Friday 27 October 2023

Ten Years of the Petrona Award

It's been ten years of the Petrona Award: 2013 - 2023, and to mark the occasion we will be revisiting the first ten winners.

Starting from next Thursday, we will be posting classic reviews from former and current Petrona Award judges as well as some new material from 'friends of the Petrona'.

To be notified of these posts, why not follow this website using or bloglovin' (see righthand sidebar for details) and/or like the Euro Crime Facebook page.

Here's a reminder of the first ten winning titles:

LAST WILL by Liza Marklund, translated by Neil Smith 

LINDA, AS IN THE LINDA MURDER by Leif G.W. Persson, translated by Neil Smith

THE SILENCE OF THE SEA by Yrsa Sigurđardóttir, translated by Victoria Cribb,

THE CAVEMAN by Jørn Lier Horst, translated by Anne Bruce

WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE by Gunnar Staalesen, translated by Don Bartlett,

QUICKSAND by Malin Persson Giolito, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles

THE KATHARINA CODE by Jørn Lier Horst, translated by Anne Bruce

LITTLE SIBERIA by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston

TO COOK A BEAR by Mikael Niemi, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner

FATAL ISLES by Maria Adolfsson translated by Agnes Broomé

Thursday 12 October 2023

The Petrona Award 2023 - Winner


Winner of 2023 Petrona Award announced

The winner of the 2023 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is: 

FEMICIDE by Pascal Engman, translated from the Swedish by Michael Gallagher and published by Legend Press.

Pascal Engman will receive a trophy, and both the author and translator will receive a cash prize.

The judges’ statement on FEMICIDE:

This year’s Petrona Award winner is a page-turning, absorbing and uncomfortable Swedish thriller. FEMICIDE tells of a young woman, Emilie, who is found murdered in her Stockholm apartment in the same week that her violent ex-boyfriend is released from prison. Detective Vanessa Frank is assigned the case. Meanwhile, we hear the story of young journalist Jasmina, the survivor of a recent, severe sexual assault. Author Pascal Engman dives into the world of incels through Tom, a very believable character who is part of a weaponised gender war brought about by, amongst other things, misguided hatred, feelings of being ignored by society, and sexual frustration. FEMICIDE comes to a pinnacle as the attacks against women escalate on a huge scale. 

Continuing in the tradition of fellow Swedish authors Sjöwall and Wahlöö, and Henning Mankell, Pascal Engman uses his writing to comment on societal values making FEMICIDE an interesting, fictional take on the multifaceted topic of violence against women. The book stood out to all the Petrona judges for several reasons. The way FEMICIDE opens the reader’s eyes to the steadily increasing threat of the incel movement and what makes these men tick was felt by all the judges. FEMICIDE is a challenging read that broadens thinking. The writing is well informed, the book has a good sense of urban space, and it picks up pace in a satisfying manner. There is a cast of interesting, and sometimes unconventional, characters for the reader to get to know. All the judges felt this book offered something creatively original that captured the zeitgeist of the early twenty-first century and it is a deserved winner. 

Comments from the winning author, translator and publisher:

Pascal Engman (author):

It feels incredibly significant to win this award. Several of my major idols and heroes in this genre have been recipients of it. I consider it an honour, a great honour. Writing FEMICIDE was a unique experience. The research on the incel movement was very challenging. I was pulled towards their darkness in many ways. Therefore, I also want to thank Linnea, my fiancée, for putting up with me then, as she does now.

Michael Gallagher (translator):

FEMICIDE was a fantastic book to work on. Pascal Engman certainly belongs to the Nordic Noir tradition, but his writing and his characters deftly reflect the tectonic shifts underway in Sweden and the wider world. Always unsettling and compelling, he is not bound by conventions or old cliches. I am delighted that the jury has recognised his talent and that my translation seems to have done it justice!

Cari Rosen (Legend Press Commissioning Editor):

We are so thrilled that FEMICIDE has been chosen as the winner of this year's Petrona Award. The novel delves into the world of incels after a series of brutal attacks against women, and perfectly encapsulates the pace, drama and drive of Pascal's writing. The Vanessa Frank series has sold more than a million copies worldwide and everyone at Legend is delighted to be able to bring this, the first of three books, to an English-speaking audience thanks to Michael Gallagher's expert translation.

The Petrona team would like to thank David Hicks for his continuing sponsorship of the Petrona Award.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Change to Winner's Announcement Date

With many apologies but due to unforeseen circumstances the winner of the Petrona Award 2023 will now be announced on 12 October 2023, rather than 5 October 2023.