Unless you have been living in a hermitage for the past year, there’s a good chance that you’ve read Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest) or at least seen people lugging the brightly jacketed tomes around the airport. While I devoured all three of Larsson’s books and enjoyed them, by the third one, I felt like I had overdosed on extremes—the wild plot lines, the insanely diabolical villains, and the ability of characters to sustain several normally fatal injuries and make full recoveries. It all felt a little too Hollywood (is there a Swedish equivalent?) and I was craving more quiet, more subtlety, a little more space for terrifying believability in my crime novel. Kjell Eriksson, another, lesser-known in the States, Swedish crime writer, delivers just that. Eriksson’s Inspector Ann Lindell books, The Princess of Burundi, The Cruel Stars of the Night, and The Demon of Dakar are thrilling, but quietly so. There is starkness to Eriksson’s writing, a palpable restraint that is chilling and perfectly suited to his dark, suspenseful stories. Don’t expect fast-paced, action packed thrillers from Eriksson. Do expect smart, well-written novels that build in suspense and quietly deliver the thrill factor that any good crime novel must have.


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Comments (4)


  1. Posted by: jenny

    Eriksson’s books sound great, but what I really want to know is which Haruki Murakami book is that underneath?? I loved Wind-up Bird Chronicle so much and I’ve read a bunch of his other books…South of the Border, West of the Sun, Kafka on the Shores — OK, only about three chapters of that one. I couldn’t deal with the talking cat (or maybe I’m confusing that with another one I tried?) Anyway, if this is an HM one you recommend I’d love to get back into him….Thanks for posting!

  2. Posted by: melanie

    @jenny – that appears to be Norwegian Wood.

  3. Posted by: Rebecca Misner

    The Murakami book is “Norwegian Wood” It is probably my favorite of his books–no talking cats! It’s definitely worth checking out.

  4. Posted by: lisa Rubisch

    I’m a big HM fan…give Kafka another try! It’s worth it.

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