Your reviews of Roseanna

Category: Reviews

roseannaThis time our review panelists were asked to review Roseanna, the first book in the series that is said to have inspired many of the future greats, including Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. If you’ve read the same book and want to comment then please do!


Antony Jones writes:

Originally written in the 1960’s by the Swedish author Maj Sjowall and her partner Per Wahlöö, Roseanna is a defining point in the genre of crime fiction, not only founding the award winning ten book series that feature Martin Beck – all of which have been made into films – but influencing many authors including Stieg Larsson (author of the Girl with the Dragon tattoo), Henning Mankell (author of the Kurt Wallander series) and Jo Nesbo (author of the Harry Hole series).

It all starts with a body, dredged up from the sludge of a lock near Sweden’s Lake Vattern. Naked and unknown, there are no clues to her identity or reasons why she had been killed. Martin Beck is called from Stockholm to assist the authorities in trying to find who she was and the identity or her murderer. One of the defining characteristics of the novel is the dogged realism – the fact that month’s pass before things actually happen on the case and it’s a process of time-consuming legwork that actually moves things along.

During these early chapters time is set aside to learn about the character and personality of Martin Beck – an unhappily married father of one who struggles with health issues and seems to suffer from a certain amount of desensitisation, floating through his life without too many strong feelings about anything. This everyday character – a realistic someone who you could quite easily meet in the street really grounds the novel and creates an incredibly realistic voice. Ironically it’s this sense of normality which really helps to set the novel apart, bringing to life the hunt for the killer – not with lots of high speed car chases and manly chest pounding but with actual police work by normal, yet gifted people. The pace picks up once they get their first real break and the focus moves back to the story at hand and from then on stays fairly well routed to the task of bringing the killer to ground.

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Lars Kepler

Category: Author Post

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril & Alexander Ahndoril, both critically-acclaimed writers under their own names. Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril’s first novel Stjärneborg (Castle of Stars) has been translated in several languages while Alexander Ahndoril’s novel The Director, about Ingmar Bergman, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. They live in Sweden.

The Hypnotist, published in 2011 in the UK by Blue Door, is the first in a series featuring Detective Inspector Joona Linna and is already an international bestseller.

Click on the jacket below for more information


Four Daggers Shortlist Announced

Category: News

The Crime Writer’s Association have announced the (multiple) shortlists they have for their annual awards. Reserved for the crème de la crème of the Fiction world they take place on 15th July and this year’s list emcompass everything from Steig Larsson’s hugely successful The Girl who Played with Fire to Arnaldur Indriadason’s Arctic Chill part of the Inspector Erlendur series.

Previous Gold Dagger winner Robert Wilson will be featured over the coming weeks as part of the Sinister Summer season, so check back for an exclusive blog.

Maxine Clarke over at Petrona has posted her thoughts on this year’s shortlist. Check out what she thinks…