Five great books set in Sweden

7th July 2018

Sweden is the latest destination in our ‘Five great books set in…’ series. ‘Five great books set in Sweden’.

Source: Study in Sweden

The Kingdom of Sweden borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east and is connected to Denmark in the south-west by the remarkable bridge-tunnel across the Øresund.

Despite ranking highly in terms of quality of life, health, education, equality and prosperity, Sweden has somehow also become the epicentre of the so-called Scandi-noir literary genre, reflected to some extent in our list below. Enjoy.

1. Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Set in Södermalm, a trendy, bohemian district in Stockholm, where charming galleries and cafes mingle with historic wooden cottages.

Central to the plot are Kalle Blomquist, a journalist convicted of libel and Lisbeth Salander, an expert system hacker and investigator, who can see patterns and links in the investigation that are not evident to to others.

Blomquist is employed to investigate the unsolved disappearance of Harriet Vanger in the 1960’s and together they start to explore the complex story – violence, and suspense, set against a Nordic backdrop.

3. Murder in Malmö by Torquil MacLeod

A gunman is loose in Malmö and he’s targeting immigrants. The charismatic head of an advertising agency is found dead in his shower. Inspector Anita Sundström wants to be involved in the murder investigations, but she is being sidelined by her antagonistic boss.

She is assigned to find a stolen painting by a once-fashionable artist, as well as being lumbered with a new trainee assistant. She also has to do to restore her professional reputation after a deadly mix-up in a previous high-profile case.

Then another prominent Malmö businessman is found murdered and Sundström finds herself back in the action and facing new dangers in the second Anita Sundström Malmö mystery.

4. Still Waters by Viveca Sten

On a hot July morning on Sweden’s idyllic vacation island of Sandhamn, a man takes his dog for a walk and makes a gruesome discovery: a body, tangled in fishing net, has washed ashore.

Police detective Thomas Andreasson is the first to arrive on the scene. Before long, he has identified the deceased as Krister Berggren, a bachelor from the mainland who has been missing for months. All signs point to an accident—until another brutalized corpse is found at the local bed-and-breakfast. But this time it is Berggren’s cousin, whom Thomas interviewed in Stockholm just days before.

As the island’s residents reel from the news, Thomas turns to his childhood friend, local lawyer Nora Linde. Together, they attempt to unravel the riddles left behind by these two mysterious outsiders—while trying to make sense of the difficult twists their own lives have taken since the shared summer days of their youth.

5. Dark Pines by Will Dean

An isolated Swedish town. A deaf reporter terrified of nature. A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest. A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.

It’s week one of the Swedish elk hunt and the sound of gunfire is everywhere.

When Tuva Moodyson investigates the story that could make her career she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take the eyes?

Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.

Andrew for the TripFiction Team

Which titles would you add to this list? Any you would like to add to our database? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments box below.

Other posts in our ‘Five great books set in…’ series:

Five great books set in Naples

Five great books set in Dublin

Five great books set in Dubai

Five great books set in Portugal

Five great books set in San Francisco

Five great books set in Edinburgh

Five great books set in Guernsey

Five great books set in Mexico

Five great books set in Alpine countries

Five great books set in Korea

And our ‘Ten great books set in…’ series includes:

Ten great books set in Paris

Ten great books set in New York

Ten great books set in London

Ten great books set in Rome

Ten great books set in Berlin

Ten great books set in Russia

Ten great books set in Spain

Ten great books set in Amsterdam

Ten great books set in Thailand

Ten great books set in Raj era India

Ten great books set in Japan

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