Is Kennedy’s Falling Sideways a Copenhagen book?

Copy: The Observer, November 2012

>> Blame The Killing. As anticipation built for the first instalment of the third season, I’d just finished reviewing Thomas E Kennedy’s Falling Sideways for The Observer. It was impossible not to feel that in some way Soren Sveistrup’s brilliant crime series had altered my expectations for drama set in Copenhagen. Kennedy’s book is by no means a police thriller – it’s a pretty timely look at what happens to people when they are in danger of losing their jobs (and all the more adept when you consider it was begun in the mid 1990s). But I was constantly waiting for one of the storylines to solidify into something more dramatic – and it never happened.

It got me thinking that popular culture can often completely alter perceptions of place. Baltimore, obviously, is The Wire, although I doubt whether the Maryland tourist board were that pleased. We once went on a trip to Finland on the sole basis that we liked an album by Husky Rescue, who are from Helsinki and sound suitably chilly.

And I’m sure that people come to Manchester looking for evidence of this crucial musical city. In fact, I know they do.

But, of course, Manchester isn’t really Madchester. The Hacienda is no more. The Free Trade Hall is a hotel. Liam and Noel Gallagher live in London. It’s becoming as much a slave to its heritage as Liverpool is with The Beatles – what these cities are like now is a lot more difficult to quantify.

So maybe comparing Thomas Kennedy’s book with The Killing was unfair. Impossible not to, though. How much are flights to Copenhagen again?

Click here to read my review of Falling Sideways by Thomas E Kennedy in The Observer




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