CTG EXCLUSIVE: STASI WOLF AND THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE MURDER

Today I’m super excited to have award winning crime writer (and good pal of mine) David Young guest posting on the CTG blog as part of his STASI WOLF Blog Tour. STASI WOLF is the second book in the Oberleutnant Karin Müller series following up from the smash hit STASI CHILD. Today, David Young is talking about the real life case that inspired the story in STASI WOLF.

Over to David …

Twenty-six years ago this month communist East Germany’s most well-known murder hunt began when the torso of a young boy was found stuffed in a suitcase by the side of the Halle to Leipzig rail line.

The body was soon identified as that of seven-year-old Lars Bense, who’d gone missing on a cinema trip two weeks earlier in the supposedly ideal socialist new city of Halle-Neustadt. A city where every apartment was near-identical, where streets didn’t have names, and where addresses were simply a strange six-digit code.

It’s the city that is the setting for Stasi Wolf, and although my fictional story is set six years earlier than the real-life murder, I’ve ‘borrowed’ some aspects of the murder investigation for the novel.

In the actual murder case, the only clue detectives had to the identity of the killer was found in a newspaper the body was wrapped in. A crossword puzzle was partially completed – the idiosyncratic handwriting, so experts said, was that of a middle-aged woman.

So began what still ranks as the biggest-ever handwriting sampling exercise in world history as part of the Kreuzworträtselmord – the Crossword Puzzle Murder. More than half-a-million samples of writing were collected, sometimes by ingenious methods such as staged competitions.

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At the heart of the hunt were the GDR’s reviled secret police, the Stasi – only this time they were doing some good, providing the manpower to help the overworked CID section of the People’s Police. I have them playing the same role in the novel – but also have them constantly overseeing my fictional detective Karin Müller’s work, because they don’t want news of her investigation to alarm the model city’s residents. And that has some basis in truth too. The successful end of the actual investigation was – in East German times – only mentioned in one small local newspaper report.

Today Halle-Neustadt is battered and worn, with many of its apartment blocks empty and condemned. A once-thriving population of 100,000 – mostly workers at the giant chemical works at nearby Merseburg – has shrunk to less than 40,000. But memories of the Crossword Puzzle Murder live on.

The team that eventually cracked the case – after several months – was led by Halle murder squad head Hauptmann Siegfried Schwarz. ‘Sigi’ – as he’s known – is still a hunter – but now it’s his hobby, and animals and birds are the quarry, rather than murderers, in the fields north-east of Halle where he now lives.

He agreed to meet me in Halle-Neustadt as part of his research and talked me through some of his cases, as well as his most famous one.

Although generally a jovial man, his face clouded over with sadness and his voice cracked with emotion when he spoke of another case that is perhaps closer to the central plot of Stasi Wolf – the killing of a baby whose body was found stuffed in a drawer in Halle city itself.

But it’s the Crossword Puzzle that he’s most well-known for. Some nine months after the hunt began the culprit was arrested. The handwriting had been matched to a resident of Block 398 – a middle-aged woman working as a seasonal worker on the Baltic Coast.

A male friend of the woman’s daughter fitted the profile of the killer, and eventually confessed to murder and sexual abuse of the boy, and was jailed for life – although after reunification this sentence was reduced because as he was eighteen at the time, he qualified as a juvenile.

He was released in 1999 and died in 2013 – on the day of the 32nd anniversary of his crime.

But – just as in the fictional Stasi Wolf – the real-life case has a final twist. His then girlfriend published what was supposedly a German-language ‘novel’ based on the murder that same year. Prosecutors opened a new case against her, on the grounds of alleged complicity to murder, because her statements in the novel differed from her accounts at the time.

However, she and her publishers insisted her book was fiction – and the case against her was subsequently dropped for lack of evidence.

A huge thank you to David Young for guest posting on the CTG blog today.

STASI WOLF is out now. Here’s the blurb: East Germany, 1975. Karin Müller, sidelined from the murder squad in Berlin, jumps at the chance to be sent south to Halle-Neustadt, where a pair of infant twins have gone missing. But Müller soon finds her problems have followed her. Halle-Neustadt is a new town – the pride of the communist state – and she and her team are forbidden by the Stasi from publicising the disappearances, lest they tarnish the town’s flawless image. Meanwhile, in the eerily nameless streets and tower blocks, a child snatcher lurks, and the clock is ticking to rescue the twins alive . . .”

You can buy STASI WOLF from Amazon HERE

And be sure to check out all the fantastic stops on the STASI WOLF Blog Tour and follow David Young on Twitter @djy_writer

 

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#RUPTURE Blog Tour: Ragnar Jonasson’s book launch in a deserted fjord

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Photo credit: Tomas Jonasson

 

This evening I’m thrilled to be joined by Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jonasson whose latest book RUPTURE is out now with Orenda Books. The book is already published in Iceland, and Ragnar’s popped by to talk about its rather unusual launch.

Over to Ragnar …

In 2012, Rupture was published in Iceland (as Rof). In Iceland, I usually have a traditional book launch at a downtown bookstore in Reykjavik, and we did just that for Rupture, but then I also had a bit of a crazy idea. I suggested to my publishers that we would do a second book launch in Héðinsfjörður, a fjord next to Siglufjordur, in the northernmost part of Iceland, where the book is set (actually the first crime novel ever to be set in this beautiful location).

Héðinsfjörður, in terms of its natural beauty, is of course an ideal spot for a launch, but there was this one downside; the fjord hasn’t been inhabited since 1951, so no-one lives there. But we decided to go for it, and I drove up north in the middle of winter ahead of the scheduled launch date, and those who may have read Snowblind know that Siglufjordur and neighbouring areas can be very unpredictable in terms of weather in the winter! So that was the second challenge, preferably to avoid any snowstorms.

When we arrived there, it turned out that the weather was actually incredibly good, still and bright. But would someone actually show up? Well, it wouldn’t be just me, because my parents, my brother and brother-in-law had joined me, but I was fully prepared to read a bit from the book to just them. Incredibly, though, people started showing up. Some from Siglufjordur, and some even further away, from Akureyri for example (the capital of the north, featured in Blackout) – and in the end we had about 40 people there listening to the reading. Needless to say, this was the first ever book launch in Héðinsfjörður!

RUPTURE is the fourth book in the fantastic Ari Thor series. Here’s the blurb: “1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Héðinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all. In nearby Siglufjordur, young policeman Ari Thor tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Isrun, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjordur in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them. Haunting, frightening and complex, Rupture is a dark and atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland’s foremost crime writers.”

RUPTURE is out now, you can buy it from Amazon here

And be sure to follow Ragnar on Twitter @ragnarjo

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#TheIntrusions Blog Tour: Stav Sherez talks about writing Prologues

 

Today I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the #TheIntrusions Blog Tour and am joined by fabulous crime writer Stav Sherez.

Stav is a fan of using prologues in his novels (as am I) and he’s kindly agreed to talk about his process for prologue writing and how the prologue in his latest book – THE INTRUSIONS – came about.

Over to Stav …

Every crime novel has a beginning, middle and end – but where, exactly, do you begin? The question of whether to prologue or not is one of the most frequently asked in creative writing classes. The answer is often hotly debated but, like everything else in fiction, there is no right or wrong way, only what suits the book in question.

I’ve seen so many creative writing tips and lists that tell you never to prologue. They claim it slows the action down, prevents readers from immediately engaging with the narrative, and is unnecessary.

I disagree with this. I love prologues. I love to read them and I love to write them. All my novels have featured them. And – despite being beginnings – they’re nearly always the last sections to be written.

There’s something about the very nature of a prologue that is perfect for creating mystery. The prologue, rather than putting off the action, plunges you straight into the story, not knowing if it’s the beginning, middle or end of the narrative. Prologues create a frame and that’s perhaps one of the main reasons I like them, the way they stand outside the main action – the prologue can chart events that take place days or weeks or even years before the central narrative or they can be enigmatic flash-forwards straight into the heart of the book. As a reader, my favourite type of prologues are the ones where I have no idea how they relate to the plot until three-quarters of the way through – it all clicks into place.

But I never get it right the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Or the twenty-third. Every novel I’ve ever written has featured several very different prologues before I settled on the final one. I never know how to start until I have reached the end.

The Intrusions proved the hardest of my novels to write a prologue for. I wrote what I thought was a decent prologue after I’d finished the first draft. It was set 30 years before the action of the novel and in another country – but it didn’t fit. It knocked the main storyline off-kilter. I cut it and rethought the beginning. My second prologue was 10,000 words and consisted of only one sentence! The idea was to start the book with a long tracking shot the way Orson Welles does in Touch of Evil. The prologue followed a relay of CCTV cameras across London on a Friday night, picking up the main characters, following them, dropping them, and roving across the capital. I’m kind of glad I didn’t stick with that one…

The next prologue was set during one of the character’s childhood years. It was a family dinner scene, static and tense and a world away from the previous prologue. I was quite happy with it but one of the benefits of doing many drafts is you get to read over the novel a hundred times or more and anything that doesn’t fit or is boring becomes obvious very quickly – and the new prologue was just too far removed from the action and themes of the novel.

I tried again. I started from scratch and this time the prologue, though it takes place some time before the action of the book, supplied part of the puzzle that Carrigan and Miller would later have to solve. It also introduced some of the themes I wanted to explore in the novel and, finally, it felt exciting, plunging the reader directly into peril.

It took me two and a half years of writing different prologues before I found the one which suited the book but, sometimes, you need to write all the wrong things before you can get it right.

A huge thank you to Stav Sherez for popping over to the CTG blog today and talking about prologues.

THE INTRUSIONS is out now. Here’s what the blurb says: “When a distressed young woman arrives at the station claiming her friend has been abducted, and that the man threatened to come back and ‘claim her next’, Detectives Carrigan and Miller are thrust into a terrifying new world of stalking and obsession.

Taking them from a Bayswater hostel, where backpackers and foreign students share dorms and failing dreams, to the emerging threat of online intimidation, hacking, and control, The Intrusions explores disturbing contemporary themes with all the skill and dark psychology that Stav Sherez’s work has been so acclaimed for.

Under scrutiny themselves, and with old foes and enmities resurfacing, how long will Carrigan and Miller have to find out the truth behind what these two woman have been subjected to?”

THE INTRUSIONS is out now on Kindle and the 2 February in trade paperback. You can order it from Amazon here

To find out more about Stav Sherez hop over to his publisher Faber’s website here and be sure to follow him on Twitter @stavsherez

You can also check out the great stops on THE INTRUSIONS Blog Tour …

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CTG EXCLUSIVE: Antti Tumainen talks Three Great Novels You Surely Haven’t Read But Might Enjoy If You Did

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome the critically acclaimed Finnish crime writer Antti Tuomainen to the CTG Blog. Antti’s latest novel – THE MINE (translated by David Hackston) is out now in paperback, and as part of his blog tour he’s talking about three books that he recommends …

Recently, on occasion of my third novel in the UK (The Mine) having been published, I have had the pleasure of doing many guest posts about topics such as favorite authors, favorite crime films and so forth. I have enjoyed this and am grateful for the chance. There is something I’d like to add, however. Below you’ll find books that I’ve enjoyed immensely but maybe haven’t crossed your path. Sometimes they have been marginal in the first place, sometimes it’s been a few years since their publication. The list is only three books long which is not fair to all the other brilliant books in my shelves. But if this list gives any of these fantastic novels even one more chance with a reader anywhere, it has served its purpose.

Norman Green: Shooting Dr. Jack

True-to-life characters and a great New York atmosphere drive this cross between a literary novel and a crime novel. The story takes place in un-gentrified Brooklyn and is really the story of one man coming to terms with life and getting straight. This following quote is from near the beginning where the main character Stoney is contemplating his current situation: “He’d never intended it to be this way. Who would choose this? Oh, yeah, I’m gonna go into the city, get blind fucking drunk, blow six hundred bucks that used to be in my wallet and ain’t there now, drive home blasted, already on the revoked list. Pass out on the floor. Really impress the old lady. Jesus.” And it only accelerates from there. Highly recommended.

Kenneth Fearing: The Big Clock

They’ve made two movies from this book. The first is from 1948 with Ray Milland, the second is from 1987 with Kevin Costner titled No Way Out. The book is better than both those movies combined. The set-up is simple and quite fantastic: a man is the main suspect in a murder case in which he is the leading investigator. Kenneth Fearing was also a poet and you can see that in the text. This compact novel is written with skill, finesse and precision. This is also a masterclass in building suspense. Read it.

Tom Kakonis: Michigan Roll

I had never heard of Tom Kakonis until one day I started looking for crime novels that took place in Michigan, USA. The reason for this was that I had been, a long time ago, an exchange student in Michigan, near the city of Grand Rapids, and I thought it would be cool to read something from that area again. I was already familiar with Elmore Leonard and his marvelous Detroit novels and Steve Hamilton’s wonderful Alex McKnight series. To my surprise, I found something new. Well, relatively new. Michigan Roll had been published in 1988. It was only one of three crime novels Tom Kakonis published, at least under his own name. (He wrote two more under a pen name, I think.)

Michigan Roll is filled with great dialogue, rough and real and quirky characters, brutal violence and wonderful settings. Speaking of settings, one of them is Traverse City in Northern Michigan. Which is again another coincidence: my American family had a weekend place, an old farm, near Traverse City. I was there in 1989. The events depicted in the novel take place presumably one year earlier. I never noticed anything. Anyway, a great writer and a great book. Read it if you can find it.

A massive thank you to Antti Tuomainen for chatting on the CTG blog today (and giving me three more books to add to my TBR pile!).

Antti’s latest novel THE MINE is out now – here’s the blurb: “A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. A mine spewing toxic secrets that threaten to poison them all … In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life. A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir.”

You can buy THE MINE from Amazon here

And find out more about Antti Tuomainen and his books pop over to his website here and be sure to follow him on Twitter @antti_tuomainen

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CTG EXCLUSIVE: Kati Hiekkapelto author of The Exiled talks her 5 Favourite Crime Writers

 

Today I’m delighted to be joined by the fabulous Kati Hiekkapelto for the latest stop on her Finnish Invasion blog tour. Kati’s latest book The Exiled is out now, and like all great crime writers she is also a big reader – in her post today she talks about the five authors at the top of her list.

Over to Kati …

 

  1. Leena Lehtolainen is probably the most successful Finnish crime writer to date. She published her first novel at the age of twelve, and has written about thirty books (not only crime). Her work has been translated into twenty languages and her career has truly inspired me. Her Maria Kallio series (which includes My First Murder, The Lion of Justice and Copper Heart, amongst others) has been adapted for TV, too. Well worth reading for their stark, very Finnish setting, and labyrinthine plotting.
  2. Åsa Larsson sets her stories in Northern Sweden and that is one of the reasons why her work resonates to me. They are beautifully written stories in cold, harsh Lapland, exploring religious small community life and individuals trying to cope within it – something that is very familiar in Northern Finland, too. But that’s where ‘real life’ ends. There aren’t that many murders committed in either Swedish or Finnish Lapland!
  3. Karin Fossum is, quite literally, a researcher of human mind. Her (extensive, quite wonderful) Inspector Konrad Sejer series takes the form of a police procedural with deep psychological threads. I remember the feeling when I first read one of her books – a big wow, and probably the moment when I began to understand the flexibility and possibilities of crime fiction.
  4. Eva Dolan is a new, young and rebellious voice from the UK. I am tempted to say ‘angry’. I love her style, her characters, her incredible sense of social justice – the whole package. Her Zigic & Ferreira series is set in the Hate Crimes Unit of a police department in Peterborough, and I’m sure she’ll have no shortage of material over the coming years. Classy, beautifully written, confident crime fiction with a freshness that I admire.
  5. Enid Blyton is my childhood favourite, and worth mentioning. I’m sure that the books we read when we grow up are much more influential than we can even imagine. In fact, I suspect that they are as crucial for the imagination as healthy food and PE is for the body. I could list dozens of childhood books and writers that I loved, but Enid Blyton is the one that stands out. I vividly remember George (from The Famous Five), a girl who wanted to be a boy. How revolutionary for that time!

A huge thank you to Kati for stopping by and sharing with us who her top 5 crime writers are. I’m also a huge fan of Eva Dolan, and read many of Enid Blyton’s books as a child. 

Kati’s latest book is The Exiled – here’s the blurb: “Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes? Chilling, taut and relevant, The Exiled is an electrifying, unputdownable thriller from one of Finland s most celebrated crime writers.”

You can buy The Exiled from Amazon here

To find out more about Kati Hiekkapelto and her books pop over to her website here and be sure to follow her on Twitter @HiekkapeltoKati 

And don’t miss all the other great stops along the way of The Finnish Invasion Blog Tour …

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#ASuitableLie BLOG TOUR: MICHAEL J MALONE ASKS SHOULD READING PLEASURES COME WITH A SIDE ORDER OF GUILT?

 

Today the lovely Michael J Malone is stopping by the CTG blog as part of his A SUITABLE LIE Blog Tour to talk about pleasures, guilty pleasures to be precise.

Over to Michael …

Heard the phrase “Guilty pleasures” recently? Used it yourself? The meaning of the phrase is fairly easy to compute, yeah? Something you enjoy buy feel “guilty” for doing so.

But I have a problem with that. Any guilt is apparently to do with being caught participating in an activity which is thought to be deeply un-cool by your peers.

The more I hear this phrase, the more it annoys me. One the one hand I can understand that at our deepest level we are social creatures and anything that puts us at a remove from our social group is largely to be avoided. On the other hand, we are individuals and if whatever I am doing doesn’t harm anyone else why should I care what other people think?

And who gets to decide what is cool or un-cool? Is there some arbitrary notion that hypnotises en masse? Or is it all influenced by a media that browbeats us every minute of every waking day with their choices?

The media is run my people just like us. Why do they get to decide what we should and shouldn’t watch/ read/ think/ buy? Someone gives them a job on a newspaper, magazine or TV programme and we should suddenly listen to them like they are the Great Collective Guru of Taste?

I caught and stopped myself using the GP phrase just recently when I was talking about books. I almost said Wilbur Smith was a (hangs head in shame) guilty pleasure. For the briefest of moments – I was talking to someone I wanted to impress –I worried that enjoying Smith’s books might make me look less of whatever mask I was trying to inhabit.

As I said, I caught myself and noted that I was a fan.

Are you a literary snob? Do you only read the classics? Are your shelves filled only with the likes of Atwood, Conrad, Austen and the latest Man Booker/ Pulitzer prizewinner? Do you rush to hide the latest Stephen King or James Patterson when you hear a knock at the door?

Why is popular fiction derided as somehow being unworthy?

Every year when our political leaders go on holiday it seems like they are rushing to tell the newspapers what their holiday reading will be, and it’s all very earnest. Just a couple of years back David Cameron tried to excuse his “poor judgement” in one such article by writing off his holiday reading as “trashy novels”. Which made me almost want to dig up Guy Fawkes’ grave. How dare he write off someone’s hard work as trash?!

My feeling is that there is only good writing and bad writing. If the book grips or entertains me why should I worry if the taste police look down on me?

I say, down with that all of that sort of thing. Let’s erase the phrase from our lexicon. If you find yourself kow-towing to this needless waste of energy, stand tall and announce your preference with pride and offer a biblical pox on the decision-makers of “good” taste.

Sounds like good advice!

A SUITABLE LIE is out now. Here’s the blurb: “Some secrets should never be kept … Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hid their deepest secrets, even if it kills them …”

You can buy A SUITABLE LIE from Amazon here

And to find out more about Michael, check out his website here and follow him on Twitter @michaelJmalone1

Also, be sure to visit all the other fantastic stops along the A SUITABLE LIE Blog Tour …

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IN TRANSLATION: ROSIE HEDGER TALKS ABOUT TRANSLATING THE BIRD TRIBUNAL BY AGNES RAVATN

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Today I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on THE BIRD TRIBUNAL blog tour, and I’m joined by Rosie Hedger who translated this fabulous book by Agnes Ravatn from the Norwegian original.

Over to Rosie …

I was thrilled when Karen announced she would be publishing The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn – the book was very popular in Norway, and Ravatn is a well-respected writer in her homeland. However, I must admit to feeling anxious at the prospect of translating her work, fearful that I might not do the book justice. Every translation has its own unique challenges, but as much as I might tear my hair out in my attempts to find the right word or phrase, these challenges are really what make the job so interesting.

One particular challenge when translating Ravatn’s work was the style of the writing, which has an almost breathless quality at points: sentences would often be very short and staccato-like, and these would often start without pronouns. Whilst this works in Norwegian, it doesn’t have the same effect in English, so the challenge was often to replicate these aspects of the style in sometimes different ways, retaining the tension for readers that is evident in the prose, as well as in the plot. Short sentences did not present the only difficult, however, and equally challenging were those much longer sentences, as Allis’ mind churns over and over things, analysing everything she does in minute detail – one sentence on p. 63 leaps to mind, with one sentence coming in at around half a page! I always read the entire manuscript aloud at least once, and this sentence troubled me for many weeks before I felt that Allis’ obsessive inner monologue sounded right.

I’m hesitant to say too much about the ending for those who have yet to read the book, but I will say that it was one of my favourite sections to work on, as well as being one of the most challenging from a translation perspective. When I first read the final chapter, I returned to it three or four times to get my head around exactly what was going on. Agnes plays with language and form throughout the novel, but particularly in the final few pages, where she also weaves in the elements of Norse mythology peppered throughout the text. The final few sentences are some of my favourites; while translating, I did quite a bit of research and reading on ‘Völuspá’, the first poem of the Poetic Edda. According to this poem, a new world emerges after Ragnarok, but even here the dragon Nithhogg is seen ‘sweep[ing] through the air from Nithafjoll and into the new world with human corpses nestled among its feathers.’ This dark image has stuck with me ever since – it seemed the perfect symbol for Allis’ own shame, which taints her attempts at building a new life, and is a sublime conclusion to the novel.

The Bird Tribunal offers astute commentary on many topical social issues – it touches upon the expectations woman place on themselves (and other women) to exude perfect femininity, and the impossibility in achieving these arbitrary targets. It looks at notions of shame and vulnerability, and unhealthy relationships between damaged individuals. Allis worries about every word to cross her lips, idolising Sigurd in ways that he almost certainly doesn’t deserve, and finding her only validation in his approval. It takes a long time for reality to bite for Allis, and when it does, the consequences are severe. One of the most interesting aspects of the work for me, though, is the unreliability of Allis’ narration – her perspective is the only one that we have, leaving the reader with a number of questions, and making for many an interesting and enjoyable translation challenge.

A big thank you to Rosie Hedger for coming on the CTG blog today to talk about translating THE BIRD TRIBUNAL.

THE BIRD TRIBUNAL is out now from Orenda Books. You can buy it here from Amazon

In the meantime, here’s the blurb: “Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape … TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough … Haunting, consuming and powerful, The Bird Tribunal is a taut, exquisitely written psychological thriller that builds to a shocking, dramatic crescendo that will leave you breathless.”

And be sure to check out all the fabulous THE BIRD TRIBUNAL blog tour stops …

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