Nick Walker

The birthplace of Scandi-noir ranks as the Swedish capital’s coolest neighbourhood, but was once a down-at-heel suburb – where to eat, drink and shop, and what to see, when you’re there

"We want the USSR back!" was a separatist slogan heard in a restive city in eastern Ukraine, by a correspondent for a major British daily. So Orlando Figes' Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A History is eerily timely.


Forgive the puns, but global warming has been a heated topic of debate for the past couple of decades, and one that has generated a lot of hot air in academic circles and the media, while spawning many books on the contentious subject.

With Scotland's referendum on independence looming, this is a timely study of a country whose unwieldy title - emblazoned on my passport - betrays its disunity.

Diane Setterfield's debut novel, 2006's The Thirteenth Tale, was a gothic masterpiece of rewarding complexity, with a beautifully embroidered plot and the power to awe.

Swedish author Liza Marklund's sleuth-protagonist recalls Californian Sue Grafton's redoubtable Kinsey Millhone of the long-running "Alphabet" series.