Monday, 4 September 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Martin Holmen

Welcome to my latest BEST OF CRIME feature, looking at crime writers' top picks, from their favourite author and fictional detective to their best writing tip. 

Today I'm delighted to welcome 


to share his BEST OF CRIME ...

When it comes to crime I would have to say Jim Thompson. Even if he was little-recognized in his lifetime, his literary heritage lives on. He wrote about 30 novels and a number of his books became movies after his death. Only two books have been translated into Swedish, but I’m pushing for more to come every chance I get. I’m quite into a few writers whose work borders the crime genre as well, like Cormac McCarthy, or Hubert Selby Jr. 

Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There is no escape. I’m God’s lonely man. Again, even if it’s not crime per se I would say that Taxi Driver has a noir feel to it so I’m gonna go for that one. 


Arsène Lupin. A more modern one: The Wire. An even more modern one: Fargo.  

Gonna go with Jim Thompson again here: Lou Ford, a small town sheriff and a complete sociopath in The Killer Inside Me. Casey Affleck did a good job in the movie based on the book as well. I must say he is one of my favorite actors. 

Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer without question. My parents taught literature (and so do I) and my favorite play when I was about seven or eight was Hamlet. Secretly I read a lot of pulp fiction after bedtime though. 

I tend to like a proper good old beating. 

I kind of like one of my own which happened to be one of the first scenes I wrote for my first novel Clinch. A man gets stabbed in the throat with a meat thermometer: it ticks up, and ticks down. 

Read the classics. If you want to write good dialogue have a look at Hemingway’s short stories or Moby Dick. There is no writing class that can teach you that stuff.  

It used to be anything with alcohol in it but I’m trying to cut down so it’s coffee and protein bars if anything at all. Sadly. 


Born in 1974, Martin Holmen studied history, and now teaches at a Stockholm secondary school. Down for the Count is the second novel in The Stockholm Trilogy starring Harry Kvist: the third, Slugger, will be published by Pushkin Vertigo in 2018.
CLINCH and DOWN FOR THE COUNT by Martin Holmén are the first two books in The Stockholm Trilogy (Pushkin Vertigo) featuring ex-boxer Harry Kvist. The third in the series, SLUGGER, will be published next year.

Find Martin Holmen on his website.


Publisher's description
November, 1935. Harry Kvist walks out the gates of Langholmen jail into another biting Stockholm winter. He has nothing to his name but a fiercely burning hope: that he can begin a new life with the lover, ‘Doughboy’, who he met in his cell. That he can leave behind his old existence of gutter brawls, bruised fists and broken bones. That he can finally go straight.
But the city has other ideas. Nazis are spreading their poison on the freezing streets, and one of Kvist’s oldest friends has been murdered. Before he can leave Stockholm’s underworld for good, he must track down the killer. As Kvist uncovers a trail of blood leading to the highest echelons of Swedish society, the former boxer finds himself in a fight to the death with his most dangerous opponent yet.

Down For The Count was published by Pushkin Vertigo on 13 July 2017.

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