Via various blogs, including the source of all wisdom on such matters, Euro Crime, I see that Three Seconds by Roslund-Hellstrom (Sweden) has won the CWA International Dagger award for 2011. This book would not have been my choice from the shortlist, my preference was Ernesto Mallo’s Needle in a Haystack (Argentina). However, crime fiction is a very varied genre, and the winner is of the thriller variety rather than the introspective one, which just goes to show that these things usually boil down to a matter of taste on the part of the individual reader. In this vein, the 2011 shortlist itself did not contain some books that I thought very good out of the eligible titles (most notably Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olssen (Denmark) which for me was the overall winner of translated crime novels this year, and Frozen Moment by Camilla Ceder (Sweden), a very impressive debut novel, which would be my runner-up) — though the six titles out of the seven on the shortlist that I’ve read were all at least “OK”.
The 2012 International Dagger promises to be a much tougher fight already, and it’s only July. I’ve read two superb novels from the eligible list, Outrage by Arnaldur Indridason (Iceland) and The Quarry by Johan Theorin (Sweden) which will be very hard indeed to beat. A look at the Goodreads carousel at Euro Crime blog containing all the eligible titles published so far also contains other books I’ve read by Camilleri, Sigurdardottir, Mallo and J-C Wagner – it is shaping up to be an excellent year!
My previous posts about the International Dagger, for 2011 and previous years, are collected here.