Fossum wins award

The Riverton Prize is bestowed on Karin Fossum, Norway’s queen of crime


Michael Sandelson
The Foreigner

The Riverton Prize (Rivertonprisen) has been awarded to Karin Fossum for best Norwegian crime of 2014.

Fossum’s Helvetesilden (ISBN/EAN 9788202438241, Cappelen Damm, 2014, Bokmål) is her second book to have won this award. The first time was in 1996, the year after her initial crime book, In the Darkness (Evas øye) came out.

“[It’s] an unimaginably major and pleasant surprise which I never expected,” Fossum says. “I can almost forget that I’m still being considered here, in the solitude out in the country and with a lot of hard work.”

According to the jury, the prizewinner is one author “who has long placed herself in Norwegian crime’s premier league, both at home and abroad.”

“She cultivates close portraits of people she talks about, lets us get behind the façade, under the skin, in their quest for motive and reason for the crimes. So it is this time, where she focuses with great compassion on children and adolescents, single mothers, and care. It is hard, painful, and brutal,” they say.

Fossum’s books are sold in over 37 countries and have received several international awards.

The other authors nominated for this year’s prize were Asbjørn Jaklin for Rød sone, Merete Junker for Venuspassasjen, Marit Reiersgård for Jenta uten hjerte, and Gunnar Staalesen for Ingen er så trygg i fare.

About Rivertonprisen:
• Awarded annually by Rivertonklubben for the best work in the Norwegian crime literature category.

• Rivertonklubben was started in 1972 and the club’s own jury selects the winner.

• This year marks 42 years since the prize was first handed out.

• Rivertonprisen is a collaboration between Rivertonklubben, the Norwegian Publishers Association (Forleggerforeningen), and The Norwegian Booksellers Association (Bokhandlerforeningen).

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit

It also appeared in the April 3, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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