I Thought You Were Nice*

Håkan Östlund författareDiscovering a ‘new-to-you’ author is one of the real privileges of reading crime fiction. Those great new finds add zest and interest to one’s reading life (I know, and books to the TBR…). That’s why I’m so pleased that Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise has created a terrific New (to me, anyway) Authors meme. Each quarter, crime fiction fans are invited to share blog posts about authors whose work they’ve discovered for the first time. Sound good? Do join in if you’d like! And while you’re at Kerrie’s excellent blog, have a look around. It’s a top source of great crime fiction reads, and one of my must-stops.

This quarter, my choice is Håkan Östlundh. Östlundh was born in Uppsala, and raised in Stockholm, where he still lives, except for summers, which he spends in Gotland. His background is in journalism and television, and he’s written for Sweden’s most well-regarded paper.

Östlundh is the author of the (thus far) seven-novel Fredrik Borman series. I first got to The Intruderknow him through The Intruder, the fifth in that series. Borman is a police detective based in Gotland. Unlike many modern sleuths, Borman is functional, and has stable, loving relationships with his wife Ninni and his two sons, Joakim and Simon. In this novel, he and his police partner Sara Oskarsson investigate a bizarre case involving professional blogger Malin Andersson and her husband, photographer Henrik Kjellander. When they and their children travel for two months, they sub-let their home to temporary residents as a way to make some extra money. But they regret that choice very soon when they return. First, they find several dishes and utensils missing. There’s trash everywhere, several sticky messes, and much worse. At first, they put it down to sloppy, rude tenants. But then, Malin finds that one of the family photographs has been mutilated. Others are missing. Now it seems clear that this is some sort of personal attack, so Borman and his team are called in. As they look into the case, other, more frightening, things happen, and it’s clear that the police are going to have to find out who’s responsible very quickly, before worse happens. In the end, it’s all connected to past events, and to a complex family history.

This is a series that hasn’t all been translated into English. I know that Fredrik Borman #4 (The Viper) has (at least in the US), and I am hoping that more of this series will be available in English.


Want to know more about Håkan Östlundh? His website is here. His Goodreads author page is right here.

Want to know more about The Intruder? It’s right here.

Want to know more about The Viper? Here it is.



*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from The Softies’ About You.


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28 responses to “I Thought You Were Nice*

  1. Oh, those Scandinavians are so dominant right now. Funny that.

  2. Sounds good! You got me at functional with a stable family! I shall add this one to my wishlist, since adding to the TBR is banned right now… 😉 Am I alone in thinking that we might be beginning to see a move away from the drunken maverick? Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking and the fact that I’ve been looking towards the ‘cosier’ end of the market recently…

    • 😆 I know all too well about the TBR thing, FictionFan! I really do hope that we will have more functional sleuths with stable home lives. I know that it’s possible to have such characters – characters who aren’t perfect and do mess up, but are stable people. Certainly I think most of us could identify with characters like that. We shall see whether you’re right.

  3. I will add to my “wish ” list too Margot 🙂 I might have to join the meme – but it seems most of my reads are “new to me” authors these days:)

  4. Not an author I have heard of but your post makes me eager to read him Thanks.

  5. Thanks for the intro Margot, very welcome indeed.

  6. Finding new authors and their work is definitely one of the best things about blogging. I especially enjoy listening to the audio versions of these books as I get a real feel for the country, language and setting through the narrator’s dialect.

    • You’re not the only one who loves audio for those reasons, Mason. There’s definitely something to be said for getting caught up in a story that way. And I’m with you; I love the information I get about new authors to try when I visit people blogs, like your own terrific blog. It’s great!

  7. Completely new to me too, and sounds great….

  8. Pingback: You Take Your Pension in Loneliness and Alcohol* | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

  9. I’ve often wondered why when books are translated they don’t release the series in order – I really enjoyed Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus which was the 4th in the series, the next Bad Wolf was the 6th so I waited to see if we’d get the 5th but the latest is the 7th! It seems that there may be a similar pattern occurring with Håkan Östlundh too.

    • That’s a really apt comparison, Cleo! I’ve often wondered, myself, why books are not translated in order. It may be that the publisher thinks that, say, Book 3 will sell better in a given market than Book 2 would. Or it may have to do with negotiations about translation and foreign rights. I honestly don’t know for sure. But I really do prefer it when a series is available in order, even in translation.

  10. Col

    Margot, I haven’t heard of him before. Interesting but probably no time!

  11. Keishon

    It’s so interesting that you mentioned this book. I happen to have it as well.

  12. tracybham

    This author is one I have not heard of and your description of his books sound very good. I will hold off and see if more of them are translated. I have so many books by Scandinavian authors that I have not read yet.

    • I know exactly what you mean, Tracy. I’ll be interested to know what you think of this one if you do read it. There are, I’ll admit, differing opinions of it.

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