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Karin Alvtegen – Scandinavian queen of psychological thrillers

Karin Alvtegen Karin Alvtegen (born June 8, 1965, Huskvarna, Sweden) is a Swedish writer of crime fiction. Together with Norwegian writer Karin Fossum and Swedish author Inger Frimansson she is a mistress of what may be labeled as the psychological crime fiction novel among the new generation of Scandinavian crime writers. She is grand-niece of the popular children’s novelist Astrid Lindgren. She has two sons and a step son.

Her psychological thrillers are set in Sweden. So far four of her books have been translated into English. Each of them deals with or are based upon a deep exploration of a certain set of intensely rooted feelings which are then taken almost to the extreme. So far Alvtegen has dealt with guilt, loss, betrayal, shame and sorrow in her books (see below).

Each of these feelings or psychological states are carried by characters in her books, which are then placed in situations which bring these emotions to the fore, so that the action in the books in a sense follows logically from the emotions driving the characters. Karin Alvtegen then masterfully builds up tension and creates excitement. More and more, so that as a reader of her books, you know something bad is going to happen. You even anticipate it, and then it happens, but most often not quite as you imagined!

Karin Alvtegen is a wonderful writer, one of my favorite Scandinavian crime fiction writers.

Missing was awarded the Glass Key in 2001. Shame was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Duncan Lawrie International Dagger award for crime novels in translation. See also the review of Shadow.

Skuld (1998) Not yet translated
Saknad (2000) Missing (2003)
Svek (2003) Betrayal (2005)
Skam (2005) Shame (2006)
Skugga (2007) Shadow (2009)

See also Karin Alvtegen’s home page

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