The Petrona Award is an annual celebration of crime novels from Finland, Norway and Sweden. The award is handed out to the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. This year we are happy to announce that two of Cappelen Damm’s titles are on the shortlist: Hans Olav Lahlum’s Satellite People and Karin Fossum’s The Drowned Boy.

The winning title will be announced at the Gala Dinner on May 21st during the annual international crime fiction event CrimeFest, held in Bristol 19-22 May 2016.

The judges’ comment on the shortlist:

Karin Fossum’s The Drowned Boy (translator Kari Dickson; published by Harvill Secker):

Fossum’s spare prose and straightforward narrative belie the complexity at the heart of this novel. After the drowning of a young child with Down’s Syndrome, Chief Inspector Sejer must ask himself if one of the parents could have been involved. The nature of grief is explored, along with the experience of parenting children with learning difficulties. There’s a timeless feel to the writing and a sense of justice slowly coming to pass.

Hans Olav Lahlum’s Satellite People (translator Kari Dickson; published by Mantle/Pan Macmillan):

An accomplished homage to Agatha Christie, Satellite People adds a Nordic twist to classic crime fiction tropes. References to Christie novels abound, but Lahlum uses a Golden Age narrative structure to explore Norway’s wartime past, as Inspector Kristiansen and Patricia investigate a former Resistance fighter’s death. Excellent characterisation, a tight plot and a growing sense of menace keep the reader guessing until the denouement.

The Petrona Award was established to celebrate the work of Maxine Clarke, one of the first online crime fiction reviewers and bloggers, who died in December 2012. Maxine, whose online persona and blog was called Petrona, was passionate about translated crime fiction but in particular that from the Scandinavian countries.