It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in America today, it has me in a brooding mood. What an inspiring individual, society doesn’t make ’em like that anymore. He embodied such humility, class, intelligence, empathy, patience, respect – I cannot name a single public figure currently who could even share a podium with him. It’s pathetic, really. Anyway, he is one of the many Americans who makes me proud to be one too and inspires me to do a little better each day.
While Blue Monday isn’t rooted in any scientific bedrock, I think there is a palpable feeling of melancholy in the months leading up to Spring. I personally enjoy it, I love winter and right around this time of year there are a slew of Nordic Noir novels hitting the shelves. This genre is basically like a police procedural, that relies heavily on atmosphere and bleak settings with a typically, lack-luster protagonist. It’s definitely not a new genre, I think it became internationally popularized by the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, not it’s best sampling in my opinion. But the good news is, now there are loads of really good books that are widely available, here are a few of my favourites!
The Day is Dark – Thora Gudmundsdottir is a single mom of two and underpaid lawyer turned moderately successful PI. She is hired to investigate the disappearance of some employees of a British mining company based in Greenland. She and her hunky-German boyfriend travel to Greenland in the dead of winter to investigate the mysterious events that locals are convinced can be attributed to an ancient curse. This one is heavy on the bleak setting and totally creepy with a bit of a supernatural twist! This is the 4th book with Thora, definitely read in order to get to know her.
The Snowman – I am so bummed that this movie was botched, the material is nothing short of amazing! Yes, his name is Harry Hole – can I just say that I found it incredibly irritating that so many people were stuck on this when the movie released? Get over it you immature, uncultured swine – honestly. This book centers around a serial killer who strikes at every fresh snow leaving behind a snowman and missing woman. The character development is fascinating, it isn’t a quick read – you have to let yourself get fully immersed in the details. Hole is definitely a disappointing lead with questionable ethics but when he gets sucked into the Snowman’s web, he has to be the hero that you didn’t think he could be.
Midwinter Blood – Another depressing main character, Malin Fors, a talented but troubled police woman is called in to investigate the discovery of a mutilated corpse. She has to discover not only who the deceased man is but also who killed him which leads to uncovering a grisly tale of a family with a dark past. This one is set in Sweden in a record setting frigid February and has many twists and turns along the way.
Those are just a few that I have read more than once over, I enjoy the dark settings and morose characters but they can be entertaining whodunits at the end of the day (or night) too! Also, these are some of the only books that I purchase new because the jacket art is so lovely that I don’t want a marred copy 🙂
Thanks for stopping by ❤