What kind of society do the authors of Swedish crime show the rest of the world? When Swedish author Mons Kallentoft reviewed Barry Forshaw’s “Death in a cold climate: A guide to Scandinavian crime fiction” in Financial Times earlier this year, he noted:
“Everywhere I go I hear stories about people in the local Swedish diplomatic corps scratching their heads in frustration. “How did this happen?” they ask. “The image of our country is being destroyed by a bunch of low-life crime writers.”
Tough luck, I say to them. Our society was never a perfect one, and is certainly not so today. It is rife with the ever-present problems associated with immigration, racism and growing inequality. What is new is that there are writers with an international following giving voice to their misgivings, and readers who find that these stories resonate with their own lives.
Not everyone will like our work – or how we carry ourselves at the table. But writers who strike a chord tend to stick around.”