Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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.


Peter said...

I thank you for your gracious comments and for enlarging my vocabulary. My life is richer now that I know the word yokeybus.

I followed up your link on Veronica Guerin and, through that, to John Gilligan. You'll know I've been reading Declan Hughes' The Wrong Kind of Blood. That novel's gang of criminals is named Halligan. Could Hughes have been trying to evoke the Gilligan name deliberately, or are Gilligan and Halligan simply common Irish names? Let me put this another way: Does the similarity in names have any resonance with Irish readers?
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Uriah Robinson said...

Is Ireland becoming the new Sweden?
The Celtic Tiger economic miracle with new wealth for some, but with so many left behind, probably mirrors Swedish society in the 1960s and 1970s.
Both countries have since had massive immigration to what was previously a very homogeneous population. It is all good stuff for the crime fiction afficianado but not so marvellous for the elderly Irish hoping to retire to a rural idyll.