Den som dödar draken

Den som dödar draken He Who Kills The Dragon

Bäckström #2

In this second installment in the series of police procedurals featuring the “small, fat and primitive” Evert Bäckström, the grand master’s most appallingly repulsive (and funniest) character is finally given his fifteen minutes of fame by way of his patented combination of laziness, luck, and an unbelievable sense of timing. A seemingly ordinary murder puzzles Bäckström, who is struggling with strict orders from his doctor to lead a healthier life. His gut feeling proves him right: within days, his team has another murder linked to the first on their hands, and reports of alleged ties to a Securicor heist gone out of control, killing two. The nation needs a hero, and the newly appointed head of the Västerort police force Anna Holt needs somebody to kill the dragon for her. Who better to heed to the task than Evert Bäckström: self-sufficient, ostentatious, devoid of moral, Hawaii shirt-clad, and, latterly, armed?

Click here to watch a trailer for the Backstrom detective series made by FOX and based on Leif GW Persson’s bestselling crime novels featuring Evert Bäckström.


  • “You can’t help but laugh out loud when the fat little rascal [Bäckström] once again gets away with the incredible.”

    Information, Denmark

  • He Who Kills The Dragon is written with a humoristic sledgehammer, and Persson has rarely been so entertaining as he is in this novel, where he sends his eccentric nightmare version of Karlsson On The Roof out on new adventures among drunkards, murderers and an acerbic police force.”

    Fyens Stiftstidende, Denmark

  • “Sweden’s best crime writer. /…/ Bäckström’s character makes it easy to keep smiling throughout the book. /…/ He Who Kills the Dragon is an excellent story of a crime, with so many levels and subtleties in the plot that there is only one way to read this book – at one stretch.”

    Borås Tidning, Sweden

  • “In the grey slush that is today’s crime fiction, Leif GW Persson stands out as a miracle of highly readable clarity. /…/ Leif GW Persson cooks up a credible, true-to-life story that could have taken place at any time. And the denouement is so good that you hiccough with surprise, cursing yourself for not figuring it out earlier. /…/ The insights into Stockholm’s underbelly are believable, and its scenes and characters are confidently drawn. /…/ He Who Kills the Dragon is a first-rate crime novel.”

    Upsala Nya Tidning, Sweden

  • “According to Leif GW Persson’s own declaration of contents, this is an ”evil fairytale for grown-ups”. I would like to add that it is also a very funny fairytale. /…/ There is no one to match the grand master of Swedish crime fiction. Especially not when he is at his best, as he is here.”

    Värmlands Foklblad, Sweden

  • “How Persson manages to make this antihero [Bäckström] so grossly entertaining, is to me a mystery. It is apt, very apt. /…/ He Who Kills the Dragon offers straightforward, effective entertainment. /…/ Persson outperforms most of his competitors in the Swedish crime genre by miles. As often before, this is hardboiled, clever, suspenseful writing.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “In He Who Kills the Dragon, Persson…has crafted a suspenseful crime novel featuring Superintendent Bäckström. /…/ Persson’s greatest merit as an author is not the plotting in itself but the style, and above all Bäckström’s often darkly cynical thoughts. Perfectly imagined, these are sometimes funny, often grotesque and, almost without exception, biased. Leif GW Persson has found an original voice. At some point in the book reference is made to the tired Police Professor. The author Leif GW Persson, however, is far from tired.”

    Norrländska Socialdemokraten, Sweden

  • “Leif GW Persson delivers an entertaining satire of Swedish society.”

    Stockholm City, Sweden

  • “Grand entertainment. /…/ At the same time, the surprises offered by the investigation into the murder of Kalle Danielsson as well as the people surrounding Evert Bäckström are plentiful, and in the end you come to understand that even Evert Bäckström’s self-sufficient take on the world has actually been rocked ever so slightly. I am definitely a fan of He Who Kills the Dragon….”

    Skånska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “Does one want a crime novel (or, I grant you "a novel about a crime" as the author himself likes to bill his work) with at times stinging social criticism and a narrative based on true events? Or does one prefer a crime novel roaring forward across the pages, one that entertains more than it criticizes? Leif GW Persson has talent enough to write both. /…/ His new novel, He Who Kills the Dragon, is an example of the latter.”

    Arbetarbladet, Sweden

  • “Leif GW Persson’s strength – and where he triumphs over his fellow writers as easily as Bäckström downs a cold beer – is naturally his deep acquired knowledge about how regular routine police work is done; what the grey practicing of the police profession looks like. This gives his crime novels a highly particular and pungent smell of sweaty, sullen authenticity. /…/ …It is obvious that Leif GW Persson has enjoyed himself regally in writing He Who Kills the Dragon. And considering that Swedish crime novels in general are clinically freed from all form of humor, this is a, in many ways, liberating and unusually entertaining read.”

    Sundsvalls Tidning, Sweden

  • “Bäckström is back – and in outrageously great form. /…/ Leif GW Persson slugs hard at the Swedish police and, using his twisted sense of humor, paints a hilariously funny malicious portrait of police reality. /…/ Leif GW Persson has apparently enjoyed himself while writing this book. /…/ And I laugh along, just as giddy as the professor himself. Simply because the easily digested slugging of the police, through the manic fatso Bäckström, is so very entertaining. At the same time…this is a tragic depiction of a society that most of us never come into contact with – not even when we read crime novels.”

    Nerikes Allehanda, Sweden

  • “Bank robbers and high-level gangsters are drawn into the investigation, but the denouement is very surprising. As it should be in a good crime novel. Leif GW Persson has a very particular manner of telling his stories … an entertaining read.”

    Västerviks-Tidningen, Sweden

  • “The tempo is high, and Persson keeps the dialogue on a level that never once threatens to cross the line for what is believable and authentic. /…/ His prose is driven and sharp /…/ The plot is complex, and his narrative zest is contagious, despite the sinister images of moral decay and corruption within the police force that Persson delivers. /…/ If you are to choose one hardcover crime title this summer, He Who Kills the Dragon seems a good choice.”

    Västerbottens-Kuriren, Sweden

  • “Leif GW Persson writes Sweden’s most entertaining crime novels; his books and particularly the latest is a kind of cross between slapstick humor and the darkest of dark contemporary crime writing. /…/ He Who Kills the Dragon is an effectively narrated police procedural set in Stockholm…pure storytelling joy”

    Sveriges Radio Kulturnytt, Sweden

  • “Bäckström is the typical common-man reactionary, and Persson superbly uses the comical possibilities offered by the character. He Who Kills the Dragon is a superbly funny novel. /…/ Here, Leif GW Persson delivers a – realistic? – malicious portrait of Swedish police reality with a kind of sullen rashness. /…/ He treats his collective of policemen much like Strindberg treated the publicist collective of his time in Black Banners … It is as though the author is trying to hammer in that we are living in the most impossible of societies and realities; and that this insight can only met by cynical humor and satire.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “Persson offers a welcome and colorful alternative to the dark tones that inhabit the Scandinavian crime scene.”

    De Pers, Netherlands

  • “Bäckström, the man you love to hate.”

    Veronica Magazine, Netherlands

  • “You have to completely lack a sense of humor if you do not think this is delightful reading … A wonderful novel.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “A perfectly brilliant crime novel … Leif GW Persson writes with an enviable fluency, the story practically flows across the pages and there is hardly a single dead spot in the plot.”

    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “I was convinced that Linda, As in the Linda Murder was a one-off delight. However, He Who Kills the Dragon, is perhaps an even better book and it is certainly funnier. Backstrom is the same as ever, except he now has a world weariness about the state of the Swedish police and, in particular, the sexual proclivities of some of his colleagues. I found Backstrom in this book to be a more complex character and his motives are often difficult to discern. He surprises his bosses by his reticence in front of the national press and seems genuinely shocked by the corruption of one of his colleagues. The book must have been a delight to write with such an engaging anti-hero and I'm already looking forward to the next Backstrom instalment.”

    Crimepieces, UK

  • “The inimitable Evert Bäckstrom, the terror of all competent and intelligent policemen and – women of Stockholm, is back.”

    NRC Handelsblad, Netherlands

  • “Forget about Mankell: Leif GW Persson is Sweden's best crime author.”

    Cosmopolitan, Germany

  • “On the verge of satire. He Who Kills The Dragon shows why Persson is one of Sweden's most widely read authors: not one word out of place, every hit strikes home, the plot is unpredictable and the extra information interspersed throughout is pure, surprising bliss.”

    Welt am Sonntag, Germany

Photo: Thron Ullberg Leif GW Persson
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

German edition

English edition

Rights sold

Brazil, Intrinseca

Bulgaria, Colibri

Croatia, Fokus

Czech Republic, Moba

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Otava

France, Rivages

Germany, Btb

Greece, Patakis

Hungary, Cartaphilus

Iceland, Ugla

Israel, Dani Books

Italy, Marsilio

Japan, Tokyo Sogensha

Korea, Munhakdongne

Lithuania, Media Incognito

Netherlands, Prometheus

North Macedonia, Begemot

North Macedonia, Kultura

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Poland, Czarna Owca

Portugal, Bertrand

Russia, Centrepolygraph

Spain, Grijalbo (World Spanish)

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

Turkey, Pegasus

UK, Doubleday

US, Knopf

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