Sunday, 22 May 2016

Petrona Award 2016 - Winner Announced



On 21 May 2016, at the Gala Dinner at CrimeFest, Bristol, Petrona Award judges Barry Forshaw,  Katharina Hall and Sarah Ward announced the winner of the 2016 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.

The winner was THE CAVEMAN by Jorn Lier Horst translated by Anne Bruce and published by Sandstone Press.

The trophy was presented by last year's winner Yrsa Sigurdardottir to Jorn Lier Horst's representative, Robert Davidson of Sandstone Press.

Mr Davidson read out the following remarks from Jorn Lier Horst:


This is the fourth Petrona Award and I feel highly honoured to follow Liza Marklund, Leif GW Persson, and Yrsa Sigurdardottir. I am also very grateful to the jury for the trouble they have taken, for their expert knowledge and their commitment over the years. They pay great tribute to their late colleague, Maxine Clarke, whose memory is perpetuated in this most suitable of ways.

Our present time will be referred to in future as the ‘Golden Age of Scandinavian Crime Literature’. Never before have so many Scandinavian authors written so many good crime novels, with a vitality and quality that not only attracts readers worldwide but also enhances the whole crime genre. In such a time it is especially an honour to receive the Petrona Award, particularly gratifying and a source of great pride. Thank you.



Mr Davidson added: This is yet another recognition of a very fine author. More than just a crime writer, Jorn Lier Horst is a novelist who has extended beyond his genre. I would like also to pay tribute to his translator, Anne Bruce. All of us at Sandstone Press are very proud to be the publishers of this great series.

As well as the trophy, Jorn Lier Horst receives a pass to and a guaranteed panel at next year's CrimeFest.

The judges's comments on THE CAVEMAN:

THE CAVEMAN is a gripping police procedural drawing on Jorn Lier Horst’s experiences as a  murder detective. All the books in the 'William Wisting' series have had compelling narratives and THE CAVEMAN is no exception, exploring a Norwegian society where, in a supposedly close-knit community, a man can lie dead at home unnoticed and unmourned for weeks. Excellent plotting, well-drawn characters and writing of the highest quality make this book a worthy winner of the 2016 Petrona Award.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Petrona Award 2016 - Shortlist Announced


From the press release which was embargoed until 7.30am today:

Top quality crime fiction from Scandinavia is shortlisted for the 2016 Petrona Award


Crime novels from Finland, Norway and Sweden have made the shortlist for the 2016 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, which is announced today. They are:

THE DROWNED BOY by Karin Fossum tr. Kari Dickson (Harvill Secker; Norway)

THE DEFENCELESS by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)

THE CAVEMAN by Jorn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press; Norway)

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB by David Lagercrantz tr. George Goulding (MacLehose Press; Sweden)

SATELLITE PEOPLE by Hans Olav Lahlum tr. Kari Dickson (Mantle/Pan Macmillan; Norway)

DARK AS MY HEART by Antti Tuomainen tr. Lola Rogers (Harvill Secker; Finland)

The winning title will be announced at the Gala Dinner on 21 May during the annual international crime fiction event CrimeFest, held in Bristol 19-22 May 2016.

The 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 year.

The judges’ comments on the shortlist:

THE DROWNED BOY by Karin Fossum tr. Kari Dickson (Harvill Secker; Norway)

Fossum’s spare prose and straightforward narrative belie the complexity at the heart of this novel. After the drowning of a young child with Down’s Syndrome, Chief Inspector Sejer must ask himself if one of the parents could have been involved. The nature of grief is explored, along with the experience of parenting children with learning difficulties. There’s a timeless feel to the writing and a sense of justice slowly coming to pass.


THE DEFENCELESS by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)

The second in Hiekkapelto’s ‘Anna Fekete’ series is an assured police procedural rooted in the tradition of the Nordic social crime novel. Its exploration of immigrant experiences is nuanced and timely, and is woven into an absorbing mystery involving an elderly man’s death and the escalating activities of an international gang.  A mature work by a writer who is unafraid to take on challenging  topics.



THE CAVEMAN by Jorn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press; Norway)

Horst’s The Caveman begins with the discovery of a four-month-old corpse just down the road from William Wisting’s home. Troubled by his neighbour’s lonely death in an apparently uncaring society, the Chief Inspector embarks on one of the most disturbing cases of his career. Beautifully written, this crime novel is a gripping read that draws on the author’s own experiences to provide genuine insights into police procedure and investigation.


THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB by David Lagercrantz tr. George Goulding (MacLehose Press; Sweden)

The late Stieg Larsson created the groundbreaking, two-fingers-to-society, bisexual anti-heroine Lisbeth Salander. When Larsson’s publishers commissioned a fourth book, they turned to David Lagercrantz, whose The Girl in the Spider’s Web often reads uncannily like Larsson’s own text. His real achievement is the subtle development of Salander’s character; she remains (in Lagercrantz’s hands) the most enigmatic and fascinating anti-heroine in fiction.


SATELLITE PEOPLE by Hans Olav Lahlum tr. Kari Dickson (Mantle/Pan Macmillan; Norway)
An accomplished homage to Agatha Christie, Satellite People adds a Nordic twist to classic crime fiction tropes. References to Christie novels abound, but Lahlum uses a Golden Age narrative structure to explore Norway’s wartime past, as Inspector Kristiansen and Patricia investigate a former Resistance fighter’s death. Excellent characterisation, a tight plot and a growing sense of menace keep the reader guessing until the denouement.


DARK AS MY HEART by Antti Tuomainen tr. Lola Rogers (Harvill Secker; Finland)

Tuomainen’s powerful and involving literary crime novel has a mesmerising central concept:  thirty-year-old Aleksi is sure he knows who was behind his mother’s disappearance two decades ago, but can he prove it? And to what extent does his quest for justice mask an increasingly unhealthy obsession with the past? Rarely has atmosphere in a Nordic Noir novel been conjured so evocatively.



With grateful thanks to each of the translators for their skill and expertise in bringing us these outstanding examples of Scandinavian crime fiction.



Thursday, 7 April 2016

Petrona Award - Update

The Petrona Award team met yesterday (6 April 2016) to discuss the shortlist for the 2016 Award and the results of the discussion will be made public soon.

As usual the winner will be announced at the Gala Dinner at Crime Fest which this year is 21 May.

A new picture of the judges has been uploaded to the judges page.

Other additions to the site are a "Press Clippings" page and a new page for 2016.


Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Petrona Award 2015 - Winner Announced

Last night at CrimeFest, Petrona Award judges Barry Forshaw, Dr Katharina Hall and Sarah Ward announced the winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.



And the winner is Yrsa Sigurdadottir for THE SILENCE OF THE SEA translated by Victoria Cribb and published by Hodder and Stoughton.


The trophy was presented by the Godmother of modern Scandinavian crime fiction, Maj Sjöwall, co-author with Per Wahlöö of the Martin Beck series.





As well as the trophy, Yrsa Sigurdardottr will also receive a pass to and panel at next year's CrimeFest.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Petrona Award 2015 - Shortlist Announced

Here is the press release announcing the six titles shortlisted for the Petrona Award 2015:

Quality crime fiction from across Scandinavia is shortlisted for the 2015 Petrona Award

Six high-quality crime novels from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have made the shortlist for the 2015 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, which is announced today:


THE HUMMINGBIRD by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston (Arcadia Books; Finland)
THE HUNTING DOGS by Jørn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press; Norway)
REYKJAVIK NIGHTS by Arnaldur Indriðason tr. Victoria Cribb (Harvill Secker; Iceland)
THE HUMAN FLIES by Hans Olav Lahlum tr. Kari Dickson (Mantle; Norway)
FALLING FREELY, AS IF IN A DREAM by Leif G W Persson tr. Paul Norlen (Doubleday; Sweden)
THE SILENCE OF THE SEA by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland)
The winning title will be announced at the annual international crime fiction event CrimeFest, held in Bristol 14-17 May 2015. The award will be presented by the Godmother of modern Scandinavian crime fiction, Maj Sjöwall, co-author with Per Wahlöö of the Martin Beck series.

The 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 year.

Leading Scandinavian crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw said “The Petrona Award goes from strength to strength, with both winners and shortlisted authors representing the very finest in the Nordic Noir genre; I’m pleased to be involved.”

The judges' comments on the shortlist:

THE HUMMINGBIRD: Kati Hiekkapelto’s accomplished debut introduces young police investigator Anna Fekete, whose family fled to Finland during the Yugoslavian wars. Paired with an intolerant colleague, she must solve a complex set of murders and the suspicious disappearance of a young Kurdish girl. Engrossing and confidently written, THE HUMMINGBIRD is a police procedural that explores contemporary themes in a nuanced and thought-provoking way.

THE HUNTING DOGS: The third of the William Wisting series to appear in English sees Chief Inspector Wisting suspended from duty when evidence from an old murder case is found to have been falsified. Hounded by the media, Wisting must now work under cover to solve the case and clear his name, with the help of journalist daughter Line. Expertly constructed and beautifully written, this police procedural showcases the talents of one of the most accomplished authors of contemporary Nordic Noir.

REYKJAVIK NIGHTS: A prequel to the series featuring detective Erlendur Sveinsson, REYKJAVIK NIGHTS gives a snapshot of 1970s Iceland, with traditional culture making way for American influences. Young police officer Erlendur takes on the ‘cold’ case of a dead vagrant, identifying with a man’s traumatic past. Indriðason’s legion of fans will be delighted to see the gestation of the mature Erlendur; the novel is also the perfect starting point for new readers of the series.

THE HUMAN FLIES: Hans Olav Lahlum successfully uses elements from Golden Age detective stories to provide a 1960s locked-room mystery that avoids feeling like a pastiche of the genre. The writing is crisp and the story intricately plotted. With a small cast of suspects, the reader delights in following the investigations of Lahlum's ambitious detective Kolbjørn Kristiansen, who relies on the intellectual rigour of infirm teenager Patricia Borchmann.

FALLING FREELY, AS IF IN A DREAM: It’s 2007 and the chair of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Lars Martin Johansson, has reopened the investigation into the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme. But can he and his dedicated team really solve this baffling case? The final part of Persson’s ‘The Story of a Crime’ trilogy presents the broadest national perspective using a variety of different techniques - from detailed, gritty police narrative to cool documentary perspective - to create a novel that is both idiosyncratic and highly compelling.

THE SILENCE OF THE SEA: Yrsa Sigurðardóttir has said ‘I really love making people’s flesh creep!’, and she is the supreme practitioner when it comes to drawing on the heritage of Icelandic literature, and channelling ancient folk tales and ghost stories into a vision of modern Icelandic society. In SILENCE OF THE SEA, an empty yacht crashes into Reykjavik’s harbour wall: its Icelandic crew and passengers have vanished. Thóra Gudmundsdóttir investigates this puzzling and deeply unsettling case, in a narrative that skilfully orchestrates fear and tension in the reader.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Petrona Award 2014 - Winner Announced


Last night at CrimeFest, Petrona Award judges Barry Forshaw and Sarah Ward announced the winner of the 2014 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.



And the winner is Leif G W Persson for LINDA, AS IN THE LINDA MURDER translated by Neil Smith.





As well as the trophy, Leif G W Persson will also receive a cheque for £200 and a pass to and panel at next year's CrimeFest.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Submissions welcome for the 2015 Award

The 2015 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is now open for entries. Details of eligibility can be found on the Eligibility page as well as details on how to enter. In addition a list of titles identified as eligible is available on the Euro Crime blog.

The winner of the 2014 Award will be announced at CrimeFest on 17 May 2014.