Forshaw’s Death in a Cold Climate Gets Excellent Reviews

Barry Forshaw's Death in a Cold Climate

Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction 

by Barry Forshaw

Palgrave Macmillan, 224pp, £16.99

If you have not pre-ordered Barry Forshaw’s Guide to Scandinavian Crime yet this is certainly a title lovers of Nordic Noir will be looking forward to this month, if we are to judge from Barry’s appearance last year in the Nordic Noir Book Club and from the praise that has already appeared in the press. Here’s a selection of reviews:

Iain Finlayson writes in The Times. As the editor of Crime Time, the influential website, Barry Forshaw’s forensic feeling for snow is coloured by the quantity and quality of blood spilled on it in recent years by Nordic crime writers. The dash of publishers to find “the next Stieg Larsson” and their hyping of Jo Nesbø as “the next Henning Mankell” indicates the strength of cold climate killing as a subgenre of crime fiction. Forshaw, an able critic of literary style, interviews the principal players, recommends new contenders, discusses the subtleties of translation, analyses the social and political themes and assesses the success or otherwise (he is too kind to Kenneth Branagh as Wallander) of film and television adaptations. This overview of a literary phenomenon is as definitive as any aficionado could hope for.

Mons Kallentoft writes in the Financial Times (“Crime Pays”). “I met Barry Forshaw briefly at a dinner for crime fiction aficionados in London some time ago. He was the obvious authority in the room; I could see people straining to hear, weighing his words carefully. That evening, Forshaw came across as humble, intelligent and perceptive. His new book Death in a Cold Climate is both intelligent and perceptive. Humble it is not. It is, to my knowledge, the most complete guide to Scandinavian crime fiction yet written in any language, an invaluable companion for anyone interested in the genre.”

Would be great to hear some impressions from this blog’s readers. Please share your views of Barry’s take on Scandinavian crime fiction.



Filed under Recommendations, Scandinavian crime fiction

5 responses to “Forshaw’s Death in a Cold Climate Gets Excellent Reviews

  1. My review of the book has gone up at Euro Crime today: . I liked the book very much (of course!) but think it is aimed more at those who are not very familiar with Scandinavian crime novels, than hard-core people such as myself. Which is absolutely fair enough. I particularly liked the sections by the authors and (especially) the translators.

  2. Nordic Noir being one of my favorite genre, I will certainly try to get this book.

  3. As one of those to whom Mons Kallentoft correctly identified as listening to Barry Forshaw’s every comment (as he is the authority figure) at that London launch meal, I can concur with all he has said above and, furthermore, was honoured to get to read Death in a Cold Climate and review for ‘We Love This Book’.
    Here’s the link if you want to take a look at what I thought of it:

    All best

    Keith @keithbwalters (twitter)

    • jakobstougaard

      Thanks, Keith, for alerting us to your very informative review of Barry’s book. Having read the book myself, I completely agree and find it not only engaging and all embracing, but also admirable in the way Barry includes TV-crime and highlights the work of the many fantastic translators from Scandinavian languages into English. My hope is that they will get much more work, and that British publishers will become more adventurous when they will surely see from this book how wide and deep Scandinavian literary traditions go. Thanks for the input.

    • A pleasure.
      And I completely agree that it’s great that the unsung heroes of Scandi Crime (the translators) were so well featured

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