The Drowning by Camilla Lackberg (read by Eamonn Riley) HarperCollins (audiobook) The whisper on the street is that Nordic noir is dead, or at least on its knees, begging for mercy. The baggy genre that scooped up mega-sellers such as Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, it has turned its attention to lesser lights - all marketed with heavy use of the aforementioned holy trinity. To be fair, Camilla Lackberg is no average writer. The author of six thrillers featuring detective Patrik Hedstrom, she favours character over crime, backstory over police procedure. In The Drowning, read with slightly over-emphasised gravitas by Eamonn Riley, we begin with a man's murder, only we have no idea who he is, beyond his gender. Three months later, the body of Magnus Kjellner is found after his distraught wife berates the police for not finding her missing husband. Set in a claustrophobic small town, Fjallbacka, the plot is narrated from several points of view. At the centre is Magnus' best friend, Christian, who is about to publish his first novel, The Mermaid. When Christian receives threatening letters, Hedstrom begins to link murder and murder story. The Drowning hits the spot, even if Lackberg is not top of her division.