A new Larsson book: and ten years of Swedish prize nominees

Posted: August 7, 2011 in Book Awards, notes, Sweden

Yesterday a new Larsson book dropped through my letter box, and brought back into focus some thoughts I have mentioned in previous posts. 

It was not that mysterious lost fourth book by Stieg Larsson, but Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson. The sticker on the front cover boldly stated ‘Special Price £12.99’ but this Amazon user paid only £6.49 with free postage. I am glad I am not running an independent book shop struggling to make sales against that sort of discount. 

Asa Larsson was born in Uppsala and grew up in Kiruna, Sweden. Her first novel, The Savage Altar won the Swedish Crime Writers’ Association prize for best debut, the sequel, The Blood Spilt, was the Best Swedish Crime Novel of 2004.

You can read my review of her third book The Black Path hereAsa Larsson is a tax lawyer and one of her heroines is also a tax lawyer, Rebecka Martinsson, who joins forces with Police Inspector Anna -Maria Mella in her investigations. One of the clever bloggers on the FF forum [my apologies but I can’t remember who that was] pointed out that:

ReBECKa MARTINsson was possibly a tribute to Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo’s great detective Martin Beck.

In the last ten years from 2001-2010 only six Swedish crime writers have been short listed three times for the Best Swedish Crime Novel prize. And I suspect most people would find it difficult to name them without looking it up. Some of the biggest names are not among that select six who are:

Asa Larsson 2003, 2004*, 2008: Kjell Eriksson 2001, 2002*, 2003, 2004, 2005: Anders Roslund-Borge Hellstrom 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009*: Arne Dahl 2002, 2006, 2008: Hakan Nesser 2001, 2007*, 2009: Leif G.W.Persson 2002, 2003*, 2010* [* winner that year]

Whether you agree with the judges, or not, it is still good news that new books from all these authors are now available, or will be available in the next few months.  

In case you are wondering what acclaim your favourite Swedish crime fiction author received; Johan Theorin, still a very new writer, has won Best Swedish crime novel in 2008, Nordic Glass Key in 2009, and the CWA International Dagger in 2010. 

Roslund-Hellstrom as well as Best Swedish crime novel in 2009, won the Nordic Glass Key in 2005, and the 2011 CWA International Dagger. Karin Alvtegen won the Nordic Glass Key in 2001, and Stieg Larsson won Best Swedish crime novel in 2006, and the Nordic Glass Key in both 2006 and 2008!

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Norman – I am so excited for this book! I can’t wait to read it :-).

  2. Norman says:

    Margot I have been collecting the contenders for the 2012 International Dagger, some courtesy of the kindly Maxine, prior to a marathon reading session in the autumn. I won’t list them as I don’t want to make you too jealous.

  3. Maxine says:

    I’m looking forward very much to this book, too, Norman, which I also have.Interesting that K Ericksson was listed so many times – only 3 of his books have been translated (in US editions), but another is coming out later this year. They have been translated in a mad order so are a bit disjointed, though I do like them. However, I see he’s only won once!
    Arne Dahl sounds very good from all accounts and good that his first book is available in English now or soon (albeit again in an expensive US edition).

  4. kathy d. says:

    I like Asa Larsson’s books, and look forward to Book IV. The only thing is that I think I got PTSD temporarily after finishing the second book, given what the main character goes through at the end. The ending of Book III was too grandiose and dramatic for my taste when it brought in conspiracies going on in another continent, armies, etc. I like my mysteries local and somewhat factually based. However, I like the writing and the women characters so I persevere on.
    Kjell Eriksson is very good, and as I especially enjoyed Demon of Dakar, I await his new book, which miraculously my library has ordered (although they only have one copy noncirculating of Yrsa Siggurdadottir’s Ashes to Dust and are missing lots of current titles from abroad. Will probably ending up buying used copies of these.
    Will try Arne Dahl and Leif G.W. Persson. I gobble up Hakan Nesser’s books; they are treats.
    Have not yet read Three Seconds or other books by its authors, will try.

  5. I have this one on my shelf in Swedish, and usually I don´t mind reading it, but I suspect her language is very different from Läckberg and Jungstedts because so far I have not succeeded in getting into the story. I am sure I´ll love it once I pull myself together, though.

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