The thing about Sweden is that it’s supposed to be a polite little nanny state of clean-lined furniture and super-safe cars. It’s the country of Stefan Edberg, for god’s sake, and Abba, and Pippi Longstocking (though the latter is clearly a redhead and thus not to be entirely trusted…) Yet throughout the literary genre of Schwedenkrimski – best known from Stieg Larsson’s Milennium trilogy we see a repressive society of racism, violent crime, sex trafficking, drugs, domestic abuse, oppression of women and Neo-nazism. It’s like a whole country we’d thought of as a snowy Cabot Cove has morphed into the kind of Crime Central that would make Jessica Fletcher kak herself.

I mention this because I caught some of the BBC series Wallander on the belching, shaking, groaning winged Putco bus that was my American Airlines flight to LA this week. The series starring Kenneth Branagh as the suitably dissolute and crumbly Swedish police inspector covers a range of surprising topics; In The Man Who Smiled for instance, Wallander stumbles upon a plot to kill a wealthy industrialist, who just happens to be butchering Africans for their body parts. Sweden 120,000, Africa nil.

Stunningly filmed on hi-res digital cameras, Wallander perfectly captures the quiet, bleakness of the Swedish countryside, “golden wheat fields rippling under scudding clouds“; the sense of unending summer days and barely dark nights. The series filmed in and around the town of Ystad which is about 60kms from Malmo. There’s a sweet little tourist / investor visitor video here – which has interesting things to say about both the development of film AND crime in the town.