Photo: Mickey Thörnblad Photo: Mickey Thörnblad

Johan Theorin

Johan Theorin (b. 1963) began his literary career as a journalist and short-story writer. Theorin’s acclaimed Öland Quartet, a series of four suspense novels set on the Baltic island of Öland, won him not only the admiration of international readers and critics but a multitude of prestigious awards, including the CWA International Dagger and the Glass Key. Considered one of the most talented authors of crime and mystery fiction in Scandinavia, Johan Theorin is a master of atmosphere and darkness. The Battle for Salajak, the first installment in an epic historical fantasy series called The Jarmaland Chronicles, marks his debut in the genre of children’s fiction.

“Theorin, a journalist and author, improvises on the traditional recipe for Nordic thrillers by adding generous sprinklings of folklore and the supernatural.”
-New York Times

“If you like Stieg Larsson, try a much better Swedish writer”
-The Observer

Awards

Shortlisted for the Storytel Awards (Best Children’s) Sweden – Slaget om Salajak The Battle for Salajak 2018
Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger UK – Rörgast The Voices Beyond 2016
The Finnish Academy of Crime Writers’ Special Commendation (Excellence in Foreign Crime Writing) Finland 2016
Shortlisted for the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Best Crime Novel of the Year) Sweden – Rörgast The Voices Beyond 2013
The CWA International Dagger – Nattfåk The Darkest Room 2010
The CWA Dagger Debut Award UK – Skumtimmen Echoes From The Dead 2009
The Glass Key The Nordic Countries – Nattfåk The Darkest Room 2009
The Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year) Sweden – Nattfåk The Darkest Room 2008
The Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Best Debut) Sweden – Skumtimmen Echoes From The Dead 2007
Close award list

Bibliography

The Jarmaland Chronicles

The Öland Series

Stand-alone

Related news

‘Knocking’ to premiere in Sweden

Following its world premiere in the Midnight section of the Sundance Film Festival, Frida Kempff’s Knocking has opened in US cinemas to great acclaim. The movie will be released in Sweden on November 5. 

Knocking, based on Johan Theorin’s short story Knocks, revolves around a woman who moves into a new apartment after a tragic accident and begins to hear a disturbing knocking, which sounds like a call for help or a message in Morse code. She confronts her neighbours as the knocking intensifies but it becomes clear that no one else can hear it.

“Gripping from first scene to last.”
– The Hollywood Reporter 

“With Knocking, Kempff masterfully crafts the slow steady decline of a mind on edge. /…/ A real masterclass of building tension and character work. /…/ All will be kept on the edge of their seat.” 
– The Hollywood News

“Knocking is a Aronofsky-like knockout.”
– Pajiba

“A stifling, claustrophobic nightmare. /…/ A smouldering slow-burn of a movie that will linger in your mind for some time.” 
– Starburst Magazine

“A sharp debut. /…/ Strikingly atmospheric cinematography and an intense central performance.” 
– Screen Daily

‘Knocking’ to premiere at Sundance

The psychological thriller Knocking will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2021. The film is based on the short story Knocks by acclaimed Swedish author Johan Theorin, and the script is written by Emma Broström. Knocking is directed by Frida Kempff and is her feature debut. Kempff has previously directed the documentary Winter Buoy and shorts like Micky Bader, which among else won a Cannes Jury Prize in 2010.

Cecilia Milocco (Involuntary) stars as a woman who moves into a new apartment following a tragic accident. She soon begins to hear a disturbing knocking sound. Is it a call for help, or a message in Morse code? As the knocking grows more intense she confronts her neighbors, but they all claim to be unable to hear it.

‘The Hunt for the Hwitters’ published in Sweden

The Hunt for the Hwitters is the second installment in Johan Theorin’s The Jarmaland Chronicles and a breathless continuation of the epic historical fantasy that began in The Battle for Salajak.

The battle for Salajak is over, but not the fight against the hwitters. Many of the ancient race have fled their old home in the mountain for the underworld. The warrior Ristin and the hwitter prince Dhor are slowly making their way deep into the abyss called Jarmaland. Chasing them is a myriad of soldiers, knights and fairies led by Niklis and Jöran Eck. Both sides must use all their might and skill in this unknown world where ice winds blow and evil creatures lurk in the shadows…

The Storytel Awards 2018

The nominees for 2018’s Storytel Awards (formerly known as the Grand Audiobook Prize) have been announced. The Swedish awards will as always be handed out in four categories: Fiction, Suspense, Young Adult, and Children’s.

Among those competing for the Fiction award are Niklas Natt och Dag with The Wolf and the Watchman, and Jonas Gardell with In Memory of an Unconditional Love.

The Suspense category’s shortlist features Lars Kepler for Lazarus, Stina Jackson with The Silver Road, and Anders Roslund with Three Hours.

Lastly, in the Children’s category, is Johan Theorin and The Battle for Salajak.

To vote for your favorite, click “Read more” below. The voting will close on January 20th.

Read more

New title: ‘The Battle for Salajak’

In the far north of Scandinavia, deep beneath Mount Salajak, the Midgard Serpent sleeps in its great cave. Above it, the ancient race of hwitters stir in their castle, awakening from a long winter slumber. Ristin, a member of the winged elite force called mare hwitters, flies over Salajak’s icy top to welcome home the warriors returning from the human world carrying meat… fresh meat.

As the enemy wakes in the north, three young brothers plan their escape from their farm in southern Sweden. Their goal is to join the army of humans and fairies marching to stop the hwitters and their atrocities. The second oldest of the three Eck brothers, Niklis, wants to be a knave, and the oldest, Samuel, dreams of becoming a knight. The youngest brother Jöran would rather that they turned back home before Death comes for them all.

Lovisa Georgsdotter is the young daughter of the Lord of Frösön, the one who has called the army. Lovisa has found a hidden weapon in the lake Storsjön just outside the island. A lindwyrm is swimming in its depths, long as a meandering rapid, and it comes to her call as Lovisa blows her birch horn.

The army marching northwards becomes the focal point around which destinies meet and intertwine only to be pulled down into the bottomless abyss beyond Salajak known as Jarmaland. In its icy and dark depths, the underworld’s goddess Hel rules supreme, and a secret as old as time waits for the adventurer brave enough to discover it.

Johan Theorin’s The Jarmaland Chronicles is an irresistible invitation to experience Scandinavia in the fourteenth century, a time when the perils of war, court intrigues, and the plague were as tangible as the danger of bumping into trolls, fairies, wravers and lindwyrms. A thrilling fantasy adventure series with an unbeatable historical edge, The Jarmaland Chronicles begins with the first installment, The Battle for Salajak.

Leif GW Persson, Roslund & Thunberg and Johan Theorin nominated for the CWA International Dagger

Leif GW Persson, Roslund & Thunberg and Johan Theorin have all been nominated for the CWA International Dagger 2016. The novels nominated for the prestigious award are The Sword of Justice by Leif GW Persson, The Father by Roslund & Thunberg (written under the pen name Anton Svensson), and The Voices Beyond by Johan Theorin.

Photo: Mickey Thörnblad

Johan Theorin awarded The Finnish Academy of Crime Writers’ Special Commendation

Johan Theorin, author of the award-winning Öland Quartet, has been awarded The Finnish Academy of Crime Writers’ Special Commendation for ‘Excellence in Foreign Crime Writing’ 2016. An excerpt from the jury’s motivation reads:

“As a narrator Theorin is both powerful and full of surprises, drawing on elements from folklore and adding a touch of mystique to them. The reader is made to feel the magic of Öland, while at the same time being invited to share in the secrets that the seasonal tourists are unaware of. /…/ Psychological depiction is one of Theorin’s strengths. The Öland Quartet’s characters are unique and complex, and yet in most cases they still remain just ordinary people. Retired caption Gerlof Davidsson who features in all novels is advanced in years and physically weak, but still plays a central role when in the investigations. Even the people behind the misdeeds can be understood as their motives are revealed along as the story progresses.”

New Author – Johan Theorin

Johan Theorin (b. 1963) began his literary career as a journalist and short-story writer, but has since gone on to receive international recognition as a writer of suspense novels. He is now considered to be one of the most talented authors of crime and mystery fiction in Scandinavia.