International Mystery Suspense: 5 Crime Fiction Books Set Abroad
Take a trip without leaving your home with these novels set in destinations like Marrakesh, Heathrow, and Stockholm. These books will have you gripping at the edge of your seat and pull your attention away from the reality of the everyday.
Florence Darrow sets off to Morocco after a calamitous affair with her married boss. She’s always felt like she had a greater purpose in life, but the affair leaves her full of doubts. With this new change in scenery, and a new boss, celebrated but reclusive author Maud Dixon, she starts believing she’s on her way towards the life she believes she deserves. But after a terrible car accident leaves her in the hospital with no recollection of the night before and with no sign of Maud, she begins to question her life and the consequences of her choices. This novel will definitely interest anyone who is a fan of Patricia Highsmith.
In this stunning debut, for fans of “The Silent Patient” and “The Whisper Man”, a single word changes everything for this seemingly perfect family. Agneta and Stellan Broman are with their family during this early summer in Stockholm. The story sets off when the landline phone rings and a single word— “Geiger”— is uttered. Agneta hangs up and kills her husband of fifty years. Then disappears without a trace. Sara, a police officer who grew up next to the Bromans, is called by a colleague who is investigating the murder. The investigation leads Sara down a dark journey connecting history and ideologies that will reveal the truth about Sara’s own childhood.
Everything seemed fine after Daniel’s parents sold their home and business and had a cheerful farewell party before heading to a well-deserved retirement on a remote, bucolic farm in rural Sweden. But a phone call changes everything. Daniel learns from his father that his mother had a psychotic breakdown and has been committed to a mental hospital. Just as Daniel is about to board a plan to Sweden, he receives another phone call; his mother has been released and is nowhere to be found. He receives a surprising call from his mother, telling Daniel of his father’s lies and calling to meet at Heathrow for help. In this dangerous game of telephone, Daniel is caught in the middle and unsure of who to believe and trust.
The Mirror Man
Lars Kepler; Alice Menzies (Translator)
Set in Sweden, this gripping thriller begins after sixteen-year-old Jenny Lind is kidnapped in broad daylight and taken to a run-down house where she and other girls face horrors beyond their worst nightmare. They’re desperate to escape, but all their attempts are foiled by their captor. Five years later, Jenny’s body is found, hanging in a playground. As the police scramble to find out what happens, Detective Joona Linna recognizes a strange connection between Jenny’s murder and a declared suicide years before. When another teenage girl goes missing, it’s clear Joona is dealing with a serial killer whose rampage has just begun.
Related: Why We'll Always Love Nordic Noir
Having grown up in Finland, Maija and her family arrive in Sweden, hoping to forget their traumatic past and put down new roots in this beautiful land. BlackÃ¥n, a mountain, looms above them, and its dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow. Their daughter, Frederika, discovers the body of one of their neighbors, Erikson, who seems to have died from a wolf attack. However, Maija feels certain it could be wounds inflicted by another man. As she investigates the death, she is drawn to the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place under the mountain. Frederika also feels drawn to BlackÃ¥n, but it seems like no one else notices. As the seasons change to the “wolf winter”, the harshest winter in memory, the family struggles to survive in this land of darkness. With scarce resources and uncovered secrets, Maija will learn the true cost of survival and who she can trust.
What to Read Next
Emily Hoang is a writer and editor, who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.