#BlogTour We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal.
About the Author

Tove Alsterdal is one of Sweden’s most renowned suspense writers. She has written five critically acclaimed stand-alone thrillers and has won literary prizes in Sweden and France. In the autumn of 2020, her latest book We Know You Remember was named Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year and won the Glass Key Award for Best Crime Novel from all the Scandinavian countries.

About the book

Where were you the night Lina Stavred went missing? – The case was closed. – Everyone in Ådalen remembers the summer Lina Stavred went missing. At first, the investigation seemed like a dead end: there was no body, no crime scene, no murder weapon.

The records were sealed. – Then a local boy confessed to Lina’s murder. The case opened a wound – one the whole community has spent over two decades trying to heal.

But we know you remember. – Now Lina’s murderer has reappeared, and detective Eira Sjödin must face the spectre of his brutal crime. This is her chance to untangle the years of well-kept secrets – but the truth is something Ådalen would rather forget.


Olaf doesn’t intend to enter his old family home. He knows he isn’t welcome, but instinct says something is wrong. He stumbles upon a dead body and of course all fingers point straight in his direction – again.

He is an known killer. The child who killed a child. Why would anyone believe anything he says? But the truth is much more complex and darker than anyone thinks. In a cleverly constructed mystery the masks of those above suspicion start to slide off, which also means certain people become more desperate to bury the truth, which shouldn’t be too hard – it’s happened before.

We need more English translations of Alsterdal’s work, and indeed kudos to the translator Alice Menzies. You have to be able to do more than just translate word for word, you have to be able to capture the idioms, the spirit and the atmosphere of the story. Not everyone can do the original work justice, although I am certain this is a perfect interpretation of the author’s work.

Whilst this is an award winning piece of fiction, this author doesn’t have the same recognition as other Scandinavian authors, but certainly deserve to be right up at the top. The characters, the surroundings, the perfect imperfections of humanity and the beautiful prose – woven together the result is a gripping crime story. Cleverly paced with false trails and clues thrown into the trees for the reader to follow like a dog running eagerly after a stick.

Buy We Know You Remember at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Faber Books; pub date 3 Feb 2022 – Hardback £12.99, eBook £8.99, audio digital download £22.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Embers by Josephine Greenland

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Embers by Josephine Greenland.

About the Author

Josephine Greenland is a Swedish–English writer from Eskilstuna, Sweden. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham and a BA in English from the University of Exeter. She is the winner of the 2019 Bumble Bee Flash Fiction Competition by Pulp Literature, the 2017 Fantastic Female Fables Competition by Fantastic Books Publishing, and also the runner-up in the 2018 Summer Solstice Competition by Wild Words. 

Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Dream Catcher, Literary Yard, Soft Cartel Mag, Plum Tree Tavern, Porridge Magazine, Litro and AHF Magazine. She has also been highly commended in competitions by TSS Publishing and Cinnamon Press. In 2017, she was awarded the Young Writer’s Bursary by Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.

In August 2019, Josephine began a PGDE course at the University of Edinburgh to become a Secondary English teacher. When not writing or teaching, she enjoys playing the violin, running and hiking. Embers is her first novel and was written during her MA course. It is based on her own travels in northern Sweden two years ago with her brother. 

Follow @greenland_jm on Twitter, Visit linktr.ee/josephinegreenland

About the book

Two siblings, one crime. One long-buried secret.17-year-old Ellen never wanted a holiday. What is there to do in a mining town in the northernmost corner of the country, with no one but her brother Simon – a boy with Asperger’s and obsessed with detective stories – for company?

Nothing, until they stumble upon a horrifying crime scene that brings them into a generations-long conflict between the townspeople and the native Sami.

When the police dismiss Simon’s findings, he decides to track down the perpetrator himself. Ellen reluctantly helps, drawn in by a link between the crime and the siblings’ own past. What started off as a tedious holiday soon escalates into a dangerous journey through hatred, lies and self-discovery that makes Ellen question not only the relationship to her parents, but also her own identity


Ellen is reluctant to take a holiday and even more reluctant to take her brother Simon with her. The trip becomes a journey into the past and a forest of lies. It also becomes a journey to solve a grotesque crime, a crime which is connected to their own heritage – they just don’t know it yet. The attempts to cover up a crime and pervert the course of justice are a something Simon can’t and won’t accept.

I find it interesting how both the existence and treatment of the Sámi people remain something akin to a dirty secret. The Scandinavian societies are generally perceived as forward thinking and modern in certain areas, and also often held up as examples for the rest of Europe.

The truth is that they have their fair share of problems that are kept nice and quiet, including the history of the mistreatment of their indigenous people. Unfortunately the systemic racism, irrational hatred and attempt to ignore their historical importance is still prevalent. Instead of gaining insight into the past, heritage and the mystical link they have with their surroundings – Scandinavians (not all) choose to treat the Sámi people with contempt. 

I truly hope Greenland revisits this riveting sleuthing duo and writes another book featuring the siblings. The combination of the reluctant older sister, the younger brother with a lack of impulse control and their crime solving seen through the lens of a someone with Asperger’s, really makes for a great read.

Buy Embers at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Unbound Digital pub date 18 Mar. 2021. Buy at Amazon com

#BlogTour Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson. This fabulous Orenda blogtour is breaking for Xmas and will be continued on the 5th of January – don’t miss the rest of the stops on the tour.

About the Author

Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teacher copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. 

Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the International crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. Ragnar’s debut thriller, Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015n with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout following soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.

Follow @ragnarjo @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Goodreadsragnarjonassonwriter on Facebook, Visit ragnarjonasson.comBuy Winterkill

About the book

Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.

Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air.

Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…

As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible  truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.

Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill marks the startling conclusion to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting authors in crime fiction.


This is the sixth and final part of the Dark Iceland series featuring Ari Thór. It can be read as a standalone crime novel, as can all the others in the series, however I would recommend the other books purely for reading pleasure. 

In this book Ari Thór is called to the scene of a tragic accident. A young girl has fallen to her death, which seems to have been of her own volition until questions begin to float to the surface and the police inspector wonders whether someone helped her fall. At the same time he is trying to navigate the painful and uncomfortable reality of co-parenting his young son, and not knowing whether he should fight for his relationship with the woman he loves.

I wish this weren’t the end of this atmospheric and dark series. Jónasson has built his character and settings in a way that parallels progression in life and sometimes it’s the right thing to leave and let be. It isn’t necessarily the end of Ari Thór’s story, actually perhaps it is a beginning, but it is the end of the road for the readers who have followed his progression.

Jónasson has this strangely captivating ability to draw the reader in with an almost soothing approach to crime. The surroundings add to the feeling of being simultaneously fascinated and burdened by the landscape, by the inability of a man unable to connect emotionally on a level that makes him happy. We plod along with him as he stumbles through life and crime with an almost accidental accuracy at times. It’s charming and dark all at the same time.

One can only hope the author will return to Ari Thór one day, perhaps an older version made cynical by his experiences and yet still comfortable, because he feels at home and at peace. One can only hope.

Buy Winterkill at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comHiveBookshop orgWaterstonesAt Orendabooks.co.uk.

#BlogTour The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn

Today it’s a pleasure to kick off the BlogTour for The Seven Doors by Agnes Avatn, translated by Rosie Hedger.

One of Norway’s most distinguished voices, Agnes Ravatn’s first novel to be published in the UK was The Bird Tribunal. It won an English PEN Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and the Petrona Award, and was adapted for a BBC Book at Bedtime. She returns now with a dark, powerful and deeply disturbing psychological thriller about family, secrets and  dangerous curiosity…

About the Author

Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works, Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility.

Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award, shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.

Follow Agnes Ravatn on Goodreadson AmazonBuy The Seven Doors

About the translator

Rosie Hedger was born in Scotland and completed her MA (Hons) in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She has lived and worked in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and now lives n York where she works as a frelance translator. Rosie translated Agnes Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal for Orenda Books and her translation of Gine Cordelia Pedersens’s Zero was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2019. 

Follow Rosie on Twitter @rosie_hedger, Visit rosiehedger.com

About the book

University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.

When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and Ingeborg pay her a visit.

With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.


Somewhere along the line Nina and Mads should take some responsibility for the rude, entitled daughter they have raised. How about saying no now and again? Ingeborg decides she wants to live in the rental property her parents own and turns up at the door with her mother. The tenant and her young son seem almost scared by the abrupt encounter and the threat of losing their home.

Then the young woman goes missing – leaving her young son behind. Something about the situation makes Nina suspicious and she starts to investigate the life and disappearance of this poor woman.

I absolutely loved the way Ravatn ends this book. I had to go back and read the last few pages again – just to let it sink in. It sort of gathers the entirety of human shallowness and the acts they are capable of to keep themselves safe – all in one chapter. Kill or be destroyed, tell the truth or come to terms with a version that makes life more comfortable? Selfishness and survival outrank honesty and our own accountability. 

I will certainly be putting Ravatn on my list of must-reads and authors to keep an eye on. She spins the perfect plot, even if the reader is never very far from the truth, it’s twisted often enough to keep the reader following the dangling carrot.

It’s Scandi-Crime and a domestic thriller, which is plotted meticulously, although one can absolutely be forgiven for being distracted by the often peculiar characters. Some of which seem to have a touch of megalomania and a penchant for twisting life and outcomes their way, and of course let’s not forget the smooth double-tongued duplicitous being that lurks among them. It’s a riveting read.

Buy The Seven Doors at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 17 September 2020 | Paperback original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orenda Books.

#BlogTour Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett.

About the Author

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Follow @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon,Visit  kjelloladahl.noBuy Sister

About the Translator

Don Bartlett completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbo and Karl Ove Knausgard. For Orenda he has translated several titles in Gunnar Staalesen’s Varg Veum series: We Shall Inherit the Wind, Wolves in the Dark and the Petrona award-winning Where Roses Never Die. He has also translated two books in Kjell Ola Dahl’s Oslo Detectives Series for Orenda – Faithless and The Ice Swimmer.

About the book

Oslo detective Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide…

Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.

Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run…

A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart, cementing Kjell Ola Dahl as one of the greatest crime writers of our generation.


I enjoyed the fact this wasn’t just a crime read. In this journey of a story the author brings in politics, cultural dynamics and the eternal conflict of loss and grief. It’s meticulously plotted, even if it often seems as if the reader is just along on the ride with Frølich as he tries to navigate a new relationship.

His new love interest asks him to do a friend of hers a favour, whether he can look for the sister of an asylum seeker, a sister who has changed her name and disappeared into the folds of Norway. At the time Frølich thinks there is something off about the way the young woman is unable to answer the majority of his questions, but when his search rattles some cages and has people knocking on his door he is certain there is more to the story.

It’s Nordic noir, a subtle mystery and a scathing critique at times. It points a huge finger right at the inadequacies of asylum systems and the fraudulent practices supported by the complacency and indifference in our societies.

Can I just add, as a side-note, that the chapter with the gynaecologist or indeed that character in particular has left an impression. I wouldn’t necessarily say a good one – more like a creepy uncomfortable experience with a deviant, who has no clue he is on the cusp of deviancy and yet firmly believes he is the overlord of female genitalia.

The author creates this plot within a plot, which doesn’t necessarily bring the reader close to the solution per se, because Dahl is far too wily for that, but it is one heck of a read.

Buy Sister (Oslo Detectives #8) at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 29 Feb. 2020. Buy at Orendabooks.co.uk.

Read my review of The CourierThe Ice Swimmer and Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl.

#BlogTour Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen

Today it’s my turn and time to kick off the BlogTour for Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen. Translator – David Hackston ( Twitter: @countertenorist ). It’s Scandi crime noir, and it’s witty in the way only Tuomainen manages to be.About the Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir ’ when Dark as My Heart was published.

With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died (2017) became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. Palm Beach Finland (2018) was an immense success, with The Times calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’.

Follow @antti_tuomainen @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebook,  Visit anttituomainen.comBuy Little Siberia

About the book

A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car. That something turns about to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel.

But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately, Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his.

As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is.


I have to hand it to Tuomainen you just never know what he is going to bring to the table. Stealing a meteorite?

If you are planning a trip to Finland watch out for meteorites falling from the sky. The Finnish tourist board should hire Tuomainen to write their adverts for them. The only downside would be the amount of people wanting to travel there for the atmosphere he creates and quirky characters this author keeps introducing to the world.

In a way the author makes something clear that is often murky because of the religious meaning attached to it, the fact that those in the role of the representative of god are but mere mortals too. Joel disperses advice in his role as a priest, whilst simultaneously becoming a criminal and a sinner if you will.

When someone is teetering on the edge of a precipice it only takes a very small shove to stumble and fall. In Joel’s case that shove comes straight from his beloved wife. His pregnant wife. The wife who is either pregnant by immaculate conception or some other man, because it sure isn’t his baby.

He becomes obsessed with keeping the meteorite safe, the one that just plops out of the sky, and at the same time trying to figure out who did the dirty with his wife. The whole scenario is weirdly compelling. Set in the middle of nowhere in Finland, but also somewhere Russian goons happen to pop up to steal space rocks, the story is genre-bending and very much in keeping with Tuomainen’s individualistic approach to storytelling.

Tuomainen has this very specific style – his snark is delivered with the charm of a roguish gentleman, accompanied by the wink of a dust-covered experienced cowboy and it’s as dark as Poe’s heart. As a reader you can’t help but smirk at the noirish charm, because he always delivers a good story.

It’s Scandi crime noir, and it’s witty in the way only Tuomainen manages to be.

Buy Little Siberia at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date: 17 October 2019 | Paperback | £8.99 | Buy at Amazon.com.

Read my reviews of The Man Who Died and Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen.

#BlogTour Inborn by Thomas Enger

At last it’s my turn on the BlogTour Inborn by Thomas Enger. It’s an engrossing layered crime that invites the reader in for a criminal illusionists game of sleight of hand.

About the Author

Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Thomas published his first  book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the UPRISEN (the prize for best YA novel). His next YA thriller Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has co-written a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. He also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

Follow @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks on Twitter, Visit thomasenger.net

Buy Inborn

About the book

What turns a boy into a killer?

When teenagers Mari Lindgren and Johannes Eklund are brutally murdered at their high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even, Mari’s ex-boyfriend. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself in the dock – both online. and in reality.

As Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community. Events from the past play tag with the present, and Even is forced to question everything he thought he knew.

Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Did his relationship with Mari stir up something that someone was prepared to kill to protect? There seems to be no one that Even can trust. And can we even trust him?


I make a point of not reading reviews of a book I want to read or am interested in, because I don’t want my experience to be tainted by the thoughts and reading experiences of others. This book has been all over my timeline on social media and I have been avoiding any discussions or comments, in order to be able to enjoy it. You know, just like I wouldn’t want anyone dipping a finger in my glass of wine or nibbling a bit off my bar of chocolate.

Was it worth the one-eyed slanted interactions on social media to be able to do that? Absolutely. In my opinion this is the best I have read by Enger so far. The pace, the plot, the thought-process, the characters and the writing. It just all came together to make the perfect read.

When the body of a teenage girl is found brutally murdered in the local high school of a small Norwegian village, the suspicion falls on the ex-boyfriend, Even. He has a motive and perhaps even the opportunity. He was enraged by the fact Mari had broken their relationship off without an explanation. The question is whether he was angry enough to hurt her.

Enger focuses on the reactions of the community and the impact of social media on the way Even reacts and relates to the events. The author shows the reader how important the opinion of the online voices are to such a young person. Positive confirmation via likes and supporting comments, and a the opposite impact on his emotional well-being when the comments are negative. Much like many other young men and women his behaviour and reactions are governed by third parties on the internet, often by anonymous voices.

It’s a complex web of intrigue and family secrets. Is evil inherent in those exposed to a certain degree of neglect, criminal acts and violence, especially when exposed from a very young age? Does one rotten fruit on the tree mean the rest of the apples are tainted in some way?

I really enjoyed the combo of genres, and the plot itself speaks to the increase in violence and inclination to commit heinous acts in fits of rage. Feelings of anger and rage propel otherwise seemingly innocent people towards the brink of destruction. The lack of impulse control seems to be the plague of the 21st century in regards to young people, perhaps even people in general.

It’s a unstable structure of lies and misconceptions that moves subtly with the surreptitious nature of the usually controlled emotional beast, which lays dormant within us all. The key to awakening it is different for each one of us. It’s an engrossing and layered crime that invites the reader in for a criminal illusionists game of sleight of hand. 

Buy Inborn at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 21 Feb. 2019, Buy at Amazon com

Read my review of Killed by Thomas Enger,Read my review of Cursed by Thomas Enger

#BlogTour Evil Things by Katja Ivar

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Evil Things by Katja Ivar. It’s a fascinating combo of Cold War political thriller with a hint of Scandi noir and a riveting murder mystery.

About the Author

Katja Ivar grew up in Russia and the U.S. She travelled the world extensively, from Almaty to Ushuaia, from Karelia to Kyushu, before finally settling in Paris where she lives with her husband and three children. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and a master’s degree in Contemporary History from Sorbonne University. Evil Things is her debut novel.

Follow @KatjaIvar @bitterlemonpub 

Buy Evil Things

About the book

Lapland, Finland, 1952. It’s the height of the Cold War and Finland is a snow-smothered powder keg. Sharing a long border with the Soviet Union the country is engaged in a high-wire act of protecting its independence from its sometimes dangerous neighbour. 

Hella Mauzer is the first female Inspector in the Helsinki Homicide Unit. Or was, until she was deemed too ‘emotional’ for the job and reassigned to Lapland. When a man disappears from a remote village on the Soviet border, Hella jumps at the chance to investigate. Her boss is sceptical; after all, people disappear in the snows of Finland all the time. Then a body is found. But the small village of Käärmela is harbouring a second crime. A crime whose evil is of another magnitude.


I can imagine some readers may be inclined to overlook this book because the title suggests something more along the genre of horror. Luckily the blurb allays any such notion, because this is the perfect book for lovers of Scandinavian crime and Cold War fiction to dip into.

I’ll admit it took me by surprise. It is well-written and plotted with a fantastically obnoxious and eccentric main character. I think Hella Mauzer might be my grumpy soul spirit living in the type of freezing environment I would never venture into or live in.

One of the most annoying and most poignant points the author makes in the story is the second-class status of females in the police force during more than the first half of the twentieth century. Women were perceived, as is Mauzer, to be too emotional and fragile to work as effective police officers. They certainly weren’t allowed anywhere near a crime scene. Good gosh, they might cry or be overwhelmed with emotions. They should be at home making babies and baking cookies, waiting for their partners, who clearly have to be chosen by other people, because hey we all know women weren’t capable of making lucid choices for their own future. ‘Sigh.’

Those kind of attitudes are enough to drive anyone to become withdrawn or spend a lifetime pretending to be something they aren’t. They certainly do nothing for the career Hella wants to expand and enjoy. Instead she is blocked, deterred and insulted at every opportunity by the colleagues who should have her back, which leaves her in dangerous situations at times.

Unlike her male colleagues, Hella has a nose for crime. She has a gut instinct for things that just don’t seem quite right, but gut instinct just screams women’s intuition to her boss, which means he ignores her observations.

She heads up to an isolated area in Lapland to investigate the disappearance of a man, after his young grandson is found cold and hungry in their cabin. Everything Hella finds out suggests she would never leave the boy alone for six days, well not voluntarily. So, where the heck is he?

It’s a fascinating combination of Cold War political games with a hint of Scandi Noir, and a riveting murder mystery. The main character and the way she reacts to her environment and other people is what gives this read a flair of eccentric humour. You can almost imagine her stomping off into the cold or interviewing suspects with her brusque and less than charming manner.

I commend Ivar for coming up with a character who has to try and solve crimes within the constraints of misogyny and misguided misconceptions. She is without a doubt a writer to watch out for.

Buy Evil Things on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press, pub date 11 Jan 2019

Visit bitterlemonpress.com and Buy Evil Things

#BlogTour Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen. It’s a quirky venture into witty noir with a cheeky nod in the direction of an 80s cult crime series. Only Tuomainen could pull this off.

About the Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards.

Follow @antti_tuomainen @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Facebook: facebook.com/antti.tuomainen, Visit anttituomainen.com

Buy Palm Beach Finland

About the book

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.

With a nod to Fargo, and the darkest noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a wicked black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives … from the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’.


I shouldn’t really be surprised that Tuomainen has managed to write a crime novel, which takes place in Finland, that is an ode to the 80s and the very memorable cult police series Miami Vice. Think sun, palm trees, detectives dressed to the nines in bright suits and blazers, and streets lined with blinking neon signs. Now think cold breezy Finland, plastic palm trees, gaudy neon signs, uniforms a la Baywatch that barely cover body parts and a detective who dresses with a Woodstock vibe.

Olivia has returned to her hometown after the death of her father to find his house is smack-bang in the middle of a very ambitious beach resort. It puts her in a precarious situation and on top of that the house is falling apart around her. It’s an expensive money-pit and she has no money.

Jan Nyman is an undercover cop who is sent into the middle of a curious murder case, which also happens to take place in the middle of this peculiar ‘luxury’ beach resort. In fact everything and everyone is connected to the Palm Beach Finland.

‘Bookings are being taken for the summer season 2019 as we speak, don’t delay – rooms are going quicker than an Aldi cashier zapping items through on the cash desk conveyor belt.’ – Palm Beach Finland Resort.

In his own way the author shows how shallow, desperate and greedy the human race can be when it comes down to cold hard cash. Friends betray friends, honest people become criminals and the supposedly morally correct suddenly get selective memories.

It’s a quirky venture into witty noir with a cheeky nod in the direction of an 80s cult crime series. Only Tuomainen could pull this off.  He has a talent for creating bizarre storylines and making them not only enjoyable but also seem completely normal. Definitely an author to check out.

Buy Palm Beach Finland at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books, Publication Date: October 2018

Read my review of The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen.

#BlogTour Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Today it is an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir. It’s the sequel to Snare, and as in the first book, the action doesn’t let up for a second. It’s Nordic Noir with a hefty pinch of reality.About the Author

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Follow @lilja1972  @OrendaBooks on Twitter, Visit liljawriter.com

Buy Trap

About the book

Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.

With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…

Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.


Trap is the sequel to Snare, which is the story of a mother caught up in drug smuggling ring and desperately trying to save herself and her son. Trap begins with Sonja being brought back to her harsh reality, when she and Tomas are returned to Iceland against her will.

Sonja finds herself back in the same cycle of emotional blackmail and in the middle of a hive of criminals. Her focus however remains the same, to get her son away from his father. The only reason he wants Tomas is to keep Sonja in line and making a profit for him as a very good drug mule.

You can almost feel the change in Sonja in this book, as her feelings of helplessness turn into rage, which she channels to try and outsmart her ex and the hardcore criminals she is dealing with. Hopefully she hasn’t bitten off more than she can chew?

When I say good drug mule I have to mention how efficient Sonja is at transporting the drugs and evading detection at the airports and border control points. The author seems to have researched this smuggling malarkey intricately and has it down to a fine art. Just to clarify – I mean describing it in the story and not actually physically smuggling anything herself.

The stories by Sigurdardóttir are going from strength to strength, which is perhaps not discernible at a first glance, because the pace is fast and the noir is darker than a sooty cat. It’s easy to overlook the meticulous detail and research that has gone into the creation of the storyline, in regards to the drug smuggling and the fraudulent financial dealings by the bankers or banksters, as the author calls them.

It’s an action packed, fast-paced read filled with the brutal reality of the drug world, an abusive controlling ex and the dirty world of finance. It’s Nordic Noir with a hefty pinch of reality.

Buy Trap (Reykjavik Noir #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Buy Snare (Reykjavik Noir #1) at Amazon Uk

Read my review of Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir