Anne Mette Hancock and Pascal Engman are shortlisted for the UK Petrona Award 2023, an award for “Outstanding crime fiction from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland”.
The winning title will be announced on 5 October 2023.

Words from the judges:

Anne Mette Hancock – THE CORPSE FLOWER tr. Tara F Chace (Denmark, Swift Press) Journalist Heloise Kaldan is trapped in a nightmare. One of her sources has been caught lying. Then she receives a cryptic letter from Anna Kiel, wanted for murder, but not seen by anyone in three years. When the reporter who first wrote about the case is found murdered, detective Erik Schafer comes up with the first lead. Has Kiel struck again? As Kaldan starts digging deeper she realises that to tell Kiel’s story she will have to revisit her own dark past.

A dark and compelling story with echoes of Stieg Larsson’s THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, this is an exceptionally strong start to the series, with a balanced blend of journalistic detection, psychological thriller and police procedural.

Pascal Engman – FEMICIDE tr. Michael Gallagher (Sweden, Legend Press)

FEMICIDE is a page turning, absorbing, thriller featuring Detective Vanessa Frank. A young woman is found murdered in her apartment in the same week her violent ex-boyfriend is released from prison. Meanwhile, we hear the story of Jasmina, a survivor of a recent severe sexual assault. Engman dives into the world of incels through Tom, a very believable character who is part of a weaponised gender war.

As expected this is not a comfortable read, addressing the whole incel phenomenon which is of growing concern. The well written characters and increasingly tense plot strands keep the reader absorbed as the story comes to a pinnacle as the attacks against women escalate.