Monday, 15 July 2013

The Petrona Award for Scandinavian Crime Fiction

In the spring of 2013, a new award called the "Petrona" was announced for the best yearly Scandinavian crime novel. The award was named after the blog of the late Maxine Clarke, who was a champion of Scandinavian crime fiction. The short list for this year's award was based on reviews and recommendations in her blog. The winner of the 2013 Petrona Award was announced at this year's Crimefest in Bristol. If you missed the news, the award went to Lisa Marklund for her novel Last Will, which is the sixth novel in her series featuring protagonist Annika Bengtzon, an investigative journalist. For Maxine Clarke's review of the novel, please see

According to Maxine Clarke, the appeal of Marklund's writing--and Scandinavian crime novels in general--is the tackling of contemporary social issues. I find this observation interesting because I regard this social realism as a hallmark (and legacy) of "hard-boiled" detective fiction in general: the protagonist reflects on the corruption and injustices he encounters (think Hammett, Chandler, or Ross Macdonald, for example).

If you're interested in reading my Open Investigations blog on the popularity of Scandinavian crime fiction,  please click here

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