Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Second Deadly Sin

The Second Deadly Sin, this post's selection and previews of coming attractions.
I've got a million -- perhaps that's hyperbole -- ideas about books to write about, but I'm going to begin with one that embodies "Noir."  There are probably as many definitions of noir as there are novels and the classic noir mysteries generally involved a tough, hard-drinking private eye, think Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon. The definition has grown considerably wider and when I think of noir, it's a mystery novel with an edge. The investigator often has a dark side or dark secret and very often they find themselves investigating not simply a murder, but a pattern of corruption. 
I especially appreciate mysteries that have an edge to them. However many of the mysteries from Scandinavia -- especially the legendary trilogy, plus one -- have more than an edge and at times are so dark that they are completely depressing. But "The Second Deadly Sin," the first book I've read by Asa Larsson is a dark mystery with one of the most appealing main characters I've come across in a non-cozy mystery. Rebecka Martinsson has had share of sorrow, but she is engaging and deeply drawn, as though Edith Wharton had written a mystery set in modern Northern Sweden. The writing is clear and spare and tightly put together. I've got catching up to do with Larsson's other titles, The Savage Altar, The Blood Spilt, The Black Path and Until Thy Wrath Be Past.

Another mystery I enjoyed very much, also set in Scandinavia, is Jar City, written by Arnaldur Indriadson. Set in Iceland, it's the first book in the Detective Erlendur series. The main character is in the mold of tough, world-weary detective and the plot is both quickly engaging and thoughtful. This is another series I'm looking forward to continuing.

Any other fans of the Scandinavian noir mysteries? Please share your favorites.

So many mysteries, so little time! Thanks so much for stopping by.


  1. So glad you got this off the ground. Can't wait to read your next.

  2. I actually just started the third in that trilogy. I doubt I'll get to the "plus one." This looks like a good alternative.

  3. I also like Scandinavian noir mysteries- Thank you for the summary - I love your mystery blog-can't wait to get started on this book.