From The Beacon: Try these Larsson-like crime thrillers
Without a doubt, the most requested books at the Beaufort County Library this past summer were the ones in the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.
Beginning with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," these novels about computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomqvist captured the attention of readers around the world. If you enjoyed the time you spent with Lisbeth and Mikael, here are a few suggestions for what to read next:
The first book in the Swedish mystery series featuring Police Inspector Kurt Wallander, "Faceless Killers" by Henning Mankell starts out with a bang. When an elderly couple is brutally murdered, Wallander is put in charge of the investigation. He quickly becomes preoccupied with getting to the bottom of a seemingly senseless act of violence. As his personal life begins to unravel, Wallander questions whether he'll have the determination and energy to see the investigation through to the end. This is a stellar start to a fantastic series.
Set in Oslo, Norway, "The Redbreast" by Jo Nesbø is thought-provoking crime fiction at its best. Inspector Harry Hole is a recovering alcoholic, recently assigned to monitor a neo-Nazi who escaped a prison sentence on a technicality. Initially bored by his new assignment, Hole soon uncovers a plot that has roots in the battlefields of World War II and will lead him on a journey from South Africa to Vienna. Expertly weaving the story lines from the past and the present, Nesbø creates a gripping thriller.
If you appreciated Lisbeth Salander's distinctive outlook on life, people and justice, "Smilla's Sense of Snow" by Peter Høeg is just the book for you. The half-Danish, half-Greenlander Smilla is cynical, brilliant and aloof, but when her neighbor, a young boy she has befriended, falls from the roof of her apartment building and his death is deemed accidental, she takes it upon herself to investigate what she believes was a murder. A fast-paced story, intriguing characters, interesting locale and fabulous writing make this a must-read.
Lionel Essrog is not your typical detective, and "Motherless Brooklyn" by Jonathan Lethem is not your standard mystery novel. Lionel, an orphan with Tourette's syndrome and a tendency toward compulsive behavior, is picked by local mobster Frank Minna as an errand boy in his limo service/detective agency. When Minna turns up dead, Lionel sets out to solve the case. Lionel is a character you won't soon forget, and this is a unique spin on the classic detective story.
"In the Woods" by Tana French is a complex and engrossing mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. One evening during the summer of 1984, three friends run into the woods near their homes to play. Two of the children are never seen again and one is found clinging to a tree, his shoes filled with blood, unable to recall anything that happened that day. Now, 20 years later, a 12-year-old girl has vanished under eerily similar circumstances and Rob Ryan, the boy who was found alive, is the detective assigned to the case.