Yesterday I blithely eliminated authors with two International Daggers, two Nordic Glass Keys and a British CWA Gold Dagger between them from consideration for the 2009 International Dagger.
Today I will decide between books by Karin Alvtegen, Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo and Johan Theorin.
Next year 2010 I have a feeling that Larsson, Nesbo and Theorin will be the main contenders again, but here goes for 2009. Feel free to tell me I am wrong, I am used to it.
Firstly any one of the four books [see links to reviews here] would be a worthy winner, but I have to be hypercritical to eliminate contenders. Shadow by Karin Alvetegen, is a bit predictable and the basic plot is a little bit derivative. It is still a brilliant read if a bit bleak. The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo, I don't think is quite as good as some of his other books but with Nesbo that means 9/10 as opposed to his usual 9.5/10.
There was once a Golden Age of the English Detective Novel and surely we are now in a new Nordic Golden Age of crime fiction.
The interesting point is that where Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Freeman Wills Croft and company constructed plots that were not much more than escapist fantasy to ordinary people, the Nordic writer's plots are much closer to our everyday experience of life.