The winner of the 2022 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is:
Maria Adolfsson will receive a trophy, and both the author and translator will receive a cash prize.
The judges’ statement on FATAL ISLES:
This captivating winning novel is the first in a proposed trilogy featuring the beautifully flawed protagonist Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby, whose take on life and work make for a strong down-to-earth and modern heroine in the relicts of a man’s world.
Set in the fictional yet completely credible location of Doggerland, this three-islands archipelago in the North Sea, reflects Scandinavian, North European and British heritages. Doggerland is shaped and influenced by its geographical position; the atmospheric setting, akin to the wind- and history-swept Faroe and Shetland Islands, and Nordic climes, enhances the suspenseful and intriguing plot of a police procedural that combines detailed observations and thoughts on the human condition. A brutal murder sets in motion an investigation into layers of hidden secrets and of societal attitudes, and the interaction between the superbly portrayed characters creates a thrilling tension and believable environment.
Comments from the winning author, translator and publisher:
Mariá Adolfsson (author):
I feel so honoured and want to send my warmest thanks to the Petrona Award jury. This appreciation for my work means a lot to me!
For me it is especially exciting that the British readers enjoy exploring Doggerland together with me. I’ve always been interested in what unites people in Scandinavia and the British Isles, how we are culturally linked, and what sets us apart. To me, Doggerland is - or at least might have been - the link between us. Or to quote Herman Melville: “It’s not down on any map; true places never are.”
Agnes Broomé (translator):
I am deeply honoured to receive the Petrona Award 2022. With such an impressive shortlist it is truly humbling to be chosen. I am grateful to the jury for their unswerving commitment to bringing Scandinavian crime literature to an English-speaking readership. My warmest thanks to everyone at Zaffre for their support along this journey and, above all, to Maria Adolfsson for introducing me to Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby.
Many thanks to the jury for choosing Fatal Isles as the worthy winner of this year’s Petrona Award. It’s wonderful to see Maria’s brilliantly imaginative crime debut, expertly realised in English by Agnes Broomé, recognised for its excellence. DI Karen Eiken Hornby is a universally relatable character and Adolfsson’s vividly drawn island nation, Doggerland, is a perfectly picturesque place for the darkest deeds to occur. It is such a pleasure to publish this internationally bestselling series.
The Petrona team would like to thank the following: firstly, David Hicks, for his generous sponsorship of the Petrona Award; secondly the co-creators and original judges of the Award: Barry Forshaw, Dr. Kat Hall and Sarah Ward and thirdly, Adrian Muller for his support via the CrimeFest platform.
Fatal Isles by Mariá Adolfsson (Published by Zaffre) Out Now
A remote island. A brutal murder. A secret hidden in the past . . . In the middle of the North Sea, between the UK and Denmark, lies the beautiful and rugged island nation of Doggerland. Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby has returned to the main island, Heimoe, after many years in London and has worked hard to become one of the few female police officers in Doggerland. So, when she wakes up in a hotel room next to her boss, Jounas Smeed, she knows she's made a big mistake. But things are about to get worse: later that day, Jounas's ex-wife is found brutally murdered. And Karen is the only one who can give him an alibi. The news sends shockwaves through the tight-knit island community, and with no leads and no obvious motive for the murder, Karen struggles to find the killer in a race against time. Soon she starts to suspect that the truth might lie in Doggerland's history. And the deeper she digs, the clearer it becomes that even small islands can hide deadly secrets . . .