Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
RSS feed

New Mysteries from Japan, Nigeria, Germany and Korea

July 3, 2010

Tags: crime fiction, international

"It seems a certain Swedish hacker heroine with a dragon tattoo has paved the way for a surge of international crime fiction," writes Alexandra Alter in Fiction's Global Crime Wave (WSJ 7-2-10). "Spurred by the popularity of Swedish writer Stieg Larsson's trilogy, which has sold more than 40 million copies world-wide, U.S. publishers are combing the globe for the next big foreign crime novel." The first novel in that series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has been made into a movie. (Both were great entertainment--perhaps not family fare!)
St. Martin's, whose international authors have tended to be British, will be publishing new crime and suspense fiction from Iceland, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa and Sweden. Literary agent Amanda Urban sees Japan as the "next crime-writing hot spot," writers Alter. Urban thinks Japanese crime writer Shuichi Yoshida ("Villain" and "Parade") may be a hit here because "Crime really crosses over."
Other writers to watch out for, according to those interviewed by Alter (with interesting observations about differences between national styles), Turkish crime writer Mehmet Murat Somer ("The Kiss Murder"), Japanese novelist Keigo Higashino ("The Devotion of Suspect X," part of his popular Galileo series), South Korean novelist Young-ha Kim, with the spy thriller "Your Republic Is Calling You," Israeli novelist Joshua Sobol (psychological thriller "Cut Throat Dog"), Italian crime writer Gianrico Carofiglio, Cuban writer Leonardo Padura, German writer Jakob Arjouni (whose "Kismet" features an ethnically Turkish P.I.), and Swedish novelists Hakan Nesser, Arne Dahl, and Liza Marklund.
One problem: sales of American crime novelists in other countries are down, except for Robert Ludlum.