NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: The Petrona Award Website.
The winner of the 2023 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is:
FEMICIDE by Pascal Engman, translated from the Swedish by Michael Gallagher and published by Legend Press.
Pascal Engman will receive a trophy, and both the author and translator will receive a cash prize.
The judges’ statement on FEMICIDE"
This year’s Petrona Award winner is a page-turning, absorbing and uncomfortable Swedish thriller. FEMICIDE tells of a young woman, Emilie, who is found murdered in her Stockholm apartment in the same week that her violent ex-boyfriend is released from prison. Detective Vanessa Frank is assigned the case. Meanwhile, we hear the story of young journalist Jasmina, the survivor of a recent, severe sexual assault. Author Pascal Engman dives into the world of incels through Tom, a very believable character who is part of a weaponised gender war brought about by, amongst other things, misguided hatred, feelings of being ignored by society, and sexual frustration. FEMICIDE comes to a pinnacle as the attacks against women escalate on a huge scale.
Continuing in the tradition of fellow Swedish authors Sjöwall and Wahlöö, and Henning Mankell, Pascal Engman uses his writing to comment on societal values making FEMICIDE an interesting, fictional take on the multifaceted topic of violence against women. The book stood out to all the Petrona judges for several reasons. The way FEMICIDE opens the reader’s eyes to the steadily increasing threat of the incel movement and what makes these men tick was felt by all the judges. FEMICIDE is a challenging read that broadens thinking. The writing is well informed, the book has a good sense of urban space, and it picks up pace in a satisfying manner. There is a cast of interesting, and sometimes unconventional, characters for the reader to get to know. All the judges felt this book offered something creatively original that captured the zeitgeist of the early twenty-first century and it is a deserved winner.
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