This post is not a post putting down authors like Stieg Larsson or Henning Mankell, it’s a post about how every Tom, Dick and Sven born in a Scandinavian country now gets a book deal immediately because of where they’re from and what they write about. I enjoyed books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and Faceless Killers and Firewall, but I’m tired of seeing Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and even Icelandic wannabes putting out crap fiction and people buying it because it’s “Scandi Crime,” or “Nordic Noir!”
All of them have a series that focuses on some detective or another and how they solve their crimes. The books are very matter-of-fact, and written in plain language (which is good), and mainly devoid of metaphor and hidden meaning (which you know I absolutely hate). But the writing is, for the most part, dry and unexciting. Many of them are easy to figure out, and the plot points aren’t too amazing. Larsson, Mankell and Jo Nesbo aside, these Scandi Crime writers are just….well….too Nordic. They’re a little boring, not too elaborate and write about the same crap over and over again.
It’s a shame that Larsson is dead, and Mankell is getting up there in years because the new crop of Scandinavian crime writers just doesn’t match up. Authors like Arnaldur Indrioasan (Iceland) and Gunnar Staalesen (Norway) just can’t cut it. People need to stop buying novels because of where they are from, and begin to buy them because of what they are about. Then, and only then, will the mediocre Scandinavian writers get the hint, and we’ll see the cream rise to the top!