Sweden is where detective stories are made. Since the roaring success of Stieg Larssons Millennium trilogy even the last person on the planet has been confronted with the dangerous pleasures of the Swedish underworld and it sometimes seems like a Swedish name has become a quality- or at least sales promise for chief inspector so-and-so’s latest adventures.
Håkan Nesser is one of Sweden’s best-selling authors – producing detective stories of course.
Together with a couple of friends, he now starts and airline: RAUK AIR, to ensure they all get to their summer- writing- or family houses on the island of Gotland without the hassle of a car drive.
Håkan Nesser has been lying next to my sunglasses for a couple of days now. Looking for a book my pregnant brain could cope with at 35 degrees under a beach umbrella, P. suggested I try one of his.
It is certainly not Håkan’s fault the book falls apart when I get to page 82. But his writing style drives me up the wall from about page 120. Whenever one of his characters is lost in thought, he marks that with some quote, preferably from the bible. Why on top of that everyone starts thinking in english as soon as they are by themselves, remains a miracle.
When they do open their mouths however, they tend to start their sentences with the word: “Allright”.
Everyone. The inspector, the 65-year old therapist and even the french Inspector Leblanc. On about every other page.
My feeling that there is something fishy with the spelling gets confirmed by Webster’s dictionary. All and right should be two separate words. If you insist on merging them to one (as some stubborn members of society have done in the last 75 years), alright. But take out one “L” (see here).
I am certainly no specialist on english grammar and spelling. But wouldn’t the publisher have stumbled over the twohundredandthird “Allright”, marked it red and sent back the manuscript to Håkan asking him to take out at least 201 of them?
Well, the book sold anyway, got an award and Håkan starts an airline. All in all: all good.
a) Don’t trust holiday reading advice by people who read dead philosophers for relaxation and store piles of 17th century biographies on their bedside table.
b) I need to find the editor at Månpocket in case I ever try to get published.