Thursday, December 08, 2022

North Sea Tale Earns Petrona

From a shortlist of six novels competing for the 2022 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, a winner has finally been selected. It’s Fatal Isles (Zaffre, 2021), written by Swedish author Maria Adolfsson and translated by Agnes Broomé. That announcement was made this morning.

The judges issued this statement in regard to Adolfsson’s book:
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.
Also in contention for this year’s coveted Petrona Award were The Therapist, by Helene Flood, translated by Alison McCullough (Norway, MacLehose Press); Everything Is Mine, by Ruth Lillegraven, translated by Diane Oatley (Norway, AmazonCrossing); Knock Knock, by Anders Roslund, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Sweden, Harvill Secker); Cold as Hell, by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, translated by Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda); and The Rabbit Factor, by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston (Finland, Orenda).

The original longlist of 12 nominees can be found here.

The Petrona Award memorializes Maxine Clarke, the British editor, crime-fiction blogger, and “champion of Scandinavian crime fiction” who passed away in December 2012 (Petrona was the name of her long-running blog). Previous recipients include Mikael Niemi’s To Cook a Bear (2021), Antti Tuomainen’s Little Siberia (2020), and Jørn Lier Horst’s The Katharina Code (2019). To learn more about this prize and its history, refer to the Petrona Award Web site.

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