Books published in translation in the UK for the first time between June 2011 and May 2012 are eligible for the CWA’s International Dagger award, so long as the publisher submits them to the competition. Each year, I try to read most of these books and make my own predictions about the shortlist and eventual winner. (See here for all my posts on the topic.) I do not read those that seem to be sensationalistic, on religious/spiritual themes, or otherwise unappealing (one Swedish and one Libyan novel are out for me because of their themes of torture); because there isn’t time to read all the rest, I don’t read many of the purely historical titles.
Of the list of 75 eligible titles (up from 55 at time of my last post on this topic!) so far known this year listed by Karen of Euro Crime (also at Goodreads when a cover image is available), I’ve read and reviewed 26 (click on title to see my review):
Kjell Eriksson – The Princess of Burundi, tr. Ebbe Segerberg (Sweden, my review from 2007 is of the US edition)
Asa Larsson – The Black Path, tr. Marlaine Delargy (Sweden, my review from 2008 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)
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)
Anne Holt – Fear Not, tr. Marlaine Delargy (Norway)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir – The Day is Dark, tr. Philip Roughton (Iceland)
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)
Jorn Lier Horst -Dregs, tr. Anne Bruce (Norway)
Thomas Enger – Burned, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Norway)
Sergios Gakas – Ashes, tr. Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife (Greece)
Claudia Pineiro – All Yours, tr. Miranda France (Argentina)
Stefan Tegenfalk – Anger Mode, tr David Evans (Sweden)
Gianrico Carofiglio – Temporary Perfections, tr Anthony Shugaar (Italy)
K O Dahl – Lethal Investments, tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Jo Nesbo – Headhunters, tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Roslund and Hellstrom – Cell 8, tr Kari Dickson (Sweden)
Kjell Eriksson – The Hand that Trembles, tr Ebbe Segerberg (Sweden)
In my possession, to read:
Friis and Kaaberbol – The Boy in the Suitcase (Denmark)
Kristina Ohlsson – Unwanted (Sweden)
George Arion – Attack in the Library (Romania) (Kindle edition)
Not yet published and/or awaiting purchase:
Bernhard Jaumann – The Hour of the Jackal (Germany)
Petros Markaris – Basic Shareholder (Greece)
Gunnar Staalesen – Cold Hearts, tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Jussi Adler-Olsen – Disgrace (Denmark)
Valerio Varesi – The Dark Valley (Italy)
Camilla Lackberg – The Drowning (Sweden)
Helene Tursten – Night Rounds (Sweden)
Charlotte Link – The Other Child (German, UK setting)
Liza Marklund – Last Will (Sweden)
Mari Jungstedt – The Dark Angel (Sweden)
Jo Nesbo – Phantom, tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Guillermo Orsi – Holy City (Argentina)
Eva Joly & Judith Perrignon – The Eyes of Lira Kazan (French, Nigeria setting)
Hakan Nesser – Hour of the Wolf (Sweden)
Andrea Camilleri – The Potter’s Field (Italy)
Mons Kallentoft – Summertime Death (Sweden)
Lars Kepler – The Nightmare (Sweden)
Keigo Higashino – The Devotion of Suspect X (Japan)
Hans Koppel – She’s Never Coming Back (Sweden)
Leif GW Persson – Another Time, Another Life (Sweden)
Even if I manage to read all of these, there will still be 20 or 30 titles I won’t have read by the time the shortlist is announced. And which, so far, would be my winner? Impossible to say, but for a shortlist I would so far vote for Asa Larsson’s Till Thy Wrath Be Past; Deon Meyer’s Trackers; Jorn Lier Horst’s Dregs; Arnaldur Indridason’s Outrage; and for the last two slots I could not decide between about six others. And the choice looks set to become even more difficult, given some of the tempting titles that are not yet published.
See all my posts on the International Dagger.
Euro Crime blog post listing all eligible titles.
Official CWA International Dagger page, containing synopses and articles about the 2011 winner and shortlisted books, as well as archives about past years’ awards.
I am in awe of your reading. I have read only 8 of the eligibles so far and have another 5 in my possession – better than last year I suppose (when I’d read none by this stage). Quite a lot of these are not released in Oz and are difficult to get one’s hands on so I’m happy enough with my progress. At this point I’d be going for the Larsson, Horst and Theorin but who knows. I will be a bit picker than you though (no intention of reading the Roslund & Hellstrom book for example even though they won this year and other of their titles will be on my best books of the year list).
I think next year if I read just Dagger eligibles and Australian titles I should be OK – my reading has definitely changed from the days when it was all American and English books!
Thanks, Bernadette – yes I have to wait for these too, but not as long as you, usually, I think. I am sure I don’t read more than you! I have read nowhere near the number of Australian books as you for example. This year, reading the Int Dagger eligibles has been a good move on the whole, but last year was less so. I wonder how long the trend can continue of high-quality, newly translated fiction being published in English?
Perhaps they’re lulling us into a false sense of security before flooding our markets with the Swedish version of JP (though for mine the silly Lars Keplar thing would be close enough)
Maxine – I am truly in awe of how much you’ve read! I really do admire that and your fine reviews. I think you’ve made some fine choices, too, for the shortlist. I admit I haven’t read them all, but I’d be happy with a Larsson or Theorin win. And I don’t blame you one bit for simply choosing not to read certain books, even if they are Dagger-eligible. I do the same kind of thing…
Thanks from me too, to you (and Bernadette), for giving us such downright good, thorough reviews. I’m also in awe! 🙂
Maxine, you do an an incredible amount of reading, but then you don’t waste your time watching English rugby teams being beaten. 😉
I agree with your choice of Trackers, and hope to read several of the other contenders over the next few weeks.
I am not far away from agreeing with you.
I have read 24 -so far–with Trackers –my favourite.
I am generally very fond of Asa Larsson–but clearly -not
as tolerant as you -of disembodied sentient beings!
Interesting that Trackers is your favourite so far, Simon. I’m not tolerant of that plot device either but I can forgive Asa L a lot! (And she did “ringfence” it reasonably well.)
Great list as always. I’ve read 6 of those which you have read. I liked Outrage quite a bit, and loaned it to a friend who stayed up all night to read it, and is now looking for more Elinborg investigations. I had to tell her that’s the only one. I think I can win her to the Erlendur books. Until Thy Wrath Be Past turned out to be a good read, despite the ghost; actually, that was done quite well. I wasn’t as crazy about this one by Eriksson, nor was Camilleri’s my favorite (the middle-aged crisis gets a bit tired.)
I will read the Nesser, Gakas, Sigurdardottir, Carofiglio, Piniero, at least, although I’m going on a trip to Oz with women writers in 2012, but I’ll fit these in. (I read your Ashes review yesterday and it pushed me to get this book sooner rather than later. I do use the convenient index.)
And I’ll wait on adding more books until I read the blog reviews from Adelaide and London.
Thanks, Kathy, I might try a few of those Australians, too. I seem to have a few Uk authors on my shelf too, awaiting reading…..