The Iron Chariot and The Forest Lake Mystery are the classic works by the pioneering crime-writers from Norway and Denmark
Lightning Books has acquired worldwide English-language rights to two classic works of Scandinavian crime fiction, by two authors who gave their names to the biggest crime fiction awards in Norway and Denmark, respectively.
Although both titles are more than a century old, neither has been published in paperback in English before.
Stein Riverton’s The Iron Chariot (Jernvognen) was written in 1909 and remains hugely popular: it was recently voted the greatest Norwegian crime novel of all time, and Norway’s biggest crime-writing award, the Riverton Prize, is named after the author.
In a 2010 interview, bestselling Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo cited The Iron Chariot as one of his favourite books, saying: ‘This is a classic Norwegian crime story... Riverton is regarded as the founder of the modern Norwegian crime novel and he is a great writer.’
‘This is a classic Norwegian crime story... Riverton is regarded as the founder of the modern Norwegian crime novel and he is a great writer’ Jo Nesbo
Palle Rosenkrantz’s The Forest Lake Mystery (Hvad Skovsøen gemte) was published in 1903 and is seen as the first-ever Danish crime novel. The author is considered to be the godfather of Danish crime fiction, and the Palle Rosenkrantz Award is Denmark’s main prize for the genre.
English translations by Lucy Moffat (The Iron Chariot) and David Young (The Forest Lake Mystery) were first published as ebooks by the Abandoned Bookshop in 2017 and 2018. These translations have now been acquired for Lightning Books by editor-at-large Scott Pack and will be published in paperback – for the first time in the UK – on 28 November 2019.
‘I felt it was criminal (no pun intended) that there were no English translations readily available’ Scott Pack
Pack says: ‘Much, if not all, of the Scandinavian crime that fills the bestseller lists today owes a debt to these two authors and I felt it was criminal (no pun intended) that there were no English translations readily available of their most important novels.
‘Lucy and David have, with their translations, helped to bring these classics to a whole new audience. They deserve to be in every bookshop in the country.’
The Iron Chariot and The Forest Lake Mystery will be published by Lightning Books on 28 November