My review in Financial Times

08 January 12


In Financial Times Life&Arts today I give my review on Barry Forshaws book Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction. I also give my own analysis of what lies behind the scandinavian crime writer's hugh international success:


"One thing that is not mentioned in Forshaw’s book is the economics behind the boom. I am talking about this from a writer’s perspective. If you are to support yourself working in a small language – as all the Scandinavian languages are – you had better listen to the audience. What, you must ask, will a fair amount of people actually read?


In Scandinavia the answer to that question is crime fiction. Pretty much only crime novels sell enough for a writer to make a living. This simple fact has made many very good Scandinavian writers turn to the genre. The best writers in Scandinavia today, in terms of pure craftsmanship, are without doubt the crime writers.

Over the past 30 years Swedish publishers and critics have taken crime fiction seriously, treating it as literature in its own right. You can be regarded as a serious writer even if you are turning out a crime novel a year. All of this has created a lot of self-confidence. As a writer, I can have high hopes of finding not just a publisher, but a very good publisher."


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