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Reviews highlights - page-turners to lose yourself in

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Reviews highlights series

Thrilling Page-Turners

Including horror, crime and suspense.

This summer we are opening up our reviews archive to highlight some recent gems in Swedish-language literature, in lists curated by genre and age group. Whether your interest is in poetry or picture books, searing literature or spine-tingling thrillers, we hope that our reviews highlights will help you to discover something new.

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Image credit: Geran de Klerk on Unsplash.

Book cover of Låt mig ta din hand by Tove Alsterdal

Låt mig ta din hand(Let Me Take Your Hand)

by Tove Alsterdal, reviewed by Darcy Hurford

Lind & Co, 2015, 471 pages.

'Låt mig ta din hand has met with considerable acclaim in Sweden. Svenska Deckarakademin (the Swedish Crime Writing Academy) awarded it the prize for best Swedish crime novel on publication in 2014. It is also among the nominees for this year’s Glasnyckeln (Glass Key) prize for best Nordic crime novel, awarded in September. While it’s a crime novel, and a gripping one at that, its fascination lies in the fact that it is also much more.'

Book cover of Gryning. Falsk. by Lou Berg

Gryning. Falsk. Gryning. Falsk.

by Lou Berg (Tiina Nevala and Henrik Karlsson), reviewed by James Walker

Piratförlaget, 2021, 329 pages.

'Gryning. Falsk. is a thriller with a difference and, for a fan of Swedish ‘noir’, an exciting and welcome departure from the usual crime novel format: there are almost no bodies or detectives! Instead, we enter a thrilling world where fine art and art forgery meet organised crime.'

Book cover of Vattnet drar by Madeleine Bäck

Vattnet Drar(The Lure of Water)

by Madeleine Bäck, reviewed by Annie Prime

Natur och Kultur, 2016, 421 pages.

'The interwoven genres strike me as a very Swedish combination: dangerous sprites lurking in the water and woods, discontented youth getting drunk in a small town, and a sparky journalist trying to uncover the trail of a murder. Social realism, horror and fantasy are skilfully integrated to create a coherent and satisfying plot, meticulously timed and, above all, genuinely chilling.'

Book cover of Slutet på sommaren by Anders de la Motte

Slutet på sommaren (End of Summer)

by Anders de la Motte, reviewed by Ian Giles

Forum, 2016.

'Slutet på sommaren is the first published standalone novel of former police officer Anders de la Motte. This time he brings us what we might call a suspense novel, although that didn’t stop it from being shortlisted for last year’s Best Swedish Crime Novel Award by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers.'

Book cover of För han var redan dö by Eva Frantz

För han var redan dö(Out of the Game)

by Eva Frantz, reviewed by Catherine Venner

Schildts & Söderströms (Finland), 2020, Sekwa Förlag (Sweden), 418 pages.

'The characters are especially vivid and remained with me after finishing the book...This book would be well suited to fans of police procedurals with elements of noir. The backdrop of the rugged Finnish coast with its isolated islands also lends it an extra level of atmosphere.'

Book cover of Stalker by Lars Kepler


by Lars Kepler, reviewed by James Walker

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2014, 603 pages.

'Stalker is an absolutely riveting read. According to ‘Lars Kepler’, what makes a crime novel work is empathy, that is, the empathy the reader feels not only for the victims and the police but also for other characters. If emotional engagement makes a good crime novel, this is a great example.'

Book cover of Aldrig mer by Sara Larsson

Aldrig mer (Never Again)

by Sara Larsson, reviewed by Catherine Venner

Norstedts, 2018, 430 pages.

'Sara Larsson’s second novel, Aldrig mer (Never Again), focuses on human trafficking and prostitution in the streets and apartments of Stockholm. Far from being a typical whodunnit, the novel explores the buying of sex – illegal in Sweden – from three very different angles.'

Book cover of Svart sol by Andreas Norman

Svart sol (Black Sun)

by Andreas Norman, reviewed by Ian Giles

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2021, 409 pages.

'Svart sol is an excellent representative of this genre of reality-based thriller. There are no Bond-esque gadgets or mad villains – instead, there is an unnervingly real threat posed to everyday society and the good guys are left to combat it through desk-based analysis and old-fashioned legwork... Norman has always written well about what he knows, but I sense in Svart sol that he has really found his literary stride.'

Book cover of En bror att dö för by Anders Roslund & Stefan Thunberg

En bror att dö för (The Sons)

by Anders Roslund & Stefan Thunberg, reviewed by Anna Holmwood

Piratförlaget, 2017.

'The prose is taut and changes in narrative perspective and tempo make for an intricate psychological drama that crackles on every page. Indeed, it has more of the feel of an American hardboiled classic than the ice-cold narratives we now associate with the Nordic Noir wave. This book more than lives up to expectations. Highly recommended.'

Book cover of Hemmet by Mats Strandberg

Hemmet (The Home)

by Mats Strandberg, reviewed by Michael O Jones

Norstedts, 2017, 387 pages.

'Horror in a mental health facility can easily become a cliché, but Strandberg has successfully made Tallskuggan a cliché-free zone. This novel should appeal to readers of John Ajvide Lindqvist and Stephen King’s earlier work.'