Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Winter Woeful-Land

Now that Labor Day has come and gone and the days are getting fractionally shorter with each sunset, the promise of a glorious autumn is imminent. Fall, though, like Spring is a fleeting season with very few days of its own, most of them belonging to either a fading summer or an all too eager winter. Indeed it's at about this time of year that I begin to think about the winter season. Holiday promotions begin to appear in magazines and shop windows and the bitter winds, slushy snow, and frosty nights of January seem no more than a blink away. While the twinkling white lights in the trees and enormous holiday meals shared with loved-ones bring some feeling of warmth to the dreary cold, the essence of a Chicago winter is a brutal and unforgiving one. It is a setting of low, blank skies and an overpowering sense of the color gray. It's an empty, forsaken time wherein one passes few people on the street and those who do pass by walk quickly and say nothing. 
Forthcoming from Arnaldur Indridason

While a Chicago winter might have little or no appeal as a vacation destination, its essence shares something special in common with the gritty atmosphere of many mystery novels put forth by several popular Scandinavian authors. Bitter cold and a sense of pervasive personal isolation feature heavily. For fans of murder and mayhem and for those whose sense of wonder is awakened by the chillingly sinister approach of another Chicago winter I've compiled a short list of new and forthcoming Scandinavian mysteries. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great reading list. I will rely on it heavily this winter, along with my Zoloft and seasonal affective disorder lamps.

Linda K. said...

Thanks for a great list! It's amazing how compelling these frozen mysteries can be. I also loved Snow Angels by James Thompson. Technically he was born in this country, but lived in Finland while writing his dark cold series.

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