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An introduction to Anders Roslund

Scandinavian authors have continued to provide readers with fantastic books to read and we as readers have a large number of authors to pick and choose from. And why not? With so many authors available for me one author that springs to mind that has written some fantastic books is Anders Roslund.

Who is Anders Roslund you may well ask? He certainly flies under the radar here in the UK but his work is as gripping and as thought-provoking as one could expect from a writer of his stature.

Anders Roslund is an award-wining Swedish author and journalist who is the founder and former head of culture news on Sweden’s national television broadcasting station. For many years he also worked as a news reporter – specializing in criminal and social issues which have also permeated throughout all his books. He is also one of the most successful and critically acclaimed Scandinavian crime writers. Whether he is writing as a duo alongside Stefan Thunberg or Börge Hellström, Roslund has constantly never failed to thrill readers.

Alongside Stefan Thunberg he wrote The Father: Made in Sweden (2014) under the name Anton Svensson, which was based on the real life story of three of Stefan Thurnbeg’s brothers who became the most wanted criminals in Sweden. The Father: Made in Sweden was awarded the Konomys Award (Best International Suspense Novel of the Year) (Japanese) in 2017.

Writing as Roslund & Hellström in 2005 the duo won the Crime Writers of Scandinavian Award Glass Key Award with their police procedural debut series novel Pen 33 (aka The Beast). Their novel Box 21 (aka The Vault) won the Romanian Crime Writers Club Award Best Crime Novel of the Year. It also won the Stockholm City Prize (2005) for Best Novel of the Year.

Their fifth novel Three Seconds, not only won the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers Award in 2009 for Best Crime Novel of the Year, but also the Great Readers’ Prize for Best Crime Novel of the Year and the Japanese Readers Prize for Best Crime Translated in 2010, and the CWA International Dagger in 2011.

As part of a duo Anders Roslund has had ten novels published with the books being translated into numerous languages. Films and TV series based on Anders Roslund’s novels are in the works, both in Hollywood and Europe with The Informer, based on his CWA International Dagger winning book Three Seconds, being released in August 2019 and Box 21 being made into a television series which premiered in January 2020.

So what is so fascinating about Anders Roslund and why do I hope that he gets more recognition than he has at the moment? Those of us that regularly read Scandinavian crime fiction can attest to the fact that the novels of Roslund and Hellström constantly blur the lines between the police and the criminals. There is also the element of social criticism that flows through their writing. I always say that if you want a good grounding on social criticism and what is going on in the world then read a crime novel. In the case of Roslund and Hellström this was always a key element of their writing. They hold a mirror up to society. Social commentary is perhaps one of the reasons why many Swedish crime novels have become so popular, because they are addressing social issues. What Roslund-Hellström did was to take it one step further by describing the events that get the reader to question their choice[s] and their idea[s] about that particular problem. It is clear that Roslund’s investigative journalistic background has been a great resource in helping them write about the consequences of crime.

So what next for Anders Roslund? Hopefully a lot more. At least we know that there are more books to come following the release of Knock Knock, the first novel published under Roslund’s full name since the death of his writing partner Hellström in 2017. Roslund’s next book, Sweet Dreams, will hit shelves in September 2022.

There is, of course, nothing like a good crime novel and a good crime writer. Anders Roslund is one of the best, and with his return I am sure that he will be welcomed with open arms.

How many Anders Roslund books have you read? Let us know in the comments below!

Sweet Dreams

Anders Roslund

Ayo Onatade

Ayo Onatade is a CWA Red Herring Award winning freelance crime fiction critic, reviewer and blogger. She has an eclectic taste in crime fiction, which runs the gamut from historical crime fiction to hardboiled and short stories. Her research interests include historical fiction especially crime fiction and crime fiction literary criticism. She is a former Chair of the CWA Short Story Dagger and former judge of the Ngaio Marsh Award. She is current Chair of the HWA (Historical Writers Association) Debut Crown and a Judge for the Strand Magazine Critics Award. She was a contributor to British Crime Writing: An Encyclopaedia (2008) edited by Barry Forshaw and The American Thriller (Critical Insights) (2014) edited by Gary Hoppenstand. She is co-editor with Len Tyler of the anthology Bodies in the Bookshop (2014).

She can be found blogging at Shotsmag Confidential and writes articles and interviews at Shotsmag, an online crime fiction e-zine. She is an Associate Member of the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain (CWA). She Tweets @shotsblog.

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