Most people have heard of the type of crime fiction known as Scandinavian crime fiction or Nordic noir, and of which Åsa Larsson's writing (see last post) is an example.
(Nordic noir: a type of Scandinavian crime fiction and television drama that typically features dark story-lines and bleak urban settings).
In other words, it combines realism with a dark, often quite complex, mood. The success of the genre has been attributed to a direct, precise, uncluttered writing style. It is usually well-written The law-enforcers are generally ordinary human beings with their own problems and cares; none of them are in any way heroic - at least not on the surface. Some critics feel that the social equality and liberalism of Scandinavia hides dark secrets and even hatreds which, in turn, are often the motivating forces behind this particular genre.
Some of the authors, besides Åsa Larsson, are Stieg Larsson, Karin Fossum, Kerstin Ekman, Åke Edwardsson, Håkan Nesser, Peter Høeg, Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbø. There are many more...