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Christoffer Carlsson (1986) was born and raised outside Marbäck, on the west coast of Sweden. Christoffer has a degree in Criminology from the University of Stockholm and has been working as a researcher with the Swedish national coordinator for protecting democracy against violent extremism. In 2012, he was awarded the International European Society of Criminology’s Young Criminologist Award.

Carlsson was a voracious reader before he became a precocious writer. A child of the crime genre, he devoured genre classics from Enid Blyton to Mankell and Sjöwall-Wahlöö and, inspired by these, he sent his first manuscript to a publisher at the tender age of eleven. Twelve years later, his critically acclaimed debut novel, The Case of Vincent Franke (Fallet Vincent Franke), was released closely followed by The One-Eyed Rabbit (Den enögda kaninen).

In 2013, Carlsson published his first novel in the series about troubled police officer Leo Junker. The Invisible Man From Salem was named Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy in 2013, making Carlsson the youngest winner of the award ever. The book was also shortlisted for the prestigious Glass Key Award in 2014. The second installment in the series, The Falling Detective, was released in August 2014. The third book, Master, Liar, Traitor, Friend was published in 2015.

In September 2016, Carlsson published his first book for young readers, October is the Coldest Month (Oktober är den kallaste månaden). Shortly after publication, the book was named ‘Best Crime Novel of the Year for Young Readers’ by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy.

In 2017, Carlsson finished the beloved series about Leo Junker with the fourth and final installment, The Thin Blue Line.

In March 2019, Carlsson published the literary suspense novel Under the Storm at Albert Bonniers Förlag, which was shortlisted for the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year Award. It was followed by the stand alone sequel, Blaze Me a Sun, in the spring of 2021, which garnered stellar reviews and was shortlisted for the Book of the Year Award.

Carlsson is a master of psychological complexity who writes taut, often melancholy page-turners that are loved by readers and critics alike.

Christofer CarlssonFoto: Emelie Asplund

Reviews

“A good book is a true pleasure. […] This is a story about a murder in Halland and it’s about as sordid and grayish as the cases we see in real life. […] Carlsson holds the reader in an iron grip. Moreover, his writing is extremely good. In fact, he writes better than pretty much everyone else. Not only in this genre – where it’s often deplorable – but among young writers on the whole. How will this end, I wonder as I put down his book and for some reason I come to think of a colleague of ours, Kerstin Ekman. She began her authorship with a few traditional detective stories before taking the big leap to the only kind of storytelling that truly matters with her novel Dödsklockan. So how will this end, I wonder.”
Leif GW Persson, Expressen (SE)

“An incredibly cleverly constructed novel, melancholic and suspenseful, like a cut straight out of reality.”
Ingalill Mossander, Aftonbladet (SE)

“A novel about a crime – that is the subtitle to the crime novel Under the Storm, and it is spot on. But it is also a novel about loneliness, guilt, life in a small community, addiction, social heritage, dreams, and about the humanity in wanting to belong to someone or something. Christoffer Carlsson is a writer with a style to admire, and he also holds a key to the inner lives and minds of people that most crime writers will never find. What more, as a criminologist he has expertise that provides authenticity, along with a great talent for telling stories. […] There’s a great darkness in Under the Storm, but it’s never completely black and never without hope – not even when a great storm sweeps in and uproots the old forest, leaving Marbäck in utter darkness. Go there with Christoffer Carlsson and you will see. And even though the year is young I can safely say that Under the Storm is sure to be named one of the best crime novels of the year.”
Göteborgsposten (SE)

“[Carlsson] is back at his absolute best: on the outskirts, in the quiet small towns where everyone knows everything about everyone – and at the same time not. […] Yet again Carlsson proves what a master he is, because the crime puzzle itself is secondary to the actual aim of this novel: a deep dive into the lives of the people who inhabit this small town – and the novel. Carlsson shines, he moves elegantly between different perspectives, people and periods. His writing is beautiful and precise, both dialogues, scenes, and the character portrayals are splendidly executed: subdued, thoughtful, loving, and full of melancholy.”
Stavanger Aftenblad, 5/6 Stars (NO)

“Christoffer Carlsson, who is one of our time’s most skilled crime writers, lets grief serve as an undertone throughout the novel. Life turns out the way it does, and you may not realize that you should have chosen differently until it’s too late. Perhaps even that you could have.”
Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter (SE)

“In the novel Under the Storm [Carlsson] portrays how a murder and a fire at the edge of a village creates blame among close relatives and forever marks the people who remain. […] This is a singular suspense novel. Christoffer Carlsson places us tenderly in the countryside where he grew up, among meadows, forests, brooks, and waterfalls. […] Christoffer Carlsson is a nimble writer. With a light hand he navigates his tale onward through the eighty-eight short chapters and never loses pace. And in the end it leads to home.”
Sveriges RadioP4 Halland (SE)

“The best and most nail-biting novel of the spring starts off with a burning house, but it’s the ashes that make the novel and the ruins that are the most intriguing. […] There are uncertainties in the case that Christoffer Carlsson reveals with unwavering stylistic prowess, all the while directing focus inward, toward the shame, and the convicted man’s anguished relatives. It is an innovative approach, if not brilliant. Under the Storm is likely to scoop up a whole bunch of crime writing awards this year, and they will all be well-deserved.”
M Magasin (SE)

“Guilt, doubt, and mystery simmer beneath the surface. Police officer Vidar Jörgensson can’t let go of the old murder case. Carlsson delivers a well written and suggestively distinct prose, in short chapters, and with a strong sense of Nordic noir. A first-rate suspense novel.”
BTJ (SE)

Under the Storm will not leave anyone disappointed. […] Carlsson succeeds in telling this seemingly simple story in an incredibly suspenseful way – all the way through. The characters are of flesh and blood, with all the faults and flaws of actual people. […] A story incredibly well told.”
Dast Magazine (SE)

“[Cristoffer Carlsson] portrays this milieu so well, and captures the intimacy between people, the prejudice that grows within that intimacy, and the inability to break free. He also puts crime, suspicion, kin, and victims in a bigger context, connected to timeless issues of nature and nurture. What makes a person a criminal? And what chance do you have if everyone, including yourself, predicts that you are destined to go down a criminal path.”
Skånska Dagbladet (SE)

Under the Storm is a strong tale that grabs hold and moves you. Carlsson once again proves what a talented writer he is.”
Upsala Nya Tidning (SE)

“Christoffer Carlsson writes skillfully about how an arson affects the people in the area, and how a crime lives on far beyond its judicial aftermath.”
Ölandsbladet (SE)

“Christoffer Carlsson’s Under the Storm is a multi-facetted suspense novel, rich in atmosphere.”
Femina (SE)

“There must be more than 24 hours to Christoffer Carlsson’s day. His new suspense novel is tremendously impressive with its subdued tone of underlying peril, and his musical sense of style. Deeply rooted in the local dialect and countryside of Halland, about a murder in 1994 that may be unsolved. An impressive plot with an unusually likable policeman at its centre.”
Tara (SE)

“The fundamental crime is society itself. Here as in Sjöwall/Wahlöö’s books. The living conditions under which we grow up, the prejudices we carry, the omens we see in others. Cause and effect. Under the Storm is above all a rural noir novel. The people from rural areas, those who never left, are portrayed intimately and tenderly with the same narrative pulse as the rendition of small town life.”
Smålandsposten (SE)

Under the Storm is a splendid thriller with psychological depth, excellently plotted and a denouement that I did not see coming.”
Thrillers and More, 5/5 Stars (NL)

“[Carlsson’s] academic expertise provides a solid foundation for his thrillers, in which he thoroughly examines the impact of crime […] He has an unparalleled eye for atmosphere and detail. More than a whodunit, Under the Storm is a novel about the powerlessness, vulnerability, and conflict between two men whose lives have been entangled through murder. You don’t read Carlsson to figure out who the perpetrator us, but because you want to know the people who are trying to find out who did the deed.”
Focus Knack, 4/5 Stars (NL)

Under the Storm is one of the best books in the crime genre I’ve read, and it could just as well be categorized as a literary novel. It is both a melancholy and emphatic tale about a village in a depopulation area as it is a story about a murder.”
Karlstads-Tidningen (SE)

“Few are as confident in their storytelling as Christoffer Carlsson […] He is one of the absolute best stylists of the genre, thoroughly knowledgeable about the classics […] This is a beautiful, melancholy story about how extremely difficult it is to try to clarify what has happened, and as a reader you keep doubting up to the very end: is it true? Has the right killer been identified? It is brilliantly realistic and heartbreakingly human.”
Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter (SE)

“Many – often posh – people make a big number of never reading so called crime novels. But then let me recommend a novel that I think they will love for exactly that reason, and that is Blaze Me a Sun by Christoffer Carlsson. Carlsson is a brilliant stylist. I dare say that he is one of the most eloquent contemporary writers of the Swedish language. I have to go back to 1993 and Kerstin Ekman’s book about a crime, Blackwater, to find something as equally well-written as this one.”
Leif GW Persson (SE)

Blaze Me a Sun – just like the bestseller Under the Storm – is a book about the treacherous aftermath of a crime, rather than an action-filled crime novel about the crime itself. Christoffer Carlsson writes lightyears better than most other Swedish crime writers, with the focus on psychology, social heritage, and how lies upheld over lifetimes disintegrate with dramatic consequences. A magnificent read even for those who are skeptics of the crime genre.”
M Magasin (SE)

“In Blaze Me a Sun, Christoffer Carlsson captures the enchanting combination of darkness and light, of good and evil, and his Tiarp becomes a place where you want to linger for a long time, despite the frightful story that lies there and that is awakened by the narrator of the book – who in this fictive story also becomes the author of the book. […] Blaze Me a Sun is a phenomenal crime novel with elegantly placed red herrings and gradually building suspense. It is also a thought-provoking portrayal of a moment in time.”
Norra Skåne (SE)

“A multi-layered story by a superb author who manages to maintain the suspense to the very last page, while at the same time making his characters feel authentic and vivid.”
Ingalill Mosander, Aftonbladet (SE)

“Christoffer Carlsson has an ability to portray events, characters, and milieus in just a few words, conveying emotions that hit you right in the chest. Sven’s brooding, his coughing, his increasingly stiff relationship to his son Vidar – it’s all incredibly moving. We follow the fates of the characters over time. The language is at times almost poetic. Carlsson balances between genres and discusses themes of guilt, moral dilemmas, truth, and the tragic hand some people are dealt in life on this earth. I hesitate to categorise this book as a crime novel. The true name is in the subtitle: A novel about a crime.”
BTJ, 5/5 Stars (SE)

“This is an incredible text, a story that vibrates with life on many different levels, and a novel that will be ranked high when it is time to summarize the suspense novels published this year. […] There are so many things to love about this text. One is the unusual tenderness of the storytelling that is rare in the genre. The tenderness is there in the portrayal of the milieus; the wander through the writer’s own childhood area is impressive. […] Above all, this tenderness is about the people: this is an author who really cares about his characters, […] As readers we come incredibly close to these people, we get the chance to fully understand them, to care about them, and few authors reach that level of writing. There is also a strong realism in the text that likely stems from the author’s deep knowledge as a distinguished criminologist […] A must-read.”
Svenska Deckarfestivalen (SE)

“A well-written, reflective story about a crime that is incredibly suspenseful. Through 117 short, cliffhanger-dense chapters, the reader is thrown between a series of events playing out across several decades. […] The richly illustrated text is teeming with authentic settings, credible characters, and seamless dialogue – I can see the TV-series now. This is a tender portrayal of ordinary police officers who are marked by guilt and a longing for atonement in a time of change.”
Sveriges Radio P4 (SE)

“Prime Minister Olof Palme is murdered in Stockholm in 1986. On the same night, another murder takes place in Tiarp outside Halmstad. One of the murders changes Sweden for ever. The other changes the life of local policeman Sven, who becomes obsessed with finding out the truth about the murdered woman in Tiarp. […] Christoffer Carlsson is skilled at telling stories that contain so much more than a crime mystery. Here he discusses guilt, truth, moral, and responsibility in a tenderly portrayed rural Sweden.”
Ölandsbladet (SE)

“This is so much more than a crime novel, by the fantastic Christoffer Carlsson. […] His previous novel Under the Storm was incredibly good, I was so taken by it. And Blaze Me a Sun is equally moving. […] This is as much about a series of unsolved murders in the small village of Tiarp as it is a portrayal of Sweden undergoing radical change. […] Christoffer Carlsson writes with such care and attention to his characters. He wants them well. Carlsson is a criminologist and does not write more than what’s necessary about the actual crimes. To him, you can tell that the people are much more important. You get to know them and you really feel for them.”
Go’kväll, SVT (SE)

“The story itself is suspenseful and clever, with many twists that await the reader in the buildup to the solution. And questions remain. It is especially the people, the place, and the era that Carlsson is so skilled at depicting. I had to look up the details to see if it was based on an actual case, it felt so vivid and true. Simply incredibly good!”
Norrköpings Tidningar (SE)

Blaze Me a Sun is a deep-dive into the Sweden we say arose with the murder of Olof Palme. It is categorized as a crime novel and of course there are moments of suspense, but above all it is rewarding to read this as a psychological drama: how are people affected by gradually being worn down by failure, by guilt, by shame, by fear?”
Sydsvenska Dagbladet (SE)

“It is both elegantly and skillfully told […] This is a dark tale, a linguistic pleasure, and a crime novel that dares to trust its own and the reader’s ability. We follow a long-lasting investigation, but above all it is about being human, about guilt, and about trying to do the right thing.”
Göteborgs-Posten (SE)

“This is a thrilling read, no doubt about it, but as usual Christoffer Carlsson’s strength lies within his tender character portrayals. He lets people be just people – with strengths, weaknesses, and whose actions create ripple effects. Building suspense, atmosphere and complexity in the ordinary is a difficult art form that the author masters splendidly.”
Aftonbladet Söndag (SE)

“Christoffer Carlsson’s storytelling is unhurried and exact, creating a vibrating atmosphere and seething tension. The whole area comes to life, both the inhabited and empty houses. Blaze Me a Sun is a vividly real depiction of Halland noir, a part of the forgotten Sweden.”
Borås Tidning (SE)

“This is a dark and captivating story – brilliantly told. The second part of The Halland Suite is a novel that stands on its own even if some of the policemen from Under the Storm return.”
Örnsköldsvik Allehanda (SE)

“An eloquent chronicle that delicately captures the characters and their fates. In addition, it is devilishly thrilling. You cannot ask for more.”
Barometern (SE)

Books

Series

The Leo Junker Series Learn More

Press Images

Christofer CarlssonFoto: Emelie Asplund Photo by Emelie Asplund
Christofer CarlssonFoto: Emelie Asplund Photo by Emelie Asplund
Christofer CarlssonFoto: Emelie Asplund Photo by Emelie Asplund
Christofer CarlssonFoto: Emelie Asplund Photo by Emelie Asplund

Awards

2021 – Shortlisted for the Book of the Year Award for Blaze Me a Sun
2019 – Shortlisted for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year Award for Under the Storm
2017  – Shortlisted for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year Award for The Thin Blue Line
2016 – Best Crime Novel of the Year for Young Readers for October is the Coldest Month
2014 – Shortlisted for The Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel for The Invisible Man From Salem
2013 – Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year for The Invisible Man From Salem
2012 – International European Society of Criminology’s Young Criminologist Award

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