2022 promises to be a big year for Nordic Literature with a number of highly anticipated books, both fiction and non-fiction, hitting the shelves.
Here is my Top 10 releases to look out for in 2022!
The Harbour – Katrin Engberg
(Fiction; Expected March 2022)
Those of you who read our 2021 Nordic Books of The Year will know we’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of ‘The Harbour’, the third instalment in the Korner & Werner series, for some time. Well, the wait finally ends on 17 March when the hardback hits UK shelves.
Described as the pair’s toughest case to date, the story begins with the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff. When 24 hours pass and he still hasn’t returned, panic ensues. Then comes the discovery that the family have been receiving threatening notes. But who sent them? And will Korner & Werner connect the dots before it’s too late? I can’t wait to find out.
Secrets Of The Sprakkar – Eliza Reid
(Non-Fiction; Expected in March 2022)
The first non-fiction book on our list comes courtesy of none other than the First Lady of Iceland, Eliza Reid. Described by Hilary Clinton as providing a ‘fascinating window into what a more gender-equal world could look like’, Secrets of the Sprakkar (an ancient Icelandic word meaning extraordinary or outstanding women) is a ‘powerful and atmospheric portrait of a country that could lead the way forward for us all’.
In attempting to answer questions such as: ‘what is it about Iceland that makes many women’s experience there so positive? Why has their society made such meaningful progress in the on-going gender equality battle? And how can we learn from what Icelanders about how increased fairness benefits everyone?’, Eliza examines her adopted homeland’s attitude toward women, the influence of current and historical role models, and the areas where Iceland still has room for improvement. A book I have no doubt we’ll all be able to learn from.
For The Lost – Lina Bengtsdotter
(Fiction; Expected in March 2022)
‘For The Lost’ will be Lina’s third book to hit UK shores and follows in the footsteps of the hugely successful, ‘For The Missing’ and ‘For The Dead’. For those unfamiliar with her work, the central character is troubled, yet highly likeable, detective Charlie Lager.
‘For The Lost’ will find her in a desperate search to locate 9-month-old baby Beatrice who’s gone missing from her pram. When all leads start to go cold and the Karlstad locals prove anything but helpful it becomes a race against time to find Beatrice alive. Keep an eye on Nordic Watchlist socials for details of a very exciting event at which Lina will be speaking.
Reptile Memoirs – Silje Ulstein
(Fiction; Expected in March 2022)
Reptile Memoirs is Silje’s first book to be translated into English and its release has garnered a fair bit of attention due to the uniqueness of the plot. Described as a “biting and constantly shifting tale of family secrets, rebirth, and the legacy of trauma” Reptile Memoirs is said to be a “brilliant exploration of the cold-bloodedness of humanity, and the struggle to mend broken lives and families”.
It begins in Alesund with Liv and her two roommates, all high on marijuana, watching an Australian nature show. Liv becomes obsessed with having a pet snake and, low and behold, soon becomes the owner of a Burmese python; quickly becoming incredibly protective. The timeline then moves forward thirteen years to Kristiansund as we’re introduced to Mariam & Iben, a mother and daughter on a shopping trip.
Angered by repeated requests to buy her a magazine Mariam leaves, assuming that Iben will manage to find her own way home but, when she doesn’t, all starts to unfold. Silje will be joining Lina at the very exciting event mentioned above so if you’re keen to hear more about the book, do keep a close eye on our social feeds.
Cigarette – Per Hagman
(Fiction; Expected in April 2022)
Staying with fiction but stepping away from crime for a moment, the next book on our list comes published by our friend Duncan at Nordisk Books and was originally published in Sweden in 1991.
The first of a loose trilogy, the story takes place in summer 1989 and follows the adventures of Johan, a young waiter working at the Hard Rock Café, Stockholm. His nights are filled with parties, drugs, booze and music with him constantly chasing the next girl and the next high.
The book is described as having inspired and influenced generations of young Swedish people and authors and I cannot wait. I am fortunate enough to have secured an interview with Duncan in advance of publication so be sure to keep a look out for that.
The Fallout/The Silence – Yrsa Sigurdardottir
(Fiction; Expected in May 2022)
If ever there was a book guaranteed to make my list of those to get excited about, it was probably this one; the sixth book in the fantastic Freyja & Huldar series. The front cover is adorned with the tagline, ‘A murdered woman. A missing child. And a father intent on revenge’ and if that doesn’t spark your interest, well the fact that the murdered woman is found dismembered in a car with her head missing just might!
Freyja & Huldar find themselves working on the case together but what effect will that have on their own ‘will they, won’t they, they finally will, maybe they won’t’ relationship!? Yrsa holds the accolade of being the only author to have a whole shelf of my bookcase dedicated to her and I cant wait to add this one to the collection.
The Mirror Man – Lars Kepler
(Fiction; Expected in June 2022)
The infamous husband and wife duo return later this year with the eighth book in the Joona Linna series with this one described as, ‘the darkest, most chilling crime thriller of 2022’.
A quick glance at the blurb tells me that may well be right – ‘Five years ago, Jenny Lind was abducted on her way home from school. Now her lifeless body is found hanging in a playground. But there is no evidence and only one witness – a man who cannot remember what he saw.
With Detective Joona Linna and the police scrambling to find a lead, another girl goes missing. And as they close in on the killer, they discover that the Mirror Man’s crimes are more shocking than they ever could have imagined’. As with all Kepler books, expect tension, suspense, intrigue and an incredibly clever plot.
The Night Man – Jorn Lier Horst
(Fiction; Expected in July 2022)
If I were to write an article on my favourite crime fiction detectives (in fact, maybe I should do exactly that) then William Wisting would be right up there near, if not at, the top.
Despite being the latest to be released in the UK, chronologically speaking, ‘The Night Man‘ is actually the fifth book in the series. The beauty of Jorn’s writing however means that there is no requirement to have read any of the others (though you should!).
My view is very much that they can be read as standalones. In ‘The Night Man’ Wisting is called on following the discovery of a severed head on a stake. As the case develops his journalist daughter Line receives a tip off and we learn that a network of criminals have embedded themselves in the small, quiet town of Larvik. It falls on Wisting to locate and bring down the elusive Night Man.
The Winners – Fredrik Backman
(Fiction; Expected in October 2022)
The long awaited finale to the superb ‘Beartown’ series will arrive in October and reading the blurb alone reminded me how much I love not only this series but Backman’s writing full stop. “Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink”.
Now I’m not one for wishing away time but October cannot come quick enough! If you haven’t read either Beartown or Us Against, well, I guess you’ve got eight months to do so!
The Moose Paradox – Antti Tuomainen
(Fiction; Expected in October 2022)
The Moose Paradox is the second book in what will be a trilogy and follows 2021’s incredible opener, ‘The Rabbit Factor‘. Described as ‘funnier, jazzier and more suspenseful’ than the first in the series, the book’s central character remains chief actuary/
theme adventure park owner, Henri Koskinen who, once again, finds his world turned upside down with the arrival of a shady character from the past.
Sure to be filled with humour, heart skipping moments and fantastic storytelling in equal measure, the year’s releases are certainly ending on a high.
Feature by Marc Harries