On 17 November, the third Iceland Noir crime fiction convention kicks off in Reykjavik and the event’s full programme of panels, talks and tours has been revealed at the Iceland Noir website.
Now, if you look at a map, and hold it the right way up, you’ll notice that Reykjavik is the world’s most northerly capital city. In our book that helps make Iceland Noir the most Nordic of crime fiction festivals. We’ve already reported that the event’s got an all women main panel this year, featuring three Nordic authors in Sara Blædel, Leena Lehtolainen and Viveca Sten, as well as Val McDermid. Being Scottish, she might just count as half-Nordic – we’ll see what she says. Anyhow, the Nordic Crime Fiction Stars main panel will take place at 1pm on Saturday 19 November in Reykjavik City Hall, where these writers will be quizzed by Icelandic MP and former minister for culture Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
If you want to get out and about in Reykjavik, then the Crimewalk will be just the thing. It begins at 5:15pm at the Nordic House (where most Iceland Noir panels are taking place) on Friday 18 November and along the way various Icelandic authors will read their work. The sun will be gone and there could be a chill on the air, which should make it suitably creepy as various literary murders are discussed. It finishes off at Ida Zimsen, a cake and coffee bar which just happens to have 32 excellent ratings on Trip Advisor, so that’ll warm you up again.
Most people going to Iceland Noir will be very serious about reading and writing crime fiction, and there are plenty of panel discussions where authors will be discussing – and hopefully arguing too – about topics like taking liberties with historical fact, playing on the reader’s emotions, social commentary, women in crime fiction and more. We’re liking the look of Small Town Skullduggery which will be on the Friday, moderated by Katrín Jakobsdóttir and with panelists Ragnar Jónasson, SJI Holliday, Viveca Sten and Ann Cleeves. That’s right, ANN CLEEVES!
Skeletons in the Closet is another panel that sounds interesting, with more authors taking inspiration from genealogical discoveries and family history as the basis of crime novel plots. You’ll hear from the authors Susan Moody, Sarah Ward, Amanda Jennings and Alex Gray, at 4pm also on the Friday.
Coldscape will look at the use of extreme environment in Scandinavian crime fiction. Sometimes they become almost like a character in the story, and rarely are they benevolent. Gritty. Icey. Blood on snow. Hypothermia. That kind of thing. The moderator will be William Ryan with a panel consisting of Leena Lehtolainen, James Oswald, Nina von Staffeldt and Marsali Taylor. It’s on the Saturday at 11am.
Iceland Noir is also organising two special trips which will take place on Sunday 20 November. One’s a mystery wilderness tour organised by the travel group All-Iceland. Details haven’t yet been released but maybe you’ll get to see a glacier, a hot spring, some caves… or maybe all three. Weather permitting, there may also be the chance to go to Sigulfjordur which is the setting for Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland novels, and is also where the TV series Trapped was filmed.