological Suspense, Sleuths Series, Translated, y Award Winning Author

THE HYPNOTIST by Lars Keplar

THE HYPNOTIST, written by Lars Kepler (a pseudonym for a husband and wife team writing together in Sweden), was tauted by Janet Maslin of The New York Times as “The summer’s likeliest new Nordic hit.” The writing is compared to that of Steig Larsson and Henning Mankell. Other than the novel taking place in Sweden, I observed little or no similarities to either of these two writers.

August 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Mystery/Suspense


MISTERIOSO by Arne Dahl is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization. On the surface, it is a mystery but so much of the novel lies below the surface, getting into the characters’ minds and thoughts as they live their lives and work at trying to catch a serial killer.

The title of the book comes from a piece of music composed by Thelonius Monk, a famous American jazz pianist and composer, now deceased. There is a serial killer on the loose in Sweden who is killing very rich and powerful men. The killer waits for his prey in the victim’s living room listening to Monk’s Misterioso on the stereo and when the victim arrives he is shot in the head two times. The killer views the music as “a pantomime, a peculiar dance of death.” The Swedish police put together what they call an A-Team to find this killer.

July 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, Sweden, Translated, World Lit

STAGESTRUCK by Peter Lovesey

STAGESTRUCK is the 11th novel in the Peter Diamond detective series. I’d read exactly zero in the series when I opened the book, but the fact that I arrived late on the scene, and that I’m a novice when it comes to the facts of Diamond’s life, did not act as a deterrent to my enjoyment. STAGESTRUCK is a police procedural set in the historic city of Bath, and for its setting and focus on the very real Theatre Royal, this is a novel that is certain to be enjoyed by anglophile mystery fans. Pervasive local flavour seeps through these pages as Diamond visits neighbourhood pubs, local landmarks and soaks up the legendary ghost stories are part of the history of the Theatre Royal. Local colour is so strong, in fact, that for mystery lovers, STAGESTRUCK is a tantalizing way for visitors to Bath to prime for tourism.

June 15, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

THE TROUBLED MAN by Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell’s Wallender mystery series has come to an end with THE TROUBLED MAN, the last book in this popular series that was also made into several movies for public television with Kenneth Branaugh playing the part of Wallander. Wallander has turned sixty in this book and he is obsessed with looking back on life and not seeing much for his future except growing old. He dwells on the past a lot. At one point he considers entering a restaurant that he used to patronize, that had a waitress there he liked, but he changes his mind. “He knew why he didn’t go in, of course. He was afraid of finding somebody else behind the counter, and being forced to accept that here too, in that café, time had moved on and that he would never be able to return to what now lay so far away and in the past.”

April 9, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Sleuths Series, Sweden, World Lit