This autumn is seeing a flurry of books being published, including new Nordic fiction. I’ve picked out my favorites.
The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen
Antti Tuomainen is one of my favourite Nordic authors. I am delighted that his latest novel, THE RABBIT FACTOR, is coming out in English this autumn. I read this novel in Finnish when it was first published, partly because I couldn’t wait for the translation. I’m also testing my ability to write in English while reading books in my other two languages. So far, it seems fine, as long as I come back to English language literature now and then. (If you are wondering what I am talking about, go here).
But back to Antti Tuomainen. I’ve already heard through the grapevine that two of Antti’s books are going to be turned into TV and film adaptations. THE MAN WHO DIED is already in production (see Antti Tuomainen’s Instagram feed here) and the other one is THE RABBIT FACTOR. I’m so excited about both of these pieces of news, and cannot wait to see the stories come alive on the screen.
From the Publisher, Orenda Books
What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.
And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.
But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…
Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.
Buried in Secret by Viveca Sten
I also love The Sandhamn Murders by the Swedish writer Viveca Sten. BURIED IN SECRET is Book 10, but all the novels are standalone, so you can pick and choose from the series. I just love the Nordic island setting of these books (I would, wouldn’t I?), but I also like the way Viveca Sten combines murder mystery with stories of friendship, love, and romance. BURIED IN SECRET is out January 2022. A long time to wait, I know!
From the Publisher, Amazon Crossing
When two cold case disappearances are reopened, a decade of deadly secrets is unearthed on Sandhamn Island in the #1 bestselling thriller by Viveca Sten, author of In Bad Company.
A woman’s skeletal remains are excavated on an uninhabited island in Sandhamn’s archipelago, and Thomas Andreasson is called to officially investigate. But his best friend, Nora Linde, can’t help but get involved.
On leave after her last case took a dark turn, Nora is tortured by depression, nightmares, and guilt. Her marriage fractured, her pride chipped away, Nora could find redemption in this investigation. Then evidence suggests two possible cold cases linked to the grim discovery: two women who have been missing for ten years. Now Nora feels compelled to unearth a mystery someone has gone to great pains to bury. What could have happened to require such a cover-up?
As the cold case vanishings converge, Nora follows a twisting trail of revenge, blackmail, and betrayal. She’s also inviting the watchful eye of someone determined to stop her. To free herself from the damaging grip of the past—and the reach of a relentless killer—Nora is going to have to brave the darkness one more time.
My Name is Jensen by Heidi Amsinck
This is a novel that I have been waiting for for some time. Heidi’s previous book, a collection of short stories set in Denmark was hugely enjoyable. LAST TRAIN TO HELSINGOR is full of dark mysteries with a hint of the magical, and very much in the vein of the traditional Nordic folk tales, although thankfully there were no trolls involved. I can’t wait to read her new novel, MY NAME IS JENSEN, which will be out in a couple of days on 31 August 2021. It looks to me very much as if this is the first in a series. Keep your fingers crossed that’s the case.
If you’d like to hear Heidi – and other notable Danish authors – talk about their new books, tune into an online author event taking place at Barnet Library in London, soon.
From the Publisher, Muswell Press
Guilty. One word on a beggar’s cardboard sign. And now he is dead, stabbed in a wintry Copenhagen street, the second homeless victim in as many weeks. Dagbladet reporter Jensen, stumbling across the body on her way to work, calls her ex-lover DI Henrik Jungersen. As, inevitably, old passions are rekindled, so are old regrets, and that is just the start of Jensen’s troubles. The front page is an open goal, but nothing feels right…..When a third body turns up, it seems certain that a serial killer is on the loose. But why pick on the homeless? And is the link to an old murder case just a coincidence? With her teenage apprentice Gustav, Jensen soon finds herself putting everything on the line to discover exactly who is guilty.
The Island Child
It’d be amiss of me not to mention my own novel, which is coming out later this autumn.
THE ISLAND CHILD is Book 5 in Love on the Island series but can also be enjoyed as a standalone read.
From the Publisher, Newhurst Press
A Christmas baby should bring hope to everyone on the islands, especially the new parents…
But while Brit awaits the arrival of her first child, a visitor to the Scandinavian Åland Islands threatens to reveal an uncomfortable secret from her past. To add to her woes, her partner, Sea Captain Jukka, runs his cruise liner aground the night before Christmas, just as the baby decides to make an appearance.
Meanwhile, Alicia’s ex, British surgeon Liam, has taken a leap of faith and moved to the islands from London. Will he be able to convince Alicia to rekindle their relationship? Can Alicia forget the Swedish journalist Patrick, with whom she had a passionate affair, but who betrayed her in the most awful way possible?
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