A personal 2014 Petrona shortlist

Posted: February 25, 2014 in Book Awards, Harry Hole, Norway, Scandinavia, Sweden


Karen of Euro Crime has met with the three knowledgeable judges: Barry Forshaw, Kat Hall and Sarah Ward to determine the shortlist for the 2014 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.

Karen also asked which books readers would have on the shortlist, and which would be our winner. I haven’t read as much Scandinavian crime fiction as in previous years, but I am always willing to give my opinion. I think there are five outstanding eligible books that should be on that shortlist, and frankly I could not pick a winner as you could make a case for any of them as worthy recipients of the award. 

Lifetime: Liza Marklund trans Neil Smith [In my opinion you really can’t have a Petrona shortlist without an Annika Bengtzon book because Maxine Clarke, for whom the award is dedicated, liked that series so much]

The Strangler’s Honeymoon: Hakan Nesser trans Laurie Thompson

Police: Jo Nesbo trans Don Bartlett [Maxine’s favourite translator]

Blessed Are Those Who Thirst: Anne Holt trans Anne Bruce

Linda, As In The Linda Murder: Leif G.W. Persson trans Neil Smith

I am looking forward to discovering the real Petrona shortlist next month with the winner announced at Crime Fest-Bristol in May.  

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    That looks like an excellent shortlist, Norman. It’ll be interesting to see what the judges decide.

  2. Norman Price says:

    Margot- I like to give an opinion just to get the judges thinking.

    Judging the Petrona is more difficult than the CWA International Dagger, for that you can just vote for anything by Fred Vargas. 😉

  3. kathy d. says:

    Good list. I’ve read the Marklund and Holt, but I want to read Nesbo’s and Nesser’s. I can live without reading the Persson, because I believe the investigator is a bigot, and that isn’t fun for me to read about.

    So, I can’t venture an opinion based on only having read two books. I thought Lifetime the best and most believable of the three Annika Bengtzon books I’ve read, and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

    I must admit I’m not into a Nordic noir reading phase, have discovered Gordon Ferris and also revisited John Grisham and Sara Paretsky. Their books “Sycamore Row,” and “Critical Mass” are excellent. Both contain important political and social issues, but the overall stories are terrific.

  4. Norman Price says:

    Kathy- Thanks, I have read two of the Brodie series by Gordon Ferris and both were impressive. Pilgrim Soul should have won the Ellis Peters in my opinion.
    I will have a look at the John Grisham and Sara Paretsky, I used to read a lot of their books.

  5. kathy d. says:

    I have only read Pilgrim Soul, of the books nominated for the Ellis Peters award, but I would have voted for it.

    I got “post-good-book” slump, as Bernadette puts it, after I finished this, so I’m going to find the other books in the series. Also, I learned some things about post-WWII, and I am fascinated by one of Ferris’ end notes, when he refers to Scottish-Yiddish. Yikes! It must be funny to hear.

  6. Norman Price says:

    I could never understand my Scottish uncle from Glasgow speaking English. Glasgow-Yiddish would be worse than impossible.

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