Installment #2: The Katharina Code by Jørn Lier Horst
This evening I’ve decided to mix things up a little bit from my usual reviews; I’m going to explore the story behind my Currently Reading pick!
A hobby of mine since I was 12 years old is going Drag Racing and the European championship includes countries such as France, Germany and Sweden. In 2010 the team of friends I crewed with took the race cars to Sweden and having never travelled to any Scandinavian country before, I didn’t know what to expect – but aged 15 I fell in love with the country. We’ve been back a few times since 2010, but each time I’ve had to reluctantly get the plane home. In fact, the whole team loved Sweden so much that my friends moved over there permanently a few years ago.
There’s something special about Scandinavian culture, lifestyle and landscape that I feel really drawn to. Partially this could be attributed to when the Danish crime drama “Forbrydelsen“aired on UK TV and my dad would record episodes, then we’d sit and watch them together on Sunday mornings. We loved watching “The Killing” in Danish with English subtitles, then also the US version along with “The Bridge”, “Wallander” and “Borgen”.
The portrayal of quintessential Scandinavian/Nordic life on TV and in books, even in the crime genre, still feels welcoming to me. Having spent time in Sweden, I felt very safe both in rural and town locations, but I’m not naive to think that crimes simply don’t occur, however I still enjoy reading about and watching them. Visiting my friends for a long weekend in snowy February a few years back solidified how much I enjoy being over there in all seasons and weathers – the picturesque red and white houses in the snow look so beautiful, just like a traditional Christmas card.
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my dad a couple of years ago as he’d been enjoying reading other Scandinavian authors for a few years, but hadn’t read anything by this guy. He was pleased with the book, read it and said he enjoyed it and so has passed it to me so that I can read it too. The weather went from scorching early summer sunshine in April to chilly, overcast winter in May here in the UK, so I picked this Nordic crime thriller as my next currently reading so I can cosy up on the sofa and dream of being in a snowy, wintery cabin in the Swedish countryside. – GJ