Category Archives: nordic noir

Review: On A Small Island

On A Small Island
On A Small Island by Grant Nicol

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t remember when I last gave a book 5/5? However I felt that this feat of Nordic Noir deserved it simply for leaving me feeling utterly hopeless! I found myself staring at the page, thinking ‘he (Grant Nicol) wouldn’t really do that… would he? well if you want to know, you’ll have to read it and find out for yourself! If you’re partial to crimes and emotions being resolved, loose ends nicely tied in bows, then maybe this isn’t the book for you. Without giving too much away, this is a dark tale set in Reykjavik and the surrounding areas and centres on a young woman Ylfa, her two sisters and their elderly father. The story is told in the first person from Ylfa’s perspective which works really well, and for all intents and purposes you would assume that she is the main character of the book. However as I was browsing the follow up books in the series, I noted that they are subtitled ‘The GrΓ­mur Karlsson Mysteries’ Grimur being the detective in this series. I have to admit it struck me as a little strange that someone who in all honestly played such a minor part in this initial book would be the defining character of the series, but we’ll see – hopefully the character gets developed more in the follow up The Mistake I’m about to start…

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Readathon Hours 4 – 12?

OK so technically we’re into hour 11, 9 for me as i started so late.. which makes me feel slightly better about that fact that I haven’t read as much as I intended.

I did read Albert Camus – The Sea Close By, although short (it’s actually two stories, 23 pages long), it wasn’t like a modern fiction novel that I could speed read, it required ingestion of the words and took a lot longer than anticipated. I did however enjoy it, but I think today I’ve spent entirely too much time checking out other people’s posts and challenges.. it’s like oh the clock is hitting the hour -a new challenge is due, and before I know it, there’s less than 30 minutes left in that hour.. Arrg! Not to mention an impromptu trip to the supermarket to get snack and stuff..

Arne Dahl - Bad Blood

Arne Dahl – Bad Blood

For my second book I chose Bad Blood by Arne Dahl, I feel like these translations are a long time coming compared perhaps to other Scandi/Nordic crime fiction. I struggled to find my books on Goodreads as well which was new to me and given that the TV versions of the book were first shownΒ on BBC4 three years ago, it feels like there is some delay compared to others in the genre. An interesting point about this book series (for me at least) was realising that in the TV version they made the A Unit team leader a woman, same name, just swapped gender, I’m going to guess because the novel has such a male orientated cast and it needed evening out for TV? Also reading this reminded me to log into Duolingo and do my daily Swedish practice ( I think I can probably order a meal for for men and women, particularly if that meal includes turtle). My intention was to read ‘a few chapters’ before moving to something else, but I’m at chapter 10 already so I may just stick with it tonight, as i’m probably going to flake soon and read something different in the morning.

I also tried reading standing up tonight, mostly because I was trying to hit 10k steps today, so the only way was to read whilst ‘walking’ and a bit whilst dancing as I’ve been listening to 6 Music since about 8pm. My overall take home, whilst it certainly works, and keeps me awake, it also leaves me a bit unsteady on my feet – circuits of the living room particularly. Jogging on the spot is probably easiest to manage book in hand, but also the most boring. I’ve also reached that stage of “my eyes hurt because they’ve dried out” so contacts out, glasses on, eye drops being liberally applied, all in the name of reading just a few more pages before bed