Three authors to scare up this påske

Christine Foster Meloni
Washington, D.C.

Do you have your Easter thrillers for 2017 yet? Norwegians are preparing for their annual crime reading spree that will take place during their Easter break, Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday. In case you are still searching for your thrillers, here are a few suggestions.

Anne Holt
Anne Holt is one of the most popular female Norwegian crime writers. She has written two series of crime novels with different protagonists, gay police detective Hanne Wilhelmsen (10 novels) and former FBI profiler Johanne Vik (five novels). She has also written five stand-alone crime novels.

What is Mine is the first in her Vik series. Nine-year-old Emilie doesn’t come home from school one afternoon. Then a five-year-old boy disappears. Then another child goes missing. Children’s bodies begin to turn up around the city, but not Emilie’s. Vik is pulled into the dark world of child abduction and becomes convinced that a serial killer is on the loose.

K.O. Dahl
K.O. Dahl has written 11 novels and five of them have been translated into English. These five are police procedurals that feature Frank Frølich and Inspector Gunnarstranda, two clever Oslo detectives.

The Man in the Window is Dahl’s second novel. It is Friday the 13th and it is definitely Reidar Folke Jespersen’s unlucky day. He leaves his home and goes to a nearby café. He sits near the window and keeps his eye on the door of an apartment building across the street. After a few hours he sees his wife enter this building, which is where her lover lives. The next morning Jespersen is found sitting naked in an armchair in the window of his antique shop. He has been stabbed to death. Frølich and Gunnarstranda must solve the mystery. Is it a simple story of love and passion or does it have something to do with the Nazis in Norway’s past?

Jo Nesbø
No list, no matter how short, would be complete without a book by the King of Norwegian Crime Fiction, Jo Nesbø. Most of his books are quite long, but there are two that you could easily read in a long weekend: Blood on Snow and Midnight Sun. The protagonists of both books are hitmen for powerful drug lords in Oslo.

In Blood on Snow, Olav Johansen is the fixer for the powerful Oslo drug lord Daniel Hoffman. He takes his assignments in stride without a twinge of discomfort. But then he receives an assignment he would rather refuse. Hoffman orders him to kill his unfaithful wife. When Johansen sees her, he is taken by her beauty and decides not to carry out his boss’s order. Needless to say, his life becomes very complicated indeed.

In Midnight Sun, Jon Hansen is a petty drug dealer who has no desire to go any higher on the criminal ladder. But the big boss, The Fisherman, promotes him to the position of hitman. Hansen is terrified but has no choice. His life becomes decidedly more exciting when he is forced to kill or be killed.

Whatever you choose to read, have a thrilling Easter weekend!

This article originally appeared in the April 7, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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Christine Foster Meloni

Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She values her Norwegian heritage.