St. Avenger (#4)
Heine Bakkeid (b. 1974) grew up in the rugged landscape of Northern Norway, where mist-shrouded waters meet some of Scandinavia’s most striking mountain formations. Bakkeid made his literary debut in 2005 when he published a spy novel for young adults. Since then he has gone on to write several novels for young readers. The acclaimed I Will Miss You Tomorrow – the first installment in the Thorkild Aske series – was Bakkeid’s first venture into crime fiction, and earned him the critics’ recognition as a virtuoso of darkly atmospheric suspense. The series’ dark undertones and windswept landscapes are fetched from Bakkeid’s own native North.
Heine Bakkeid is the winner of the 2021 Riverton Prize for his novel St. Avenger, the fourth installment in the Thorkild Aske series. The very prestigious crime writing award is annually given to the best Norwegian crime novel.
The jury presented the following motivation:
“Both when it comes to narration, plot development and character portrayals, the winner novel is a prime example of Norwegian crime writing at its very best. Same goes for the portrayal of the protagonist’s struggles with his great mental health obstacles – being a damaged, vulnerable, and depressed policeman who is dismissed and robbed of all honor and needs to fight to keep going in life.
Very rarely a crime author comes along that with his or her very first book enters the top echelon of Norwegian crime writing. (…) The books about Thorkild Aske have captivated readers and impressed crime connoisseurs from his debut up until the book that now receives the 2021 award – Heine Bakkeid’s St. Avenger. /…/
With access to much of what happened five years back, we as readers know more than Aske, without that ever taking away from the excitement, but we are equally fooled by the red herrings as he is before everything falls into place. The composition itself contributes a lot to the unique strength of this novel. Not simply due to the two timelines with different types of narration, but also because there are mysterious text messages, diary pages, cursive parts with dreams and fantasies – all coming together in a narrative with a breathtaking drive taking us through dark deeds, broken dreams, and tragic lives. /…/
[St. Avenger] ought to be read, slowly; not the least that goes for the chapters about the events of the past that are crucial for everything unfolding in the present time. Everything matters, everything is connected. And everything is well-composed and well-written. Thus, it’s with great pleasure we announce that the 2021 Riverton Award goes to Heine Bakkeid for his novel St. Avenger.
The shortlist for the 2022 Riverton Prize has just been announced in Norway, and Heine Bakkeid’s St. Avenger and Anne Holt’s The Eleventh Manuscript are two out of five novels nominated for the prestigious crime writing award, annually given to the best Norwegian crime story.
St. Avenger is the fourth installment in Heine Bakkeid’s Thorkild Aske series, and as part of their motivation the award jury lauds the novel by saying : “This well-constructed and well-written crime novel hold us in a tight grip of fear and worry until the very end.”
The Eleventh Manuscript is the eleventh installment in Anne Holt’s Hanne Wilhelmsen series, and the award jury praises it in the following way: “Veteran author Anne Holt has rarely been as brilliant as she is here, with her old and wise hero Hanne Wilhelmsen as a somewhat reluctant protagonist of this extremely well-written suspense novel.”
The winner will be bestowed with the award on the 7th of April in The House of Literature in Oslo.
Just published in Iceland, Heine Bakkeid’s third Thorkild Aske installment We Shall Not Awaken goes straight to No. 1 on the bestseller lists for all books and formats of leading book retailer Eymundsson.
When the badly battered corpse of what is presumed to be police officer Simon Bergeland is discovered buried in the sand dunes of Stavanger’s local beach, Thorkild Aske finds himself returning to the city haunting his dreams in search of answers. Stavanger is where it all went to hell; where he lost Frei and his job at the Special Unit. Simon Bergeland, Frei’s lover, was to blame – but has remained missing ever since that fateful day. Soon, it emerges that the events of the past were nothing like Thorkild thought, and when the threats towards him amass it stands clear that his return to Stavanger isn’t simply unwanted – it could also cost him his life.
St. Avenger is the thrilling fourth installment in Heine Bakkeid’s lauded series about the tormented and sardonic former interrogator Thorkild Aske.
The trade paperback edition of Scatter Her Ashes, the second installment in Heine Bakkeid’s Thorkild Aske series, just published in Iceland by publisher Ugla, goes straight to No. 1 on the paperback list and to No. 3 on the all formats bestseller list of leading book retailer Eymundsson.
Former interrogation leader Thorkild Aske must return to his roots on Iceland when his father Ulfur, an environmentalist with a checkered past, is stricken with cancer. But Ulfur is also in jail: he has been charged with the murder of his young lover. When Ulfur insists that he is innocent of the crime, Thorkild and his sister find themselves searching for the truth and the real killer. Their journey across Iceland and into the murky depths of the past – their own as well as that of Ulfur’s radical environmentalist group – threatens to lay bare dark secrets best forgotten. The price of the truth will be exacted in lives.
We Shall Not Awaken is the third Thorkild Aske novel, and a true exploration of the gothic and sardonic universe of Heine Bakkeid’s lauded protagonist.
The shortlist for the 2018 Riverton Prize has been announced in Norway, and Heine Bakkeid is one of the five authors listed. Bakkeid has been nominated for his acclaimed Meet Me in Paradise, the second Thorkild Aske novel. The jury has the following to say about Bakkeid and the title:
“Nordic noir thrives in the second novel of this promising crime series. /…/ The excellent and original prose elevates this novel far above many others of the same genre. A particularly well-executed plot holds the reader captive during this entertaining and thrilling piece of crime fiction, wherein humor has also been given some space.”
It’s July and 2018 has officially entered its second half. But lest the previous spring months be forgotten, the Norwegian Bookseller’s Association has compiled lists over the most sold books during January-June, divided by genre and category.
At the very top of the list for Norwegian fiction is Jo Nesbø, with Macbeth. A steady No. 1 throughout spring, Nesbø is joined at the top by Jørn Lier Horst & Hans Jørgen Sandnes, who claim the No. 1 position on the Norwegian children’s books list with Operation Shipwreck. Jørn Lier Horst also occupies the No. 2 and No. 3 spot, with The Triangle Mystery and The Search for the Castle’s Secret respectively.
Just published in Norway last week, Jo Nesbø’s Macbeth goes straight to No. 1 on both the hardcover fiction bestseller list and e-book list. Nesbø is joined at the top by Kristina Ohlsson, whose Unwanted climbs yet again, coming in at No. 1 this week. Jørn Lier Horst & Hans Jørgen Sandnes’ thirteenth Detective Agency No. 2 book, Operation Shipwreck, comes in just below on the hardcover fiction list, claiming the No. 3 spot. Heine Bakkeid’s second novel about the haunted former interrogator Thorkild Aske, Meet Me in Paradise, features at No. 4 on the e-book list.
Jørn Lier Horst & Hans Jørgen Sandnes’ Operation Shipwreck climbs to No. 2 on the official bestseller list for hardcover fiction in Norway. It is joined by Kristina Ohlsson’s first installment in the Fredrika Bergman series, Unwanted, coming in at No. 3 on the paperback list. Meanwhile, Heine Bakkeid’s Meet Me in Paradise makes another appearance on the e-book list, claiming the No. 3 spot.
Just a week after its publication in Norway, Heine Bakkeid’s critically acclaimed Meet Me in Paradise makes its debut appearance on the official bestseller list, jumping straight up to No. 2 on the e-book list.
On the hardcover fiction list, Jørn Lier Horst & Hans Jørgen Sandnes feature in the top yet another week with their Operation Shipwreck, the thirteenth Detective Agency No. 2 book. This week, Operation Shipwreck comes in at No. 3.
The haunted former interrogation leader Thorkild Aske reluctantly agrees to take on the job of consulting detective for Milla Lind, a renowned Norwegian crime fiction writer. Lind’s previous consultant, also a former policeman, was killed on the job as they were working on Lind’s latest novel, a story based on the real-life case of two girls mysteriously disappearing from an orphanage. It isn’t long till Aske begins to suspect that there’s more to the case, Milla Lind, and his predecessor’s death, than he first thought.
Meet Me in Paradise is the second novel in Heine Bakkeid’s chilling series about Thorkild Aske.