Murder in the Dark is the first in Danish author Turèll’s ‘Murder’ series. The scruffy, unconventional anti-hero narrator is a journalist with a warm wit, who drinks to excess, is desperate to be loved, yet revels in being an outsider – the author strongly denied he was based on himself, though the parallels are striking! The series takes place in Vesterbro, Copenhagen, depicted as a grotty crime-ridden underworld full of brothels, dodgy bars, and drug dens. The book opens with a mysterious 3.30am phone call from a strange voice telling the narrator to come – now – to an address on Saxogade. When he wakes again at a more reasonable hour, the narrator contacts the police:
I had to say my name twice – and give them my social security number once – before they took me seriously.
And that they certainly did. In authoritative tone, the voice in Cafe Freden’s payphone asked me to appear at Police Inspector Ehlers’ office in Halmtorvet as soon as possible.
I told them I would be there in fifteen minutes.
I spent twelve of those minutes on two bitters and two cups of even more scalding hot coffee. I spent the final three minutes walking the twenty meters to the police station at Halmtorvet, as slowly as possible. I’ve always hated spending my free time in police stations.
Translator Mark Mussari will be taking part in an interactive Q&A via video link for the event, so we would like to get some questions from book club members about his experience translating this classic crime novel. You can suggest questions in a number of ways: post a comment here, tweet @nordicnoir, or comment on our Facebook page.
The launch takes place on Monday 4th November 2013 at University College London. The event is free, but please RSVP by 5pm on Wednesday 30th October to Ellen Kythor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t make it, the translator’s Q&A will be available on YouTube soon after – watch this space for details!