wed 18/10/2017

Nordic noir

The Snowman review - Michael Fassbender can't save Harry Hole

The crime novels of Jo Nesbø are rampaging Nordic psycho-operas. The author's Oslo detective Harry Hole is a lofty alcoholic who takes an outrageous pummelling in his pursuit of deranged serial killers. His many adventures fill the crime shelves in...

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Black Lake, Series Finale, BBC Four review – Nordic noir comes to an unsatisfying end

Beware – here be spoilers, though if you can make them out through the blizzard of cliché that engulfed the last double-bill of this thunderingly underwhelming Nordic noir then you’re already ahead of me.Black Lake (BBC Four) saw a group of largely...

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Peter Høeg: The Susan Effect review - Nordic noir turns surreal

Peter Høeg is still overwhelmingly known for a novel published a quarter of a century ago. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow featured a half-Inuit woman whose suspicion over a young neighbour’s death in Copenhagen lures her from Denmark back to...

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Midnight Sun finale review - 'terminal silliness, wholesale slaughter'

So here’s the thing: a heavily pregnant woman is hanging by her ankles above a raging torrent. Two teens, one with a broken arm, are stuck down a well. And 15 miners, deep below ground, take refuge from a fire in an emergency chamber, unaware it has...

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Sunday Book: Jo Nesbo - The Thirst

The jacket designs of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole thrillers don’t muck about. The novelist’s name with its anglicised spelling is branded in eye-catching upper-case yellow, accompanied by the latest sales figures. "Over five million copies sold worldwide...

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Midnight Sun, Sky Atlantic

You can just hear Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, the clever-sick Swedes behind Midnight Sun, cackling as they cooked up the pre-title sequence to the first episode of their new series. A grizzled man in a grey suit wakes up to find himself strapped...

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Case, Channel 4

Another night, another woman battered/strangled/raped/murdered. On Sunday a pregnant woman was brutally slapped about by her husband in Call the Midwife, while Emily Watson’s character in Apple Tree Yard was the victim of a punishment rape. And so...

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Trapped, Series Finale, BBC Four

A Nordic noir that began in a blazing fish factory was bound to have lots of red herrings. Trapped, however, did not cheat and eventually revealed not only who set the fire but who was the father of Maggi, the ginger cutie waiting ever so...

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The Bridge, Series 3 Finale, BBC Four

Was it just my bewilderment, or were there even more criss-crossing narratives than usual in this third series of The Bridge? As in, unusually expanded levels of human traffic, in various forms of distress, flowing under said structure.The Bridge,...

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The Bridge, Series 3, BBC Four

The Saga saga has come round for a third turn of the wheel. Much water has flowed under The Bridge since series two. Without wishing to provoke a visit from the spoiler Stasi, it is safe to reveal that Martin is no longer in the picture. He is...

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Fortitude, Sky Atlantic

If you can't beat 'em, steal brazenly from 'em. Instead of importing another Scandinavian drama series and slapping on some subtitles, or recycling Fargo or Breaking Bad (or for that matter Deadwood or Twin Peaks), Sky Atlantic has pushed the boat...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Sofie Gråbøl

Sofie Gråbøl as Danish royalty: it hardly stretches credulity. The face of Nordic noir has been a star in her home country ever since appearing in Bille August's Pelle the Conqueror in 1987, but is solely familiar on these shores as Sarah Lund, the...

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