A couple of weeks ago we brought you the long list for the Petrona Award 2022. This has now been whittled down to a short list which is announced today. Six exceptional crime novels from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been shortlisted for the 2022 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.
The shortlist and some notes on the books are as follows:
Maria Adolfsson – FATAL ISLES tr. Agnes Broomé (Sweden, Zaffre)
Helene Flood – THE THERAPIST tr. Alison McCullough (Norway, MacLehose Press)
Ruth Lillegraven – EVERYTHING IS MINE tr. Diane Oatley (Norway, AmazonCrossing)
Anders Roslund – KNOCK KNOCK tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Sweden, Harvill Secker)
Lilja Sigurðardóttir – COLD AS HELL tr. Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda Books)
Antti Tuomainen – THE RABBIT FACTOR tr. David Hackston (Finland, Orenda Books)
Maria Adolfsson – Fatal Isles tr. Agnes Broomé (Sweden, Zaffre)
Maria Adolfsson’s gripping debut, Fatal Isles, set in Doggerland – a group of islands in the North Sea between Denmark and the United Kingdom – paints a vivid picture of a northern island community with traditions, rich and poor families, and a stormy climate. Doggerland comes alive on the pages so much that you would never guess it is totally fictional. DI Karen Eiken Hornby is tasked with investigating the murder of her boss’s ex-wife. Does the motive have any connection to a secretive commune that existed on the island in the past? Fatal Isles is a high tension, character driven, atmospheric police procedural.
Helene Flood – The Therapist tr. Alison McCullough (Norway, MacLehose Press)
A man goes missing under mysterious circumstances. Police detective Gundersen is officially working the case whilst therapist Sara tries to understand where her husband is. Set in the leafy Oslo outskirts, The Therapist is a tense read that keeps us intrigued with unsettling twists and turns. Sara is constantly analysing herself and the people around her as her whole life is turned upside down. At the same time she fears for her own safety and tries to remain professional with her clients. Author Helene Flood is a trained psychologist who has used her experience to inform the characters and the narrative in this page-turning debut thriller.
Ruth Lillegraven Everything is Mine tr. Diane Oatley (Norway, AmazonCrossing)
Everything is Mine is the story of two happily married professionals, Clara an ambitious child rights activist at the Ministry of Justice, and Henrik, a compassionate paediatrician. Dedication to their twin sons and their respective causes begins to crack when they are faced with cases of murder and abuse and an unravelling of a tangled web of emotional secrets follows. A powerful narration and detailed observations show a stark contrast between social standing and geographical differences in Norwegian life, and leave the readers with questions of how, and if, individuals can deal with unfairness and pain. Everything is Mine combines important issues, thrilling action and a smart intricate plot, with a strong focus on social injustice and complex family relations.
Anders Roslund – Knock Knock tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Sweden, Harvill Secker)
Anders Roslund has published nine novels to date as part of the successful writing duos of Roslund & Hellström and Roslund & Thunberg, as Anton Svensson, and has been the recipient of numerous, prestigious international awards. Since the death of Börge Hellström, Roslund has continued their Ewert Grens series and Knock Knock is his first solo venture. Set over the course of three days, Knock Knock is another fine example of Roslund’s talent for seamlessly blending together a solid police procedural with a high octane thriller, leading to a gritty and fast-paced read set against his astute observations on the societal and political issues of contemporary Sweden.
Lilja Sigurðardóttir – Cold as Hell tr. Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda Books)
Cold as Hell, the first novel in a new slick series, introduces Áróra who returns from UK to her homeland Iceland following the disappearance of her estranged sister Ísafold. She uncovers a corrupted world of dark secrets but needs help from her policeman uncle to navigate an Icelandic society with which she is now unfamiliar. The author creates a chilling and tense atmosphere where the midnight sun hides crimes and all relations are tested. The richness and intensity of the writing makes the investigative accountant Áróra, who will stop at nothing to understand and trace her sibling, a thoroughly modern and captivating protagonist in a league of her own.
Antti Tuomainen – The Rabbit Factor tr. David Hackston (Finland, Orenda Books)
Antti Tuomainen was shortlisted for the Petrona Award twice before winning it in 2020 with, Little Siberia. The Rabbit Factor, which was also shortlisted for this year’s CWA Dagger for Crime Fiction in Translation, superbly demonstrates Tuomainen’s singular gift for dark, absurd crime fiction undercut with poignancy. The Rabbit Factor puts at its heart an ordinary man drawing on his previously undiscovered and extraordinary resolve, to carve out and keep his place in a hostile world, with often darkly funny results.
The winning title will be announced on Thursday 8 December 2022. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize.
Further information can be found on the Petrona Award website: http://www.petronaaward.co.uk.