Kjell Eriksson: The author who created Ann Lindell
By Helen Cullen | Photo: Idha Lindhag
International bestselling crime writer, Kjell Eriksson releases the sixth and final addition to his thrilling Inspector Ann Lindell series, Open Grave, this July. The sensational novelist joins Scan Magazine to offer some insight into his literary world.
In this latest instalment, Lindell is transported back into her own past as she investigates some mysterious happenings that occur after the distinguished Professor Bertram von Ohler receives the Nobel Prize for medicine. Events that originally appear to be foolish pranks soon become sinister as past lives are unravelled. “It is a very slow character and society driven crime fiction,” Eriksson explains. “It’s not an action novel but a story of renunciation and revenge and I think it’s one of the best that I’ve ever written.”
Eriksson holds the record for receiving the most nominations for the Best Swedish Crime Novel with seven novels selected to date; the fourth novel in the Lindell series, The Princess of Burundi, won in 2002. With fierce competition from the prolific Scandinavian crime writing scene, it is an immense achievement that Eriksson is understandably proud of. “It means a lot, of course it does, but it is the reaction of the readers that really matters to me the most,” he explains.
Eriksson places all of the series in his native city of Uppsala, Sweden and the local residents love to engage with him about his books, “Everywhere I go people talk about them and try to identify their neighbours,” he shares with a chuckle. “Sometimes I do feature real people from the town and the locals love to speculate about who the characters are based upon.”
The escapades of Inspector Lindell and the Uppsala townsfolk captivate audiences much further field, however, with avid readers stretching across the globe. At first, Eriksson was amazed at the international response but now he understands where the appeal lies.
“I think it is my characters that attract people,” he explains. “All around the world everyone loves to read about real working people and you’ll find that people ask the same questions about their lives, about their future, whether they live in Sydney, New York, Oklahoma, London, Liverpool or Oslo. I try to answer those universal questions in my books and people respond to that.”
Open Grave by Kjell Eriksson is available from St. Martin’s Press from 14 July, 2015.
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