Along with the popularity of Nordic crime writers, old and new, we can now choose from a great selection of UK based writers who set their books in Nordic places. I am thinking of writers such as Quentin Bates, Craig Robertson and Michael Ridpath.
Meet Me in Malmo by Torquil MacLeod is one such book. Let me introduce you to Inspector Anita Sundstrom. I like her. She is a realistic character. She gets tired, she wears glasses, likes a drink and she uses ‘snus’ but still craves a cigarette occasionally.
Meet Me in Malmo is set between the North East of England and the Skane region of Sweden. That’s the Swedish side of ‘The Bridge’ just in case you have not got your bearings. The tale involves journalist Ewan Strachan who ends up in Malmo to interview an old university friend but then things get complicated, in more ways than one.
The writing style of Torquil MacLeod in this book is very straightforward and it is a gratifying read which is not particularly gory. The descriptions of the city transport the reader to Malmo where the city embraces the role of a well researched minor character who does not overpower the human main characters in the story. There is some pertinent use of landmarks such as the Turning Torso and the Olof Palme murder case by MacLeod in the story.
The pacing of the story was just right and keeps the reader turning the pages. It built up pace particularly in the last 100 pages which were devoured with pleasure to a surprise ending. The way that MacLeod has kept a few Swedish words in the story is enjoyable and educational. Usually the context provides the meaning or perhaps a character explains the meaning to Ewan Strachan informing the reader at the same time.
The book is the first in a series. The second is Murder in Malmo and the third Missing in Malmo. The books are published by McNidder & Grace and I for one am looking forward to getting to know Inspector Anita Sundstrom a little bit better.