It's not so much about figuring out who the bad guy is--although good luck with that--but very much about the characters in this immersive Swedish crime novel. Set in the late 1980's and in the present, the story focuses on the small town cop obsessed with the attacks that unsettle his community, his partners, his son, the victims' families, and ultimately the writer who tries to unravel it all years later. The award-winning Carlsson has crafted a thought-provoking thriller that explores questions about the nature of truth and the meaning of it all. Highly recommended. — Stan Hynds
#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • A serial killer in a small Swedish town commits his first murder the same night the prime minister is assassinated in this “thrilling and profoundly poignant” (Angie Kim) novel by one of the country’s top criminologists, hailed as “the finest crime writer we have in Sweden” (David Lagercrantz, author of The Girl in the Spider’s Web and other novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series)
“Christoffer Carlsson is to the police procedural what Cormac McCarthy is to the Western.”—Anthony Marra, author of Mercury Pictures Presents and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
In February 1986, the Halland police receive a call from a man who claims to have attacked his first victim. I’m going to do it again, he says before the line cuts off. By the time police officer Sven Jörgensson reaches the crime scene, the woman is taking her last breath. For Sven, this will prove a decisive moment. On the same night, Sweden plunges into a state of shock after the murder of the prime minister. Could there possibly be a connection?
As Sven becomes obsessed with the case, two more fall victim. For years, Sven remains haunted by the murders he cannot solve, fearing the killer will strike again. Having failed to catch him, Sven retires from the police, passing his obsession to his son, who has joined the force to be closer to his father.
Decades later, the case unexpectedly resurfaces when a novelist returns home to Halland amid a failed marriage and a sputtering career. The writer befriends the retired police officer, who helps the novelist—our narrator—unspool the many strands of this engrossing tale about a community confronting its shames and legacies.
A #1 bestseller in Sweden, Blaze Me a Sun marks the American debut of the youngest winner of the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year award, the top prize for Swedish crime writers whose past winners include Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell.
About the Author
Christoffer Carlsson was born in 1986 on the west coast of Sweden. He holds a PhD in criminology from the University of Stockholm and is one of Sweden’s leading crime experts. Carlsson is the youngest winner of the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year, voted by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy, and has been a finalist for the prestigious Glass Key award, given to the best Scandinavian crime novel of the year. Blaze Me a Sun is Christoffer Carlsson’s American debut.
“Christoffer Carlsson is to the police procedural what Cormac McCarthy is to the Western, and his American debut is a story of near biblical power about crime and punishment, vengeance and redemption. If you read crime fiction, you’ll find yourself gripped by the ingenious plotting and page-turning suspense. If you read literary fiction, you’ll find yourself moved by the gorgeous writing and heartbreakingly real characters. If, like me, you read both, you will find that Blaze Me a Sun is the perfect novel.”—Anthony Marra, New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and Mercury Pictures Presents
“In this powerful, exquisitely constructed novel about a crime (but so much more), Christoffer Carlsson uses a twisty murder mystery to explore the haunting reverberations of guilt and obsession through generations of families and communities. At once thrilling and profoundly poignant, Blaze Me a Sun thrums with a relentless tension that culminates in one of the most satisfying and devastating endings I’ve read in a long time.”—Angie Kim, bestselling author of Miracle Creek, winner of the Edgar Award and the ITW Thriller Award
“A Russian doll of a mystery, holding its truths within layers and layers of secrets and revelations. You think you know where this book is going. You don’t. Carlsson’s American debut is a wonder.”—Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of House on Fire and Vanished, winner of the International Thriller Writers Award
“A Swedish neo-noir by way of Sartre, Blaze Me a Sun is at once a crime novel and a gripping study in how we struggle to understand our own lives and the lives of others. The writing is spare and moody, elegantly unwrapping decades of guilt and damage.”—Flynn Berry, New York Times bestselling author of Northern Spy, a Reese’s Book Club pick
“A gripping, powerful story about an obsessive quest for truth, the devastating consequences of conscience, and how the mistakes we make and the secrets we keep can outlast our lifetimes.”—Chris Pavone, The New York Times bestselling author of The Expats and Two Nights in Lisbon
“Christoffer Carlsson is the finest crime writer we have in Sweden. His writing is a perfect combination of crystal clear prose and exact knowledge.”—David Lagercrantz, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl in the Spider’s Web and the other novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series
“A sinister joyride—the most gripping novel I’ve read in a long time.”—Adam White, bestselling author of The Midcoast
“That rare crime novel that had me turning the pages in suspense, while also nearly moving me to tears. It renews my faith that a writer can work in the crime genre and still produce literature.”—Christopher Bollen, bestselling author of A Beautiful Crime and The Destroyers
“Scandi noir fans will want to check this out.”—Publishers Weekly
“The best Swedish crime novel of the year.”—Der Spiegel