cover image Stockholm Noir

Stockholm Noir

Edited by Nathan Larson and Carl-Michael Edenborg, trans. from the Swedish by Caroline Åberg et al. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-61775-297-1

Grouped under three headings, the 13 stories in this outstanding entry in Akashic’s noir series capture the gloomy underside of Sweden’s capital, portraying the hopelessness of those trapped in what Larson and Edenborg in their introduction call the city that “devours your soul.” The first section, Crime and Punishment, focuses on what the editors call “places of immense spiritual corruption,” as scathingly illustrated by Åke Edwardsson’s “Stairway from Heaven,” which consists of the bitter musings of a housing-project hit man. The second section, Fear and Darkness, presents the horrors of aging in suburbia, most notably in Inger Frimansson’s horrifying “Black Ice.” The highlight of the final section, The Brutality of Beasts, is Carl Johan De Geer’s “The Wahlberg Disease,” set in the city’s center, “a sea of ruins.”All stories unsparingly testify to the degradation through human vicissitude of idealistic social planning. (Mar.)