“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Swedish Crime Fiction? Now There’s A Turnip For The Books

The rather fine Detectives Beyond Borders interweb yokeybus has a neat link to a fascinating piece on Swedish crime fiction in the Toronto Star, which runneth thusly:
The article also traces the current wave of Swedish crime writing to a traumatic national event: the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, shot dead in Stockholm while walking home from a movie with his wife. Anyone who dismissed crime fiction as trifling might be interested in this passage about the Palme assassination:
“In a way, Sweden has never recovered,” says Swedish author and critic Marie Peterson. “Sweden changed, brutally, on almost every level, but this change was nowhere to be found in literature. No one explored it, analyzed it or wrote stories about it. Except the crime writers, starting with [Henning] Mankell.”
Are there parallels to be drawn with the Irish experience of another assassination, in this case the murder of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996 and the subsequent explosion in Irish crime fiction? There’s a significant paper to be written here, o ye students of Ireland.