The Salomonsson Agency does not go about business in a quiet way. While a number of agencies tend to keep their titles quiet and close to the vest, the Swedish super-agency came out in a big way with its top title at the London Book Fair, a crime novel called Made In Sweden. The effort, it seems, has paid off; the book has been optioned for film and is, as of this writing, at the center of a number of multi-publisher auctions.
Written by screenwriter Stefan Thunberg and Anders Roslund, the title is the first in a story that spans two books. Although a U.S. sale has not yet happened, Salomonsson came into the fair touting the book as one of the “most powerful” Swedish crime novels it has ever represented. The agency has even created swag to promote the project.
Made In Sweden is based on actual events and follows five people who, as Salomonsson’s Jessica Bager explained, “rewrote Swedish criminal history.” Three of the five are brothers and, according to Bager, the group blackmailed the government to commit “a wave of the most well-equipped and ruthless armed robberies the nation has ever seen.” Adding an element of intrigue to the project is the odd fact that co-author Thunberg (who is an established screenwriter in Sweden) is related to some of the robbers. (Bager said Thunberg was attending art school while his three brothers were robbing banks.)
Looking to drum up interest in the novel, Salomonsson has been passing out tote bags featuring a smiley face constructed out of bullet holes—a nod to an actual “message” the bank robbers left behind at one of the crime scenes—and t-shirts emblazoned with the book’s title.
In Sweden, the novel will be released on May 28 (by Piratförlaget, the same house that publishes Jo Nesbo). At press time, Bager confirmed that multi-house auctions for Made In Sweden were under way in Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, Iceland, Germany and Romania. Salomonsson has accepted preempts for the book in Slovakia and Czech Republic.