The days are cold, the nights are long, and the Scandinavian noir flows freely in this month’s edition of our regular international thriller column. With few releases coming up in December, we’ve included one title from next month in the list as well. Stay tuned next month for our annual quixotic attempt to define the best international thrillers of the year!
Eva Bjorg Ægisdóttir, Girls Who Lie
Translated by Victoria Cribb
Icelandic newcomer Eva Bjorg Ægisdóttir’s new novel, in the capable hands of experienced translator Victoria Cribb, is a twisty and thrilling ride that promises to leave readers stunned—and wanting more immediately. However, the strangest twist of all is that this book is labeled as “Girls Who Lie: Volume Two” on bookshop.org when this is clearly volume one. Sure to please fans of Scandinavian suspense and plain old psychological thrillers.
Susanne Jannson, Winter Water
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
(Grand Central Publishing)
As sweater weather season continues, tis the season for thrillers from the chilliest of latitudes, and Susanne Jannson’s wintry-titled latest is perfect for those ready to plunge like a polar bear into the shivering horrors of Scandi noir. Sadly, Susanne Jannson died of cancer two years ago, and this will be her second and last book to cross over to our shores.
Kjell Eriksson, The Deathwatch Beetle
Translated by Paul Noren
In Eriksson’s ninth installment of her long-running Ann Lindell series, a missing woman’s rumored reappearance is the catalyst for drawing Lindell into solving one last crime, despite her retirement from the force. Her search will uncover hidden truths not only about the missing woman, but about the bucolic rural surrounding. A perfect novel for immersing yourself in the eerie Scandinavian countryside.
Hervé Le Tellier, The Anomaly
Translated by Adriana Hunter
In this bizarre speculative thriller from literary powerhouse Herve le Tellier, the passengers on a doomed flight from Paris to New York find themselves trapped in a world of simulacra come to flesh, experiencing the same events over and over again. Perfect for those who like their realities unstable.
Santiago Gamboa, The Night Will Be Long
Translated by Andrea Rosenberg
For my money there may be no more ambitious, accomplished writer than Gamboa at work in international noir today. His newest novel, The Night Will Be Long, focuses on a mysterious flash of violence in Cauca, Colombia, witnessed by one boy only, with all others swearing to have seen nothing, know nothing. The investigation soon points in the direction of a powerful cabal of Christian churches exercising inordinate and disturbing power over their followers. Gamboa brings a searching, penetrating style to the prose and unwinds a genuinely compelling and provocative story that interrogates the very nature of violence and truth. –Dwyer Murphy, CrimeReads Editor-In-Chief