By B. Forshaw
Barry Forshaw, the UK's crucial crime fiction expert,presents a party and research ofthe Scandinavian crime style, from Sjöwall and Wahlöö's Martin Beck sequence via Henning Mankell's Wallander to Stieg Larsson's demolition of the Swedish Social Democratic perfect within the publishing phenomenon the lady with the Dragon Tattoo .
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Extra info for Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction
I tend to get a similar feeling of satisfaction after finishing any of the Van Veeteren books, but as Borkmann’s Point was the first, it was a bit special. ) Like Van Veeteren himself, most readers are sure to have more sympathy with the murderer than with his victim. ‘Mankell’s The Troubled Man was also very satisfying. I translated only three of the original Wallander novels – if the “lead publisher” was British, I was asked to do the translation: the Americans preferred to have a US translator in those days when they were the lead publisher.
And in the second decade of the twenty-first century, these encomiums are often being presented for as-yet-untranslated Scandinavian authors. No British publisher wants to miss out on a new sales sensation in this new(ish) field, but many are distinctly wary – having learned just how much product there is out there to be sifted through. But visiting literary agents from Nordic countries are still given a decent hearing: after all, who knows what treasures they have in their portfolios? 36 Death in a Cold Climate One author safely signed, sealed and delivered is Camilla Läckberg.
I haven’t bothered in recent years – but then, the books I’ve translated tend to be set at least ten years ago. Mankell is politically a child of the 1960s, and his views reflect the (in my view) naive enthusiasm for far-left ideals – the little red book and all of that. Edwardson is both different and similar; for instance, he rants on about Swedes who leave Sweden and live abroad in sunnier countries – and repeatedly states that they ought to be paying Swedish taxes, not avoiding them. , and the problems of Zimbabwe blamed on former colonial powers and a white conspiracy – he is presenting a twisted view of reality in the context of the novel: but I can’t help suspecting that Mankell believes it, at least to a considerable extent.