This week the Crime Fiction in Euro Pass hosted by Kerrie at her blog, Mysteries in Paradise, reaches Denmark. I have recent fond memories of Denmark having spent a week in April exploring the country. We were staying with Stine, an exchange student who lived with us 10 years ago, and her family in Kolding. It is an inviting friendly country. It is also the home of my blogger friend, Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen$3.99 and her fine blog http://djskrimiblog.wordpress.com/. My contribution to the meme is a Danish thriller / mystery that was an international success almost 20 years ago.
****43. - 506.) Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg – A fascinating thriller mystery from the early-1990’s. Smilla Jespersen, half West Greenlander / half Danish, is obsessed with finding out why her young apartment neighbour and fellow Greenlander, Isaiah, threw himself off their apartment roof and killed himself when he was afraid of heights. Her suspicions are raised by his tracks in the snow. While never completing a university degree Smilla is an expert on snow and ice. Throughout the book are sprinkled the various Greenlander words for different types of snow. Her life is financed by her wealthy father, Moritz, a doctor with an international practice. The authorities try to deflect Smilla but she is determined. Those opposed to her efforts try to kill her. It was an unusual thriller in that I could not grasp what was being sought by the conspirators until very near the end of the book. I actually bought the book when Stine was a student here. She appeared to hesitate about the book. While an international bestseller it hardly presents the Danes well in their relationship with Greenland. A generation of Greenlanders were uprooted and brought to Denmark for education. It did not go well. It reminded me of Canada’s problems with Residential Schools for Indian children. Smilla is an amazing character who brought to mind Lisbeth Salander. She is independent, smart, tenacious, emotionally troubled, socially awkward – a brilliant misfit in Danish society. After never reading about Greenland I read two books this year. Each speaks highly of living on that forbidding island. A terrific book. (Oct. 29/09) (Third Best of 2009 fiction)