cover image Blaze Me a Sun: A Novel About a Crime

Blaze Me a Sun: A Novel About a Crime

Christoffer Carlsson, trans. from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. Hogarth, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-593-44935-6

In 2019, Moth, the protagonist of this intriguing if flawed crime novel from Carlsson (The Invisible Man from Salem), returns to his hometown of Tofta, Sweden, to write a novel about Sven Jörgensson, a police officer plagued until his death in 1991 with frustration about his failure to catch a serial murderer. Flashbacks to Sven’s point of view at the time of the first two murders in 1986, and to the perspective of his son, Vidar, both as a child and a young officer following in Sven’s footsteps without knowing his secrets, add real-time drama and psychological authenticity, both in Sven’s palpable anguish and Vidar’s struggles to understand Sven after his death. But in the present-day part of the story, in which Moth seeks to engage both Vidar and Evy Carlén, Sven’s partner on the force, Moth never feels like a convincing character, despite his local connections being a resolution-driving source of previously unrevealed information. Nonetheless, Scandi noir fans will want to check this out. Agent: Christine Edhäll, Ahlander Agency (Sweden). (Jan.)