Monday, April 02, 2012
A Genre Mourns
Mike Ripley pays tribute to a star
The crime writing world is still in shock following news of the death at the age of only 25, of Scandinavian superstar Nisse Ektorp in a tragic accident in a Stockholm underpass.
A household name in Scandinavia even before she turned to crime writing, Nisse Ektorp had enjoyed success as a super-model, a Michelin-starred chef and an investigative journalist. By the age of 22 she had traversed the frozen Gulf of Bothnia by dog-sled, played bass in the Finnish death-metal band Astral Reich, launched her own brand range of thermal lingerie and for two seasons had been ‘The Stig’ in the Swedish version of Top Gear.
But it was crime writing which brought her to the attention of warmer parts of the world when her first novel, The Blood Apple, became an international bestseller on its translation into English. The book introduced her distinctive detective duo of Inspector Orm Tostesson and Sergeant Toke Grey-Gullson, who both have ‘issues’ with drugs, alcohol, trans-sexuality and cross-dressing whilst being Born Again Christians.
Blodäpplet’s 750-pages was quickly followed the 900-page Druven av Sten, or The Stone Grapes as it became in English, and Nisse announced that these were in fact the two parts of the trilogy which would become known as The Fruits of the Doom. The 1,000-page third volume, Dodens Fikon will now be published posthumously in English as The Figs of Death and is expected to be another best-seller. Already seven different film versions of the Doom trilogy are in pre-production and the 49-part Danish television series (based on the first two chapters of Book 1), Havat is already being remade for BBC4 starring Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Redmayne and for the Fox Network in America, starring Bruce Willis and Jack Black.
It has also been announced that Professor Barry Forshaw, author of the seminal guide to Scandinavian crime fiction, Death in A Cold Climate (published by Palgrave Macmillan and a snip at £16.99), has already written the definitive biography of Nisse Ektorp, to be published by Renat & Spendrups under the title The Girl Who Came Too Soon.
From Mike Ripley's Getting Away with Murder April 2012 issue.