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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Barry Forshaw-Death in a Cold Climate
Barry Forshaw,an expert writer and presenter on crime fiction,
has produced a stimulating,extensive and innovative book on
Scandinavian crime fiction.
He gives space to crime fiction from Sweden,Norway,Iceland,
Finland and Denmark,but is at pains to show that whilst these
may be lumped together and called Scandinavian crime fiction,
there are...
Published on 24 Jan 2012 by Simon Clarke

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crime in the Cold
Having read as many Nordic thrillers as I can in translation. I looked forward to this avidly hoping to find some new names. There are some new authors here but mainly the usual suspects. I come from a background of technical literature and consultantcy reports. Therefore I expect an ordered presentation. I find the book rather disorganised with the same topics appearing...
Published on 26 April 2012 by Brooker


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Barry Forshaw-Death in a Cold Climate, 24 Jan 2012
By 
Simon Clarke (Hackney, London) - See all my reviews
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Barry Forshaw,an expert writer and presenter on crime fiction,
has produced a stimulating,extensive and innovative book on
Scandinavian crime fiction.
He gives space to crime fiction from Sweden,Norway,Iceland,
Finland and Denmark,but is at pains to show that whilst these
may be lumped together and called Scandinavian crime fiction,
there are crucial differences and unique features about each
of the above countries which are reflected in the novels.
Pretty well all the current authors available at present in
English translation are covered,and apart from Forshaw's
thoughtful and often provoking comments on many of the books,
this volume also includes illuminating interviews with many
of the authors.Additionally, and unusually, the book also carries
interviews with translators and publishers,which I found most
enlightening.
This is a very welcome book,that has enhanced my enjoyment and
knowledge of the genre.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Guide, 24 Jan 2012
Barry Forshaw's latest foray into the world of crime fiction is essential reading for anyone interested (either in passing or depth) in the world of Nordic Noir. From Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo to Jo Nesbo; from Henning Mankell to Steig Larsson; from Hakan Nesser to Anne Holt - the players are there. Forget the Icelandic woes and immerse yourself into this fascinating book. You might need a warm brandy whilst doing it, though!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy but valuable and up-to-date, 23 Jan 2012
By 
Brian J. Cox (Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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"Death in a Cold Climate" is a sloppy book, poorly structured with lots of repetition - sometimes even in the same paragraph - and clunky prose, but nonetheless it is a very valuable and very up-to-date account of the rise of Scandinavian crime fiction, so I'll focus on the positive. The book includes (in approximate descending order of allocated space) Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, so it includes all the Nordic countries (except the Faroes, which as far as I know haven't yet produced any crime fiction translated into English). There is also some coverage of work by British writers set in Scandinavia, which is a bonus (I have already ordered two Michael Ridpath novels set in Iceland which I was previously unaware of).

Forshaw doesn't attempt - wisely in my view - a complete run-down of every Scandinavian crime novel in English, instead covering all the authors that I at least know of, and more, by reference to selected titles. On Henning Mankell, for example, he has perhaps more to say about the non-Wallander novels than the Wallander ones, which is probably sensible given since surely everyone likely to read this book will be more than familiar with Wallander from the books and TV adaptations. Considerable space is given to interviews with authors, translators and English-language editors, and these are in many respects the best parts of the book (although they also suffer from repetition). I found the various discussions on translation particularly interesting, with editors and translators together trying to find the right balance between remaining true to the original text while making the story accessible to readers in a different language. There is of course also considerable discussion about the social and political themes present in most Scandinavian crime fiction, particularly - but not only - in Swedish books, going right back to the Martin Beck books of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, which most authors acknowledge to be the real source of modern Scandinavian crime fiction. Questions are also raised about how long the popularity of this sub-genre is likely to continue, and whether standards can be (or indeed are being) maintained - this is a particularly thorny issue when a purchasing editor is unable to read the work in its original form and has to rely on agents and others.

The book demonstrates well the wide variety of Scandinavian crime fiction, all the way from the "purer" crime fiction like that of Ruth Rendell, who seems to be much admired in Scandinavia, to what might be called the "American thriller" type. If there is anything lacking, it is perhaps a rather deeper analysis of what made the Stieg Larsson books so successful, but many others, including Forshaw himself, have done this elsewhere. Jo Nesbø seems to be taking on the mantle of Stieg Larsson, but I find his novels rather over-the-top and prefer the more refined work of authors like Karin Fossum. But the wide variety of styles and subject-matter on offer means there is something for everyone, and is one of the great strengths of Scandinavian crime fiction. Now excuse me, please, I've got some more books to order!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covering the Scandinavian Invasion!, 18 Jan 2012
Forshaw's book provides an insightful and accessible guide to the ongoing phenomenon of Nordic Noir. With the recent successes of 'The Killing', 'Borgen', and 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' on television and at the cinema, as well as the established popularity of Wallander (Henning Mankell) and the Millennium trilogy (Stieg Larsson), the time is absolutely right for such an informative and illuminating volume. Forshaw is a renowned and respected expert in the area, and draws on an impressive array of interview material (from authors, journalists, and scholars) to texture his accounts of Scandinavian crime fiction. Popular texts like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Snowman are discussed from fresh perspectives that open them out to the reader in new ways. Lesser-known titles are given equal space, providing the reader with an essential list of writers and books to develop their enjoyment of the genre. With 'Death in a Cold Climate', Forshaw presents a perfect companion to the wintry landscapes and murky goings-on of the Nordic underworld. A must-read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crime in the Cold, 26 April 2012
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Having read as many Nordic thrillers as I can in translation. I looked forward to this avidly hoping to find some new names. There are some new authors here but mainly the usual suspects. I come from a background of technical literature and consultantcy reports. Therefore I expect an ordered presentation. I find the book rather disorganised with the same topics appearing in different places. The three main themes, national identities and social mores for each Nordic state, the effect of translation on our perception of the author (very important) and synopses of individual books. Much is made of the effect of politics on the writing. In my view there are bad books or good books Why put someone off Sjowall and Wahloo or Sapper just read them as cracking novels. So less banging on about politics please like the Danes.
One weakness of many Nordic writers which is never mentioned is uniformity of plot structure across a series of novels. Lackeberg, Nesser and Jungstedt spring to mind among others. To my mind this makes Mankel,Sjowall and Wahloo,and Larsson far better writers and what about Jan Kjaerstad. On one level his Wergeland trilogy can be read as a murder mystery as can Edwin Drood.
Finally in the section on film and TV a mention if English Language DVDs can be obtained please. Someone suggested from Australia.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Death in a Cold Climate, 5 May 2014
I found this book unreadable due to the proliferation of brackets ( ) on almost every page. I hardly got beyond the introduction before I had to give up due to increasing intense irritation. Check any page at random and you will find it littered with said irritants ( ). Did no -one at Palgrave Macmillan edit this text?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scandi Crime writers treatise, 2 April 2013
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Essential reading for anyone who has started on the journey of reading the wide variety of Scandi Crime fiction (and to anyone who just watches the TV and cinema adaptations). The work is comprehensive, but a bit dry - it comes across as a University Lecturer's treatise. Note to Barry Forshaw - you can include humour even when talking about the darkest of noir novels!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Death in a cold climate., 25 Feb 2013
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Purchased the book as a gift. Knew the type of genre I was looking for but not the exact title. But the recipient of the gift was thrilled.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit confusing, 3 Dec 2012
By 
B. Montford (ILKLEY, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This book is okay but written rather like a novel instead of a reference book. It would be a more useable guide if the presentation was more like his previous book, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 29 Oct 2014
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Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction (Crime Files)
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