Nordic Noir: A Crime Genre that Endures
December 2021, volume 45, No 12

It has been a rather grotesque and gory affair—my tryst with Scandinavian or Nordic noir literary fiction—crime novels to be precise. And a long and protracted one, often bordering on an obsessive involvement with the genre many may term bloody, obsequious, and fundamentally predicated on titillation and an appeal to baser human instincts. I often tend to agree. With narratives featuring psycho-pathological serial murderers and twisted child abusers plying their trade against the intensely bleak and forlorn Scandinavian landscape, the plotlines might be enough to put one off the genre for all times to come. But one tends to endure and come to terms with the darkness of the backdrop and of the characters themselves and view it as integral to the overarching appeal of the Nordic noir genre. Experience indicates the onset of a kind of an involvement that might turn out to be intense and long lasting. Hence, this opportunity to explore the nuances of the genre had me fastidiously invested in going beyond the obvious categories of bloody corpses, anti-depressant swilling police detectives, and sociopathic antagonists and attempt an understanding of the socio-political motivations with which the genre so generously intersperses its narratives.

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