Interview: Kristina Ohlsson-Nordic acclaimed author

Kristina Ohlsson has joined the highly acclaimed Nordic crime writer’s list which is growing in names and interest year on year. Sweden is undoubtedly seen as one of the leaders when it comes to producing Nordic Noir authors.

I had the chance to interview this established author who is building up a very positive reputation within the industry, her books are sold worldwide and her motivation to write comes purely from a passion to please the reader giving a holistic feel to this natural talent which we are privy to.

Kristina Ohlsson has gone from strength to strength since her first novel was published in 2009, The Unwanted. We follow the life changing moment a young mum turns her back on her little girl whilst they are travelling across Sweden by train. This moment is the catalyst for the turmoil, lies and heartbreak which unfolds leading us to the tragic aftermath of a crime which shocks Sweden. The story doesn’t end there as it is actually the beginning of a trail of apparently random horrific crimes which sweep across Sweden, it soon emerges that these crimes are linked and then the race against crime to find the motive ensues. You find the motive and this should lead you to the perpetrator.

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We are introduced to the three main characters who we will follow over time and books including Silenced and The Disappeared. The characters are well thought out as each ones personal and professional motives are different and conflicting which gives the reader a varied prospective into their thinking and how they work through the case.

Alex Recht is the lead detective who we instantly see as the good cop. He is loyal, professional and thorough. Fredrika Bergman is brought in as an investigative analyst which brings up much scepticism of how she can be effective to the case. Alex eventually recognises her talents and positive input she is having on the investigation and takes her under his wings.

Peder Rydh works as a lone ranger out for self recognition and growth, we start the series seeing him in a slightly shady light but as the book and indeed series of novels progresses we start to understand more where he is coming from and past instances that have shaped him into the detective he is today.

Kristina Ohlsson is proving to her mass audience that she can use her writing talents in other genres as she has also published two highly acclaimed children’s suspense novels, The Glass Children and The Silver Boy. These were released in 2013 and 2014.

Photo: Piratforlaget.se

Photo: Piratforlaget.se

In April 2013 we are brought back to Fredrika Bergman and Alex Recht crime novels with the book, Stars of David. Salomonsson Agency gives us a synopsis of this novel which tests the work of Stockholm’s finest crime fighters.

“On a cold winter’s day, a pre-school teacher is shot to death in front of parents and children at the Jewish Congregation in Stockholm. Just a few hours later two Jewish boys go missing on their way to tennis practice. A heavy snowstorm hits Stockholm and the traces of the perpetrator are few and far between”.

We are brought up to date with the latest offering from Kristina Ohlsson, Lotus’ Blues. Here Kristina gives us a little background about what we can expect in the latest of this very talented author’s novels.

Your career within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is very different from your other career as an author, how did you switch off from one to focus on the other when you were combining the two?

I’ve been a full time writer for three years now and haven’t worked for the OSCE since 2011. But back then, I don’t recall it as being difficult to keep my two careers a part. I write to entertain – my readers and myself. To work was never about feeling entertained. What was difficult, though, was to find the time to do my very best in both of them.

What was the exact moment in your writing career when you felt like an author?

The moment when I printed my first complete manuscript from the computer. I didn’t have a publishing house, I didn’t have a title for my work, but it was a whole book and I was extremely proud. An author is a person who writes. If his or hers work is published and read then that is a different question.

How did you first start to build up the main character profiles of Fredrika Bergman, Alex Recht and Peder Rydh?

All of my characters are fictive persons. To my knowledge, none of them exist in real life. I don’t plan my characters beforehand. I simply start to write and build the characters one by one as they occur in the story.

You live in Stockholm as a full time writer, how do you think Stockholm fares against other cultural cities with regards to promoting the arts?

I moved to Stockholm years before I started to write books. Stockholm was always my base when I lived in Vienna. I think that Stockholm is quite strong in promoting the arts. We have lots of arenas and platforms for artists of various kinds to expose their works, and culture is also prioritized within both local and national politics.

Your latest novel Lotus’ Blues has just been published in Sweden, can you give your readers an insight in to what they can expect from this book?

It is a very hard boiled story. The text is written in the first person and the main character is Martin Benner a male lawyer who is half American. Benner decides to engage himself in the fate of a woman called Sara Texas, who before her death was accused of committing five murders. His work triggers reactions among people with a very dark agenda, and soon he finds himself being accused of crimes he hasn’t committed. The book is the first in a short series of two.