Signing into Twitter this morning, the first thing I read is: “Watch out for Danish author Jussi-Adler Olsen” – from The Crime House website (Swedish website for international readers). Just to add, Twitter is a great place to get book recommendations. It was on Twitter that someone recommended that I read Stieg Larsson before he became this huge publishing phenomenon.
Moving past that all of that, it seems that Jussi Adler Olsen’s credentials include winning the Glass Key award in 2010 for Message in a Bottle (Flaskepost fra P.). Just for those who don’t know, The Glass Key award is a literary award handed out to crime writers from Nordic countries. Previous winners include authors I’ve enjoyed reading: Johan Theorin for The Darkest Room (excellent novel) and Stieg Larsson and Arnaldur Indridason have two titles each on the list. If the Edgar awards in the US or the Shamus Awards are your barometer for what’s good, well the Glass Key is mine for international reads.
The info I’ve gleaned about the author, he seems to have a lot of respect for his readers and doesn’t like labels. As for his work, he is regarded as the bestselling crime fiction writer in Denmark, topping the charts elsewhere as well. His series seems to center around Department Q. The star of the series is Copenhagen homicide detective Carl Mørck. He’s described as being very flawed (aren’t they all? I wouldn’t have it any other way). The first three books in the series are with English titles: The Woman in the Cage, The Pheasant Killers, Message in a Bottle, and his latest is Journal 64. What is coming to the US is supposed to be the first book in the series, titled, The Keeper of Lost Causes (Aug 2011). Well, I got a copy of it via Netgalley so yes, expect a review. I’m really excited to read it now, after all, these are police procedurals, my first love and let’s see if the Danes have it right. The US is looking for that next big hit.
Meanwhile, here are a few articles I read or used in this post:
Denmark’s absolute best-selling crime author these days is named Jussi Adler-Olsen
Jussi Adler-Olsen, Fasandræberne (2008)
Wikepedia page for the author
Jussi Adler-Olsen wins the Glass Key Award for 2010
Book Review: The Keeper of Lost Causes (she describes the author’s prose style as being similar to Hammett and Chandler)