The Darkest Room is winner of this year’s International Dagger

TDRoom  I am so pleased to read on Euro Crime blog that Johan Theorin's The Darkest Room, superbly translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy,  has won the International Dagger award for 2010. 

I think this book is wonderful, far more than a standard crime book. The author is extremely talented and combines a good plot with a sensitive observation of character, time and place. Although I read the book some time ago, it haunts me still.

The other books on the shortlist are all excellent, I recommend them all. For me, Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason came next-closest to winning, but on balance I felt The Darkest Room was a more rounded book – though my own emotional identification with the protagonist in Hypothermia is stronger.

My Euro Crime review begins…."THE DARKEST ROOM is a wonderful book, framed as the story of a wooden house, Eel Point, on the coast of the small island of Oland, Sweden – an island where the population is small and the old traditions continue. The house has a long, tragic history associated with the building of the two lighthouses on the nearby rocks, shipwrecks and various residents. The brief stories of these old tragedies are told in short sections interleaving the book's chapters, showing how Eel Point has become regarded today as haunted. The reader is never sure whether the ghosts are real, or to what extent the house's sad, cruel past is influencing current events." Read on here.

I think the judges did a great job in a year when the competition was intense – not only Hypothermia and The Darkest Room, but The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, the superb climax to Siteg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, and 13 Hours, Deon Meyer's adrenalin-packed thriller. Badfellas (Tony Benacquista) and August Heat (Andrea Camilleri) are also noble contenders. 

Now, our next task is to read the novels eligible for the 2011 award, a delightful prospect. Or, if you have not yet done so, you can read the winner and the five other titles that made up the 2010 shortlist. My reviews of all six can be accessed from this post.

Euro Crime list of titles eligible for the 2011 award, which will be updated as new titles are published.

Johan Theorin's English-language website.

8 thoughts on “The Darkest Room is winner of this year’s International Dagger

  1. I think I am in the same boat as you, Karen! Must take some time off work to catch up a bit……thanks for popping over, and great job on the award, well done.

  2. I have read only two as well so more reading to be done. I think the best book won and that must be in part to a great job done by the judges. ;o) I will say that the Larsson and the Indridason were very unlucky to come up against such an outstanding book as The Darkest Room.

  3. You are the go-to-girl when it comes to picking great translated fiction Maxine. Keep up the great work1

  4. Splendid news. No doubt they will be opening the bottles of
    aquavit in Oland!

  5. Am waiting for library reserve system to get this book to my local branch, but they have few copies of it and it’s in demand. And I can’t wait.
    Thanks for all of your CWA Dagger pre-award and post-award news.
    This website has contributed much to my global reading, including of Nordic noir.
    The problem is getting books here in a timely way; my solution (although not to my budget) is, of course, Book Depository. The Janus Stone is on the way which I’ve been waiting for, also impatiently. And I think orders for many more read about here will be on my agenda very soon.

  6. Pingback: Progress on reading books eligible for the 2011 International Dagger | Petrona

  7. Pingback: CWA International Dagger shortlist 2011and predicted winner | Petrona

Comments are closed.