For the benefit of my English readers who cannot read and enjoy this MasterMystery, I´ll bring the poem on the first page.
”Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the Southland
I miss Alabama once again
And I think it’s a sin, yes
Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabana
Lord, I´m coming home to you
Lynard Skynyrd (1974)
Bogen begynder, hvor tredje bind i serien slap. Fanny Fiske er blevet stukket ned, og ligger nu (tilsyneladende) i koma på et engelsk hospital. Men der kan hun jo ikke blive liggende; til trods for sin overlegne, distancerede facon har hun stadig et par veninder, som det ikke er lykkedes hende at skræmme væk, og nu har de brug for hende. Den danske journalist og krimiforfatter Nina Lacoppidan er vant til at rage sig fjender til i livet, men efter mange trusselsbreve fra den samme person frygter hun nu for alvor for sit liv, og indkalder profileren Fanny, retsmedicineren Lisa Selander og den offentlige anklager Polly Jean Harvey til hjælp. På høje tid, for hvad veninderne finder ved ankomsten er Ninas kolde lig.
Som Fanny Fiske-fans vil vide, foregår serien nogle år ude i fremtiden, men den beskrivelse Staun giver af det flade, udsigtsløse Danmark, lyder desværre alt for genkendelig. ”Danmark er lidt i undtagelsestilstand p.t. De har en meget stædig regering, der som jeg forstår det, nægter at erkende, når den har taget forkerte beslutninger, og denne regering har altså med et usædvanligt bredt flertal vedtaget en politireform, der skulle sikre flere politifolk på gaden, men eftersom de samtidig sparede alt kontorpersonale væk, endte det med, at der ingen politifolk var på gaden …” Danmark er stærkt på vej mod et anarkistisk samfund, hvor lovløshed og selvtægt griber om sig. Så er læseren advaret!
Man kunne også spinde en ende over, hvad meningen er med titlen, men det vil jeg lade være med, for ikke at ødelægge spændingen eller morskaben for krimifans, som endnu har denne læseoplevelse til gode. Men at Fanny Fiske i bund og grund ikke bryder sig ret meget om mennesker, det kan jeg godt forstå. Hun har muligvis ret i, at hun er ved at være et gammelt, afdanket vrag, men hun formår stadig at overraske, og forfatteren Susanne Staun er efter min mening i absolut topform!
>Okay, so the poem is about Alabama but the book hasn’t been translated into English? Seems unfair!
>Beth, I think it is really unfair. You would probably enjoy her odd humour, though her books are far from cozy. I think I have heard that she has sold the rights to some English publisher so perhaps in the future … I hope so, because she is one of the most entertaining Danish crime fiction writers in my opinion.
>It seems that practice helps – I could just about understand most of this! (For some reason I find Danish spelling really off-putting. When I hear it spoken, I can pick up a lot more. When I saw Flame and Citron I barely needed the subtitles. Which was handy, because they were pretty awful.)I’ll have to read Staun one day. At least some of her books have been translated into German, though I can’t get hold of them easily. As far as Danish fiction goes, I’ve just read the first novel by Sara Blaedel. A little on the dull side, but I did like the characters, and it has a really beautiful cover painting.
>What a fantastic cover!
>Hi Lauren. Great that you are keeping up your Danish lessons! I don´t really know how it works the other way round, but when one masters Danish, English and some German, Norwegian, Swedish and Dutch are very easy. I have read the two first by Sara Blædel, and I remember thinking that she wrote too much like a journalist. No crisp adjectives or metaphors. She is very popular, but cannot really be compared to Staun who writes about the most horrid serial killers, but gives us a hilarious protagonist as some kind of comic relief.
>Kate, I am glad there are also some bits for my English readers to enjoy 🙂
>I haven’t read any of Staun’s books, so can’t really comment. What has put me off is 1) that the books are taking place in the future and 2) the whole “grotesqueness” around Fanny Fiske simply annoys me.Which is weird, because I like both science fiction and weird humour and characters.I agree about Blaedel’s books. I’ve read them all, and they are so-so. I mean, I actually liked the two first a great deal, whereas I found the last two boooo-ring. I remember complaining about the fact, that many Danish (not only Danish, Swedish adn Norwegian writers does it as well) writers ONLY writes about either problems with immigrants or two trafficked prostitutes from the former Eastern Block. Now PLEASE WRITE ABOUT SOME GHASTLY SERIAL KILLERS instead ;o)
>Louise, it is certainly not up to me to decide what you should try, but Staun´s books are not reallly science fiction (she is just a few years ahead of us in a normal recognizeable world), she does write about the most horrible serieal killers, and Fanny Fiske is a very competent protagonist – she is just ridiculously vain. And I am also tired of trafficking. International crime and mafia types are seldom very interesting to read about.
>Ok, I just realized that I have been moaning about the exact same thing in a post I just wrote here. Sorry ’bout that, but I guess it REALLY bugs me ;o)
>Louise, I enjoy having your back. Do moan – as long as it is not about me LOL And I am a bit envious when I see what kind of crime fiction they get in Sweden and Britain 😉