crime fiction from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden shortlisted for the 2017
outstanding crime novels from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have made the
shortlist for the 2017 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of
the Year, which is announced today.
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)
The winning title will be announced at the Gala Dinner on 20 May during the
annual international crime fiction event CrimeFest, held in Bristol 18-21 May
award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian
author or set in Scandinavia and published in the UK in the previous calendar
Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his generous
support of the 2017 Petrona Award.
judges’ comments on the shortlist and the shortlisted titles:
“It was difficult to choose just six crime
novels for the Petrona Award shortlist this year, given the number of truly
excellent submissions from around the Scandinavian world. Our 2017 Petrona
Award shortlist testifies to the extremely high quality of translated Scandi
crime, with authors from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden making expert use
of police investigations, psychological thrillers, private eye novels and
historical crime fiction both to entertain and to explore pertinent social,
political and historical issues. We are extremely grateful to the translators
for their skill and expertise in bringing us these outstanding examples of
Scandinavian crime fiction.”
THE EXILED by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston (Orenda
police detective Anna Fekete returns to the Serbian village of her birth for a
holiday, but is pulled into an investigation that throws up questions about her
own father’s death decades earlier. As well as exploring the complexities of
Fekete’s identity as a Hungarian Serb who has made her life in Finland, this
accomplished novel looks with insight and compassion at the discrimination
faced by Roma people, and the lot of refugees migrating through Europe.
THE DYING DETECTIVE by Leif G.W. Persson tr. Neil Smith (Doubleday;
Martin Johansson, a retired Swedish Police Chief, suffers a stroke after a
lifetime of unhealthy excess. Frustrated by his physical limitations and slow
recovery, he is drawn into investigating a cold case, the murder of
nine-year-old Yasmine Ermegan in 1985. Expertly plotted and highly
gripping, The Dying Detective
features characters from a number of other crime novels by the author, but
succeeds brilliantly as a standalone in its own right.
THE BIRD TRIBUNAL by Agnes Ravatn tr. Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books,
TV presenter Allis takes up the post of housekeeper and gardener at a house on
a remote fjord. But her employer is not the old man she was expecting, and the
whereabouts of his wife are tantalisingly unclear. Isolated from other
villagers, Allis and Sigurd’s relationship becomes progressively more
claustrophobic and tense. A haunting psychological thriller and study in
obsession that is perfectly complemented by the author’s beautiful, spare
WHY DID YOU LIE? by Yrsa Sigurđardóttir tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder
& Stoughton, Iceland)
Sigurđardóttir is as adroit a manufacturer of suspense as any writer in the Nordic
Noir genre, as this standalone thriller comprehensively proves. Why Did You Lie? skilfully interweaves
the stories of a policewoman whose husband has committed suicide, a work group
stranded by hostile weather on a remote lighthouse, and a family whose American
guests go missing. A compelling exploration of guilt and retribution, which
builds to a nerve-jangling finale.
WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE by Gunnar Staalesen tr. Don Bartlett
(Orenda Books, Norway)
private detective Varg Veum is pushed to his limits when he takes on a cold
case involving the disappearance of a small girl in 1977. As the legal expiry
date for the crime draws near, Veum’s investigation uncovers intriguing
suburban secrets. In what may well be the most accomplished novel in a
remarkable series, the author continues to work in a traditional US-style
genre, but with abrasive Scandi-crime social commentary very much in evidence.
THE WEDNESDAY CLUB by Kjell Westö tr. Neil Smith (MacLehose Press,
multilayered novel tells the story of how a crime is triggered following the
chance meeting of two people in a lawyer’s office. While the narrative can be
seen as a tragic individual story, it also takes on larger historical
dimensions as it unfolds. Set in Helsinki in 1938, on the eve of the Second
World War, The Wednesday Club offers an insightful exploration into the legacy
of the Finnish Civil War, and the rise of German and Finnish fascism in the
Forshaw – Writer and journalist specialising in crime fiction and film; author
of multiple books covering Scandinavian crime fiction, including NORDIC NOIR, DEATH IN A COLD CLIMATE, EURO
NOIR, DETECTIVE: CRIME UNCOVERED and the first biography of Stieg Larsson.
Kat Hall – Editor of CRIME FICTION IN
GERMAN: DER KRIMI for University of Wales Press; Honorary Research
Associate at Swansea University; international crime fiction reviewer/blogger
at MRS. PEABODY
Ward – Crime novelist, author of IN
BITTER CHILL and A DEADLY THAW (Faber
and Faber), and crime fiction reviewer at CRIMEPIECES.