Saturday, July 17, 2010


This time next week we will know which book the judges picked as the winner of the 2010 CWA International Dagger.

And by a nose the winner is [opening the envelope very slowly] The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin, translated by Marlaine Delargy.

As the winter skies darken all the strands of the story will come together on the night of a terrible blizzard, and when tradition claims the dead gather to celebrate Christmas.

The Darkest Room has already won 2008 Best Swedish Crime Novel, and the 2009 Nordic Glass Key.
Perhaps because Johan Theorin is a fantastic story teller, and this book is a brilliantly constructed combination of part ghost story, part detective story and thriller.
Interesting human protagonists, such as the shrewd octogenerian Gerlof Davidsson, play a large part, but the real stars of this story are the island of Oland, its folklore, and Eel Point, a house which seems cursed with bad luck.
And then there is the nice twist in the tail that clinches it for me over the more predictable story and ending of Hypothermia.

On this occasion the judges have an extremely difficult task faced with such a strong shortlist, but without doubt I would choose The Darkest Room, reviewed here at Crime Scraps, and at


Blogger Bernadette said...

The Darkest Room is definitely a fabulous book Norman. It wasn't quite my favourite but a close run thing. Looking forward to hearing who wins next week :)

1:04 AM  

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