I shall be posting my 2012 International Dagger Speculation list shortly.
Anger Mode by Stefan Tegenfalk (1 August, Nordic Noir)
Two cars collide head-to-head on a country road with little traffic. The collision is violent. Ten year old Cecilia is catapulted through the windscreen and killed. Five years later, criminal detective Walter Grohn gets a perplexing case on his desk - one dead taxi driver and his killer who has no idea why he committed the crime. The first murder is followed by others, all equally as brutal and inexplicable. Together with his talented assistant, Jonna de Brugge, he untangles threads that lead back to the very core of the Swedish justice/judicial system.
(Stefan Tegenfalk, born 1965 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he is currently living, makes his debut with the book Anger Mode which is the first book of a trilogy about the cynical criminal detective Walter Gröhn with the Stockholm police, and Jonna de Brugge from the Special Investigations Unit, RSU.)
The Glitter Scene by Monika Fagerholm (9 August, Other Press (US edition))
Teenage Johanna lives with her aunt Solveig in a small house bordering the forest on the outskirts of a remote coastal town in Finland. She leads a lonely existence that is punctuated by visits to her privileged classmate, Ulla Bäckström, who lives in the nearby luxury gated community. It isn’t until Ulla tells her the local lore about the American girl and the tragedy that took place more than thirty years before that Johanna begins to question how her parents fit into the story. She sets out to unravel her family history, the identity of her mother, and the dark secrets long buried with her father. In the process of opening closed doors, others in the community reflect back on the town’s history, on their youth, and on the dreams that play in their minds. Soon a new story emerges, that stirs up Johanna’s greatest fears, but ultimately leads to the answers she is searching for. The Glitter Scene is a riveting mystery that explores the roles of truth and myth, reality and fiction, and the repercussions of family secrets.
Dregs by Jørn Lier Horst, tr Anne Bruce (12 August, Sandstone Press Ltd)
The small town of Stavern around midsummer: an amputated left foot in a trainer is washed ashore. And then another one. And another one. All in all four left feet in a week. The four amputated feet form the core of an unfathomable mystery.
“Dregs” by Jørn Lier Horst is the sixth instalment of the Wisting crime series set in southern Norway, and it is an outstanding addition to the ongoing saga of Police Inspector William Wisting, his journalist daughter Line, and the team of criminal investigators at Larvik police station.
The author, who has himself several years’ experience as a Norwegian policeman, brings his knowledge to bear on the descriptions of police procedures and methodical detection work, while using his linguistic dexterity and impressive authorial technique to build up tension, delineate character and make excellent use of dialogue to bring the twists and turns of this narrative to life, engaging the empathy of the reader and ensuring that the novel is a memorable, taut and realistic thriller.