First post on International Dagger 2012

Now that the dust has settled on the 2011 CWA International Dagger award, which was won by the thriller Three Seconds by Roslund-Hellstrom, tr. Kari Dickson, we can begin to look at 2012! The rules are that the novel has to have been translated into English and published in the UK between June 2011 and May 2012. Karen Meek keeps an updated list of all the eligible titles at Euro Crime blog, of which at time of writing there are 49 either published or due to be published in this time period. In addition to her blog post, Karen has also created a lovely carousel of book covers (see Euro Crime blog) based on a Goodreads list: this is available via RSS feed so if you subscribe you’ll be alerted each time she adds a new title.

I don’t suppose anyone manages to read all the eligible titles per year, but the judges do publish a shortlist of six or seven titles a couple of months before the winner is announced, so one has an opportunity to focus on the eventual winner via reading the shortlist, if one so wishes. I tend to read most of the eligible titles apart from the historical ones and those that seem to be slasher/torture/serial killer/graphic violence-oriented, which is not my cup of tea.

Hence, of the list of eligible titles this year, I’ve so far read eleven:

Kjell Eriksson – The Princess of Burundi tr. Ebbe Segerberg (Sweden, my review from 2007 is of the US edition)
Andrea Camilleri – The Track of Sand tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Italy)
Arnaldur Indridason – Outrage tr. Anna Yates (Iceland)
Camilla Lackberg – The Hidden Child tr. Tiina Nunnally (Sweden, review submitted)
Ernesto Mallo – Sweet Money tr. Katherine Silver (Argentina)
Johan Theorin – The Quarry tr. Marlaine Delargy (Sweden)
Jan Costin Wagner – The Winter of the Lions tr. Anthea Bell (German, Finland setting)
Karin Fossum – The Caller tr. Kyle Semmel (Norway)
Mons Kallentoft – Midwinter Sacrifice tr. Neil Smith (@neiltranslator) (Sweden, review submitted)
Anne Holt – Fear Not tr. Marlaine Delargy (Norway, review submitted)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir – The Day is Dark tr. Philip Roughton (Iceland)

And already on my shelf, to read soon:

Asa Larsson – Until Thy Wrath be Past tr. Laurie Thompson (Sweden)
Deon Meyer – Trackers tr. K L Seegers (South Africa, language Afrikaans)
Hakan Nesser – The Unlucky Lottery tr. Laurie Thompson (Sweden)
Marco Vichi – Death in August, tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Italy)

Waiting keenly to obtain copies when published in the UK later this year (ie definitely plan to read):

Thomas Enger – Burned (Norway)
Gianrico Carofiglio – Temporary Imperfections (Italy)
Claudia Pineiro – All Yours (Argentina)
Kjell Eriksson – The Hand that Trembles (Sweden)
K O Dahl – Lethal Investments tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Roslund-Hellstrom – Cell 8 (Sweden)
Jo Nesbo – Headhunters tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Friis & Kaaberbol – The Boy in the Suitcase (Denmark)
(Also Arne Dahl’s Misterioso, but this may not be eligible as the translation is a US edition, I believe – though I shall definitely read it either way).

There are other upcoming books in 2012 that I shall also read, including some to redress the Nordic bias to date, but this list is getting a bit long as it is so I’ll leave those until a future post. Any recommendations from the full list are very welcome if you care to leave a comment. All I can say at this stage is that based on what I have read so far, and of what I can see of the books I am planning to read, 2012 is going to be a very stiff competition!

See all my posts on the International Dagger.

Official CWA International Dagger page, containing synopses and articles about the 2011 winner and shortlisted books.

14 thoughts on “First post on International Dagger 2012

  1. Looking through your list I notice the following tally: Sweden (8), Italy (3), Iceland (2), Argentina (2), Germany (1), Norway (4), Denmark (1). So about a third of the outstanding international crime titles (at least) seem to be set in Scandinavia. Strange, because apart from the recent outrage, I always have the feeling that this is a particularly calm and peaceful area of the world. I am thinking now it is all a facade: beneath the passive exterior there is turmoil.

    • I agree there are a lot of Nordic titles on my list, Clare but I have to confess that my list is only a subset of Karen’s (which is of all translated and published in the UK in the time period, though that list does contain quite a few Nordic there are also more other nationalities!) I also think that the commercial success of Stieg Larsson has encouraged more Scandinavian publishers to translate titles – some wait years before their English versions. So it could be more publishing economics than real!

  2. Thanks for this excellent information and recap Maxine. I have not read yet Claudia Piñeiro’s All Yours, but from the information I have she has received some excellent reviews.

  3. Wow – 11 already. Impressive.

    I am quite pleased to have read 2 with another 2 on my iPad and one due to land on the doorstep ready to read next week. I am having a week off work while my brother flies in for a quick visit from the US and I’m hoping he wants to spend some time with others so I can curl up with Arnuldur, Asa and Ernesto.

    At this point I think it will be hard to beat THE QUARRY but who knows what will happen. I will try to get my hands on most of the ones on your list (though many are not released here and the UK editions have gotten more expensive over the past few months so I need to be selective. I won’t for example be reading the Roslund Hellstrom entry as I really didn’t think THREE SECONDS was much chop and I don’t want to encourage them. I’m sure that will be a huge problem for them 🙂 I would definitely like to try to read more of the non-Nordic entries this time around, not that I don’t enjoy those but I want to expand a bit.

    • Yes Bernadette, I really must be good and broaden my geographical horizons. Once this mini-Nordic avalanche is out of the way (I have two to go of a big batch) I must move to warmer climes.

  4. Maxine – Thanks for sharing this list; it’s so kind of you to help me organise my reading for the next few months :-). I’m impressed that you’ve already gotten to eleven of these books. I have to admit I haven’t. There are some very strong contenders here, too, which always really pleases me. The better the contenders, the better for the genre.

  5. Maxine,
    Yes–Misterioso–Arne Dahl– is a US publication-amd so is
    Friis and Kaaberbol –Boy in the Suitcase.–Soho Press.
    Misterioso is an excellent read.

  6. A great list once again. I am behind in my blogging tasks, will take notes tomorrow. I’m still trying to catch up on prior Dagger book lists and blog recommendations, due to library shortages and certain “country restrictions” as well as budgetary limitations, but I persevere and keep adding to the lists. Right now I am in virtual Brazil and in my own city, about to embark to Australia, a virtual crime fiction wonderland. Will head back to Scandinavia soon.

  7. I’m also looking forward to Claudia Pineiro’s book–I loved her first (well, first to be translated into English–she may have written others?). There is so much choice these days with crime fiction and I am so behind in reading so many of these authors that I will have to content myself to reading some of their earlier works since I like to read in order when I can. Thanks for the rundown–it’s nice being able to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak by following other readers (more well read) lead. 🙂

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