Saturday, 30 March 2013

Until Thy Wrath Be Past

I’m kicking into Swedish crime right now, and it’s all been inspired by Asa Larsson, whose name is actually pronounced something like ‘Ursa Lawson’, and whom I met at the Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards last year.

Asa is a really lovely woman and she completely amazed me by answering all the interview questions in English with great knowledge and candour, which I found incredible as I sometimes struggle to put two words together while speaking in my native language in public, and she did it all in her second (or maybe her third – I think she speaks Finnish) language.   She just came across as being really honest and charming and genuine, and also quite erudite.

She explained that her hometown of Kiruna in north Sweden is in the process of being totally demolished and re-located, as the ore that forms the backbone of the town’s economy and existence was discovered to run directly under the town.  So the mining company is relocating every person and building to another site – which seems quite cold and unreal, but everyone depends on it for their livelihood.  She spoke quite movingly about all the beautiful places in the town that she loved, and how the next time she returned to Kiruna they just wouldn’t be there anymore – the whole place where she grew up will be in a completely different location.

So I just had the chance to read her most-recently translated book Until Thy Wrath Be Past and I loved it – it’s another in a series of books about lawyer Rebecka Martinsson, and a fantastic murder mystery, with quite lyrical spiritual elements that kind of curl through and around the story, and give the characters a distinctly beating heart.  If you have a chance, look it up.

And if you can rec any good Swedish crime, hit me upI'm really enjoying the change from most contemporary urban crime, which is usually all gritty noir-ish streets, whereas Swedish crime has this stark contrast with the environment - so clean and white and bright.  I read Let The Right One In by John Lindqvist some time ago, and was struck by the different feel of the writing (although the genre was quite different), and the effect the environment had on the whole tone and style of the story.  It reminded me of a another story I love, the film Fargo - that is an awesome film, not the least because the protag is a very heavily pregnant woman.

Now I’m off to read The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver and The Selection by Kiera Cass – I said I’d use my down-time to pig-out on other people’s books, didn’t I?  Yep, I’m totally indulging myself.

Have a lovely chocolatey Easter, and if you have the chance, curl up on the couch with a good book and a big Easter bunny and a glass of wine…

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