The Judges Official 2014 Petrona Award Shortlist

Posted: March 12, 2014 in Book Awards, Finland, Iceland, review, Scandinavia, Sweden

51BvycWWroL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_51Y4W4o-IIL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_51WrzjbXCpL._SL500_AA300_41Tp7vFqe0L._SL500_LiaDHSomeone   These are the Official Petrona Award shortlist nominees and only one of these books, Linda, As In The Linda Murder by Leif G.W.Persson, appeared in my own opinionated shortlist. I have read four of the six books and here are links to my reviews. 

SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir tr. Philip Roughton (Hodder & Stoughton)
LIGHT IN A DARK HOUSE by Jan Costin Wagner tr. Anthea Bell (Harvill Secker)
My own shortlist was based on my personal opinion of what I felt Maxine [to whom this award is dedicated] would have chosen; a Don Bartlett translation and an Annika Bengtzon novel by Liza Marklund.
The Weeping Girl by Hakan Nesser is definitely a worthy contender for the award, but I chose the next book in the series, The Strangler’s Honeymoon, simply because it featured more of Van Veeteren, and concentrated a fraction more on society’s problems. The first Scandinavian crime fiction I read way back in the 1970s was the Martin Beck series by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo which is why I prefer a little humour with my murders; even if it is the dark satire of Leif G.W.Persson. There is very little humour in Closed for Winter or Strange Shores and that is why I did not enjoy them very much, annoying in the case of the very depressing and predictable Strange Shores because Arnaldur Indridason is one of my favourites. 
Will I read the remaining two books before the winner is announced?
Someone to Watch Over Me concerns a young man with Down’s syndrome accused of arson and murder. Author Yrsa Sigurdardottir is a charming lady, but I would probably find she had inadvertently put something in the book that clashes with my own knowledge about people with Down’s syndrome, therefore I will give it a miss. 
If I have the time I hope to give the Jan Costin Wagner novel Light In A Dark House a try despite the fact that my TBR mountain never seems to get any smaller. I look forward to the judges decision on the Petrona- my pick the Hakan Nesser or Leif G.W.Persson?  
  1. Jose Ignacio says:

    Norman, I wonder if you have notice that translator Neil Smith was last year winner and he’s been nominated again this year. This time for his translation of Linda, As in the Linda murder. It maybe a clue for this year winner.

  2. Norman Price says:

    Jose Ignacio, thanks for drawing my attention to that. Neil Smith along with Evert Backstrom and Leif G.W.Persson would indeed be worthy winners.

  3. I’ve read three of the six officially shortlisted books but I do hope to read the other three before the winner is announced so I can “play along at home”. So far I’d agree with you that the Nesser would be my pick but I haven’t read LINDA yet.

    I can understand you not wanting to read a book which has the potential to get something wrong about a subject so close to your own knowledge and experience.

  4. Will Gibson says:

    I love your blog for showing that good crime stories can be told in many different ways. My novel THE BISHOP’S GRANDDAUGHTERS is a case in point. For instance, if you like James Patterson’s thrillers, you will love THE BISHOP’S GRANDDAUGHTERS, where when investigating certain missing pages in the family Bible that had come into her possession, Rev. Viola Flowers learns of a grisly double murder in 1910. Was her beloved grandfather, an esteemed bishop and founder of her church, involved in those terrible murders? Making the story extra alluring is the fact that the central character is female.

    Will Gibson

  5. kathy d. says:

    I understand your view about not wanting to read the Sigguardardottir for the reason you explain. I don’t know if I can read these books. I have Indridason’s on my TBR stack; that one will be read soon. I don’t know about the others. I don’t have them, and my library has only one.

    I’m not up for Nordic Noir right now. Am reading Over a Dead Man’s Embers by Mari Strachan, a good, thoughtful book on war and PTSD and women’s lives, but not a quick-mystery-type read. It’s interesting.

    Also, am not up for reading doorstop-sized books. Just don’t have that kind of visual energy right now. Shorter is my motto now. A 500-page book would tie me up for a week, maybe more.

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