Sunday Salon: more on Karin Alvtegen


TSSbadge3 Last week I wrote about a wonderful author whom I’d heard about but had not, until then, read: Karin Alvtegen. Here’s a quotation from one of her books, Betrayal,  and here is the author’s website.



Since last week, I’ve read Shadow, her latest book, and immediately Missing, which has been deservedly shortlisted for the Best Novel category of the Edgars this year. Next I’ll read Shame (can’t wait) – and sadly, that is it (for now – there is another book, Guilt, but although it has been translated it is “unavailable”). My reviews of Betrayal and Shadow have been submitted to Euro Crime, and my review of Missing is in draft.


In my opinion, Karin Alvtegen is one of the very best crime-fiction authors I have ever read. Her books are a superb fusion of plot, character, suspense, psychology, history and insight – and they race by. Each is different, yet has certain elements in common. Fans of Lisbeth Salander, the main character of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, will I am sure find much to their taste in Missing, for example.


Shadow is about an eminent Swedish novelist, Axel, who has won the Nobel prize for literature. Although the book could not be more serious, the author has a few jokes at the expense of her profession. Early on in his career, Axel agrees to attend a literary evening in which some authors will read from their books and hope to sell a few signed copies.


The evening’s organiser left the room and only the authors remained. He had known Torgny for some time, while the other two were strangers, one a first-time novelist and the other a crime writer. The latter had apparently sold a good number of books, although it was incomprehensible to Axel that people read such drivel. 



Axel’s son is not of a literary disposition.


Unlike his father, Jan-Erik was the type who simply saw a dustbin when he saw a dustbin, and not a ‘vessel for unwanted memories’.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: more on Karin Alvtegen

  1. I reviewed “Shadow” earlier today. I agree it was a great read. I hated all the characters but she drew them with such empathy that they felt very real to me — and their individual foibles rang true.
    I loved Missing when I read it a few years back, and am desperate to read “Betrayal” and “Shame” now.
    PS> Love the quotes you selected. The first one made me laugh out loud.

  2. Thanks for the nice reviews, Maxine and Kim. We translators toiling in the gardens of crime appreciate it! My personal favorite is Betrayal — hated the characters, loved the book.
    Reg/McKinley

  3. Reg – McKinley as well as Steven T. Wonders will never cease! Great work, I must say. I can’t decide between Missing, Betrayal and Shadow – I am almost finished Shame and I don’t think that is quite as good as the other three.

  4. Thanks, Maxine. (McKinley is my Scottish persona, tapping into half of my heritage.) Shame is certainly not as “appealing” as the others, but I think Karin pulled it off well. About Guilt, I believe Canongate let it go out of print on purpose. Haven’t read it. It’s still in print in German, but the Italian is OP.
    It’s fun having a year when all the work you’ve done the past 2-3 years is coming out at once. Just got my copies of Fire and I’m giving away a free copy to anyone who can guess the blues giant on my T-shirt. See my blog.

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