The Petrona judges have chosen a very interesting shortlist for the award for the best Nordic crime fiction novel of the year. The winner will be announced at the Crime Fest Annual Dinner in Bristol on 20 May. I have read Leif G.W. Person’s The Dying Detective and am in the middle of Kati Hiekkapelto’s The Exiled, and in my opinion either would be a worthy winner. But with past winner Yrsa Sigurdardottir, and the prolific Gunnar Staalesen on the shortlist the competition will be fierce. The translators of the shortlisted books have an impressive record, previous translations by David Hackston, Victoria Cribb, Don Bartlett and Neil Smith have been among the best crime fiction books I have read.
And I have not forgotten that my dear friend Maxine Clarke for whom the Petrona Award is a memorial regarded Don Bartlett as one of her favourites. With books from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland and a pleasantly even division of male and female writers this is an impressive list. I look forward to learning which book wins the award, although unfortunately due to health problems I won’t be able to attend Crime Fest.
THE EXILED by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)
THE DYING DETECTIVE by Leif G.W. Persson tr. Neil Smith (Doubleday; Sweden)
THE BIRD TRIBUNAL by Agnes Ravatn tr. Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books, Norway)
WHY DID YOU LIE? by Yrsa Sigurđardóttir tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton, Iceland)
WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE by Gunnar Staalesen tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books, Norway)
THE WEDNESDAY CLUB by Kjell Westö tr. Neil Smith (MacLehose Press, Finland)