The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
Voted “Best Norwegian Crime Novel of all Time” by Norwegian book clubs, this is a good example of parallel storytelling. Detective Harry Hole is drawn into a case with ties to World War II and Norway’s cooperation with Nazi Germany. Alternating between the Russian front and contemporary Oslo, Hole finds that aging collaborators are being murdered one by one.
Sun and Shadow by Ake Edwardson
Swedish detective Erik Winter likes the finer things in life (he is a sharp dresser with a taste for good jazz and fine food), but pressures of his personal life and work are taking their toll.
The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell
This is the fourth in the Inspector Wallander series; Swedish author Mankell was one of the first of the Scandinavian wave of crime writers. In this one, Wallander is ready to quit the force in Ystad when a friend asks him to investigate a death (and is then killed himself).
The Torso by Helene Tursten
Irene Huss is an interesting example of the female side of law enforcement. She is a stressed out cop in Gothenburg, Sweden. Tursten’s strength is depicting the demands of the job and an equally demanding family life
Other fine writers are Asa Larsson, Kjell Eriksson, Arnaldur Indridason, Karin Fossum and, of course, Peter Hoeg.