Category Archives: Norwegian crime fiction

Meet Jørn Lier Horst (Profile)

Meet the Norwegian Chief Inspector who turned to crime writing when the Nordic Noir Book Club gets together on 22. May 2017. All Welcome.

lierhorst

Jørn Lier Horst

Jørn Lier Horst is one of the most popular crime writers in Scandinavia. In his native Norway, he sells about 1,000 books a day. He has won the most prestigious awards including the Riverton Prize for the best Norwegian crime novel, The Glass Key and The Martin Beck Award for The Hunting Dogs. Like his compatriot, Jo Nesbø, Lier Horst enjoys international success with his William Wisting series – translated for publication in 25 countries from Japan to Portugal. In the UK, where Sandstone Press has published six of his novels, his seat in the Valhalla of Nordic Noir was cemented with the 2016 Petrona Award for the best Scandinavian crime novel of the year for The Caveman. Book 10 in the Wisting series, Ordeal, was published in 2016, and a prequel, When it Grows Dark, was published just a few months ago in the UK. British fans of Scandinavian TV crime series will no doubt be looking forward to adaptations of six of his Wisting novels scheduled to start filming later this year.

From Police Investigator to Crime Writer

Jørn Lier Horst is a Former Senior Investigating Officer in Norway – and it shows in his popular William Wisting series. He has said that working as a chief investigator allowed him to “go behind the barrier tapes and to walk among the remains and traces of severe crimes. See the aftermath of a relentless struggle. Stepping into rooms that have been closed yet contain unexplored secrets.” This professional experience and how it has changed him as a human being is essentially where he would also like to bring his readers. Lier Horst has the following interesting perspective on how his background has influenced and strengthened his crime writing:

The police force provides an excellent advantage point for observing society, as well as an excellent starting point for writing realistic crime fiction. Sooner or later, the ineffective aspects of our society end up on the police’s plate. I write crime novels in an attempt to tell something about our modern welfare system that gives honest promises to be protective and inclusive, yet fail so many of its inhabitants – at the same time I try to give my readers an exciting and riveting story.”

William Wisting – A Fearless Policeman

The jury for the Petrona Award explained its choice of Lier Horst’s The Caveman for the 2016 award with the following words:

All the books in the ‘William Wisting’ series have had compelling narratives and The Caveman is no exception, exploring a Norwegian society where, in a supposedly close-knit community, a man can lie dead at home unnoticed and unmourned for weeks. Excellent plotting, well-drawn characters and writing of the highest quality make this book a worthy winner of the 2016 Petrona Award.

Through the, so far, ten books, Wisting has developed and changed in step with the Norwegian society. He has seen a growing sense of insecurity and how crime has become rougher and more professionalised. As the world around him has become darker, so has Wisting become increasingly disillusioned. Lier Horst explains his choice of writing a prequel to the series – with the recently published When it Grows Dark – by saying that he has in many ways written Wisting into a darkness and had therefore been wanting to go back, to find out how it started and how he really was before the crime trend accelerated in the negative direction:

What I found out when I wrote was that Wisting is the same then as now. Patient and understanding, and with the same driving force, namely the eternal belief to succeed. It has always been greater than the fear of failure. It has made Wisting a fearless policeman.”

In this way, Wisting is both similar to and different from the well-known Nordic Noir detectives. While he certainly has no illusions about living in an earthly welfare paradise, he is mustering a reassuring and socially concerned defence against the forces that threaten to break down the trusting relationships through which social welfare in the Nordic countries is formed and maintained. Wisting, therefore, is a new kind of (sober) police detective in Nordic Noir, at the same time as the novels maintain the stock Nordic Noir trait, which Jørn Lier Horst has succinctly defined as a crime narrative that fascinate readers around the world “by what we might call ‘Nordic melancholy’ concocted from winter darkness, midnight sun, and immense, desolate landscapes”:

The taciturn, slightly uncommunicative heroes are lone wolves living in a barren, cold part of the world, constantly on an uncompromising pursuit of truth and clarity. What’s more, the entire idea of paradise lost is a prominent feature of Nordic crime: the social-democratic efficient society attacked from within by violence, corruption and homicide.

Join your fellow Nordic Noir fans for a conversation with Jørn Lier Horst, Lone Theils and Stefan Ahnhem about their crime novels, Nordic Noir and social justice at the next Book Club event on 22. May 2017 (see details and how to book your ticket above, all are welcome).

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Tickets on sale for Nordic Noir Book Club event featuring Jorn Lier Horst, Lone Theils and Stefan Ahnhem

Join us for an all-Scandinavian evening of thrilling bestselling crime fiction with Jorn Lier Horst (Norway), Lone Theils (Denmark) and Stefan Ahnhem (Sweden). Prepare for battle, as the authors and audience engage in the historic sibling rivalry of the Scandinavian countries to decide, once and for all, which of the Scandinavian countries is more “Nordic Noir”.

When: Monday 22 May 2017, 6:00pm – 9:00pm (Event starts at 7:00pm, but if you arrive at 6:00 food is available to order, as there is a delivery service to the table at Juju’s from Poppies Fish and Chips across the road)

Where: JuJu’s Bar and Stage at the Old Truman Brewery. Access is from Ely’s Yard, Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR.

Tickets: Tickets are available from Eventbrite at £5. Please purchase your tickets here.

Jorn Lier Horst will present his latest novel When It Grows Dark (Sandstone Press), a prequel to his now 10-volume William Wisting series.

Lone Theils will present her debut novel about the journalist Nora Sand, Fatal Crossing (Arcadia) – a true Scandinavian crime novel, which takes place mostly in the UK.

Stefan Ahnhem will present the second instalment in his Fabian Risk series, The Ninth Grave (Head of Zeus).

The event will also feature the launch of the founder of the Nordic Noir Book Club, Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen’s book Scandinavian Crime Fiction (Bloomsbury).

Books will be available for purchase from Newham Books and for signing at the event.

Please check back on the blog for more information about the event, the authors and their books; and please contact Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (j.stougaard-nielsen@ucl.ac.uk) if you have questions about the event.

Leave a comment

Filed under book club, Danish crime fiction, London events, Nordic Crime Fiction Event, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction, Swedish crime fiction

Jørn Lier Horst, Lone Theils and Stefan Ahnhem @ Nordic Noir Book Club Event in London, May 22nd

The Nordic Noir Book Club in London is excited and proud to give advance notice of an upcoming event in London featuring prominent crime writers from Norway, Denmark and Sweden: Jørn Lier Horst, Lone Theils and Stefan Ahnhem.

Jørn Lier Horst’s latest crime novel (in the William Wisting series) “When it grows dark” (translated by Anne Bruce) is out today from Sandstone Press.

Lone Theil’s bestselling debut novel “Fatal Crossing” (translated by Charlotte Barslund) will be out in April from Arcadia Books.

Stefan Ahnhem’s second novel in the Fabian Risk series, “The Ninth Grave” (translated by Paul Norlen) was out earlier this year from Head of Zeus.

Start reading and return to these pages for more on the authors and their novels. The event will take place in the evening of the 22nd of May at JuJu’s (The Truman Brewery). So, reserve the date in your calendars. Tickets will go “on sale” in a couple of weeks, and will be announced on the Nordic Noir Book Club blog.

We are looking forward to seeing new and old Scandinavian crime fiction fans in London in May. Please contact Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (j.stougaard-nielsen@ucl.ac.uk) if you have questions about the event.

Leave a comment

Filed under book club, Danish crime fiction, London events, Nordic Crime Fiction Event, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction, Swedish crime fiction

The Glass Key 2014 goes to…

Gard Sveen with Jørn Lier Horst

Gard Sveen with Jørn Lier Horst

The Scandinavian Crime Foundation (SKS) has the pleasure of announcing that their great award, The Glass Key 2014, will be awarded to the Norwegian author, Gard Sveen, for his novel ”Den siste pilegrimen” (The Last Pilgrimage).

This is his debut novel, and is thus the first in a planned series about the investigative detective, Tommy Bergmann, who is trying to piece together a connection between a murder during the summer of 2003 and a skeletal finding from World War II.

Not only has he won the Glass Key as a debutante author – he also won the Riverton Award. This is the first debutante who is awarded with both awards since Jo Nesbø in 1998.

Gard Sveen (1969-) is the senior adviser in the Norwegian Department of Defense.

The other nominees for this year’s Glass Key was:
Simon Pasternak (Denmark)
Reijo Mäki: Sherrifi (Finland)
Christoffer Carlsson: (Sweden)
(Iceland did not have a candidate this year)

This year, at the crime festival, Krimimessen, the three candidates from Norway, Sweden and Denmark were introduced to the enthusiastic readers, along with last year’s winner, Jørn Lier Horst.

1 Comment

Filed under Crime awards, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Next Nordic Noir event: CABIN FEVER

Wednesday 22 February 2012, 6pm, Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, 21 University Street,
London WC1E 6DE

As any Norwegian crime aficionado knows, all those forests, mountains and cabins make a spine-chilling backdrop to the thriller tradition. For this Nordic Noir event, Visiting Professor Ellen Rees (University of Oslo) leads us into the Norwegian woods and back to the early days of crime and horror fiction. Ellen will screen the classic Norwegian thriller The Lake of the Dead (De dødes tjern, 1958, 75 mins) and explain how the forest cabin has become a classic location for crime and horror fiction and film. We’ll also hear about annual Easter crimewave in Norway. And all of this takes place over a glass or two of wine in the spookily atmospheric surroundings of the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology. Shiver.
This event is free but spaces are limited. Please book your place at this link.

Cabin Fever screening and talk will be held at the Grant Museum of Zoology

1 Comment

Filed under Nordic cinema, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Anne Holt joins Nordic Noir Book Club on 12. October 2011

Please visit our “Taken by Storm” page to learn more about this event and to reserve your (free) ticket. Tickets are already going fast, so be quick.

We shall be talking with Anne Holt about her two recently translated crime novels: 1222 and Fear Not. Please comment to this post about your experiences with reading Anne Holt, what questions we should ask her etc. Remember that the talk and discussion will be available for audio download through UCL iTunes – so, even though you may not be able to make it to the event itself, we could forward your questions to Holt, and you will be able to hear the answers in the Book Club podcast.

Leave a comment

Filed under book club, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Nordic Noir Book Club – Norwegian crime?

Today we have received the good news that Norwegian crime writer Anne Holt will be our next guest in the Nordic Noir Book Club. Early warning is for October 12, so reserve the day for a chilling storm from the mountains of Norway. More will follow as the organisation falls into place. Let us know what you think about Holt’s novels.

3 Comments

Filed under book club, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction