The information is received a bit (or more than a bit) tardily, but thanks to Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Fanfare, we now know that Danish author Ane Riel won the 2016 Glass Key Award for her second novel, Harpiks. The Glass Key has been given out annually since 1992 by the Scandinavian Crime Society and is named in honor of Dashiell Hammett’s 1931 novel of that same name. Last year’s winner was Thomas Rydahl for The Hermit.
A Web site called Danish Arts reports that the Glass Key jury described Harpiks as “not your typical crime novel … Just look at the first sentence, ’It was dark in the white room, where my father killed grandmother.’” The site goes on to offer this plot synopsis: “Jens Haarder lives an isolated life on a little island. He runs a small carpentry business, and lives with his family in a fragrant pine forest. Haarder’s life doesn’t unfold as planned, though, as loss upon loss gradually breaks him. His mania for collecting becomes increasingly obsessive and grotesque, and his daughter Liv must fervently struggle to free herself from her father’s view of the world. It is a tale of illness and betrayal, as well as loyalty and caring. It is also a small introduction to the pleasures of lying in a coffin.”
Unfortunately, Riel’s book is not yet available in English.