Meny

Literary figures

Sample of literary figures

  • Maureen O’Donnell

    Female

    She is the protagonist in the prize-winning Garnethill trilogy by the Scottish crime writer Denise Mina. Young Maureen is a human wreck: sexually abused by her father, her mother an alcoholic, her brother a drug dealer. She has spent time in a mental hospital, and started a relationship with her psychiatrist. But she is stubborn and determined, and struggles to solve the problems and crimes she comes across.

    Further reading

  • Harry Kvist

    Male

    An odd character and an amateur detective: an ex-boxer and prison inmate who works as a debt-collector, is bi-sexual and drinks too much. The setting is Stockholm in the 1930s in a trio of novels by Martin Holmén. Harry Kvist is single, with few friends (but a lot of acquaintances), not particularly bright, but well-built, and he all too often uses his fists when trouble arises.

    Further reading

  • Jules-Joseph Maigret

    Male

    French detective inspector and something of an icon within the genre. Maigret was a farmer’s boy who became a cop by chance and quickly earned himself an office at the Paris police headquarters at Quai des Orfèvres. Georges Simenon’s books do not only follow the inspector’s investigations, but also his private life, including a happy, but childless, marriage.

    Further reading

  • Karen Pirie

    Female

    She is an overweight workaholic, but also exceptionally skilful when it comes to investigating old, unsolved cases in police novels by Val McDermid. Karen Pirie is the head of the Historic Cases Unit with its head office in Fife in Scotland. Her private life is minimal – but includes a sweetheart, her colleague Phil Parhatka, and she mourns deeply when he is killed on duty. But she soon throws herself into the next ‘cold case’.

    Further reading