I think it's important to write about the whole Sweden, not just the urban, chic areas, the cities.


Kjell Eriksson

Kjell Eriksson

The Cruel Stars of the Night

Kjell Eriksson is a Swedish crime author espacailly known for his mystery series featuring young inspector Ann Lindell in Uppsala. Formerly a gardener, he writes about this town and its surrounding countryside, about ordinary and humble people.

Why did you choose to write about the countryside next to Uppsala?

Sweden has a lot of countryside and I think it’s important to write about the whole Sweden, not just the urban, chic areas, the cities.
Uppsala, the hometown of my main character, inspector Ann Lindell, is number 4 in population in Sweden, but have only around 200 000 inhabitants.
For many years I worked on the countryside, as a gardener, and got to know people there, ordinary, humble, people whom you do not see in the smart magazines or in the televion-shows.
It is “my” people.

Ann Lindell raises her child on her own, a son with no declared father. Why?

Ann Lindell´s child has of course a father, but Ann decided not to tell who he is. She became pregnant after a one night stand. The father is married to another woman, he doesn´t mean anything to Ann.

How do you live with a recurring character?

I create my characters as a mix of living and invented people. It´s pure happiness as a novelist to have this freedom. It’s possible to identify some of the characters in my novels, sometimes I even use their real name, but the vast majority, of course, is fictional persons.

Laura is a surprising character. What were your sources of inspiration to embody this quite demonic character?

What´s inspiring a writer? That´s a tough question. How did Laura come to me? I don’t know. When I read the book now I realize I made a typical male “error”: created a woman, successful in her profession, beautiful and sexy, but also with a borderline personality, and she is a virgin! I think some of the female readers have some opinions about Laura … Male readers like her, I suppose.

Here in France, we imagine that there are factories of mystery novels lost somewhere in the Scandinavian snow, with an army of authors working on their cases. Is there any communication between Swedish crime authors?

Yes, we publish a lot of crime fictions in Sweden. Too many, if you ask me. We see each other, Sweden is a small country, in book fairs, joint readings, etc, but that´s enough for me.

Do you build the script of a mystery novel like a game of chess? Tiebreaker : aren’t you making fun of the police with this variant of Barcelona?

We had in Uppsala a very successful chessplayer, among the best in Sweden, he was a police. I use this fact and make a complication in the intrigue. I created this play, Russia-Spain, after studying chess-literature and talking to players. I think it´s quite realistic. In fact I received a mail from a chessplayer in Norway, who wanted to know more about the player from Spain.

There is a reference to Dennis Lehane in the novel. Do you like this author?

Yes, I like Denis Lehane, he writing about Boston in a way I appreciate. Also Denise Mina and Rankin from Scotland. And Mankell from Sweden.