What makes Scandinavian Crime Fiction different? Why is Nordic Noir so enticing? To begin with, it's generally extraordinarily well written. Characters are well developed, and the story goes deeper than your average cozy mystery. The writing tends to be straightforward... not a lot of guessing or fancy word play. Nordic Noir does comment about society in Scandinavia... but not as dry as a standard sociological or psychological study. We learn about different strata of society in a land that is cold and dark.
As an American, I do get a thrill from the armchair travel, and I enjoy learning a bit about the culture of these countries (and no, I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone in Sweden a murderer or policeman). It's fascinating to read about life in Iceland or Sweden.
Like many readers, I jumped in with Stieg Larsson and the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. I was hooked. So many twists and turns, the characters are real, but bigger than life. So many dark secrets... so much snow. Who would have though that an ant-social, emotionally troubled hacker and a discredited journalist could make such a compelling team.
There is a certain darkness to the stories, almost as if the absence of sunlight penetrates the pages of the books.