Torsten Pettersson's most recent books include crime novels and a political thriller set in Nazi Germany. They were preceded by nine collections of poems and a collection of short stories. Click here for a comprehensive list of the academic publications of Torsten Pettersson in his role as professor of literature.
Give Me Your Eyes (Ge mig dina ögon, 2008)
Söderströms - ISBN: 9789515225733
The small town of Forshälla, in the Swedish-speaking part of Finland, is under shock after the savage murder of a young woman. She was strangled with a cord, her eyes gouged out, and she has the letter A carved on her stomach. The detective Harald Lindmark starts to investigate the murder and before long, another similar ferocious murder takes place. Is there a serial killer on the loose in this small town?
Torsten Pettersson's first crime novel Give Me Your Eyes (Ge mig dina ögon) has enjoyed success in numerous European and South American countries, having won an award in the publisher Söderströms's competition for suspense novels. It has been translated from its original Swedish into Italian, French, Spanish, Czech, Finnish, Danish, Croatian and Portuguese.
"I’m incredibly impressed by Torsten Pettersson’s first novel, a really breath-taking psychological thriller." - Johan Wopenka, Horisont, Sweden/Finland, 2010:3
"[T]he plot is superb... a perfectly constructed thriller, one piece of a mosaic next to the other, with dense seams and a subtle and surprising logic... [It] holds you enthralled, in constant expectation of the next blow, the following inspiration." - Pietro Soria, La Stampa, Italy, 2 October 2010
"[T]his is a many-faceted and often gripping novel... The author is a master of different styles: the young Russian’s fluent but naïve and often ungrammatical Swedish, the killer’s pathological thoughts, the soldier’s mental anguish, the formal style of a cultured, aristocratic recluse" - Irene Scobbie, Swedish Book Review, United Kingdom, 2011:1
"[It] has quickly entered the Italian list of bestsellers. It is a first novel written by a university professor in Uppsala already enrolled in the company of masters of the thriller arriving from the cold." - Io Donna, Italy, October 2010
Hide Me in Your Heart (Göm mig i ditt hjärta, 2010)
Söderströms - ISBN: 9789515227409
Nine-year-old Petra disappears in the small town of Forshälla, in the Swedish-speaking part of Finland. Detective Harald Lindmark is put on the case and he is haunted by the the unresolved abduction of a young boy the year before. It must not happen again!
The second crime novel by Torsten Pettersson, Hide Me in Your Heart (Göm mig i ditt hjärta), continues to follow the thoughtful detective Harald Lindmark, introduced to readers in the debut novel Give Me Your Eyes (2008). Following the international success of Pettersson's first crime novel, Hide Me in Your Heart has been translated into Italian, French, Czech and Danish, and has received positive reviews.
"A complex drama well mastered by the author who allows himself a finale rich in coups de théatre". - Famiglia Cristiana, Italy, 23 October 2011
"The novel enters with full steam on the levels of both suspense and characterization… a very entertaining and thrilling page-turner... both well-written and exciting..." – Janne Wass, Ny Tid, Finland, 10 September 2010
"[A] skilfully constructed plot which efficiently and to great effect capitalizes on unpredictable turns of event... Hide Me in Your Heart more than holds its own in the stiff competition within the genre..." – Bror Rönnholm, Åbo Underrättelser, Finland, 29 September 2010
"The suspense mounts as points of access multiply." - Kerstin Matz, BTJ Bibliotekstjänst, Sweden, 2010
"For aficionados of the thrillers arriving from the cold North, after Give Me Your Eyes superintendent Harald Lindmark in Hide Me in Your Heart grapples with a small girl running away from home, a kidnapping which never took place, another crime which took place but where the guilty party was never brought to book." - D - la Repubblica, Italy, 29 September 2011
Hitler's Enemies (Hitlers fiender, 2013)
Lindelöws Bokförlag - ISBN-13: 9789185379712
In this political thriller, Torsten Pettersson immerses the reader in the Berlin of the 1930s. A string of murders of SS-men becomes a serious concern for the SS-chief Heinrich Himmler. Swedish-born psychologist Richard Halder is called in to give a psychiatric evaluation of the matter. Halder also ha a secret mission: to find a missing railway worker, whose wife suspects that he has started to spy on the Nazis. Halder's contacts with a socialist previously tortured by the Nazis turn out to be dangerous in a city where the Night of Broken Glass is about to take place.
Hitler's Enemies has enjoyed critical success and praise, both for the nervewracking suspense and for the accuracy of the historical details. It has been translated into Italian and Czech.
"Hitler’s Enemies is an engaging, colourful and lively depiction of one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating and horrifying places, Berlin on the eve of WW II... On the surface Hitler’s Enemies is a thriller, and its well-paced plot, original settings and lively set of characters hold the reader in thrall. But it is also a book which poses thought-provoking and perennially relevant questions about our responsibility for the society we live in." - Catrin Ormestad in Upsala Nya Tidning, Sweden, October 9, 2013
"Pettersson uses historically authentic details to sketch the disturbing milieu and atmosphere which dominated this place at this time in history. The plot of the novel functions as a backbone around which the author depicts scenes with a real historical background such as Himmler’s incendiary Nazi speeches, the Night of Broken Glass and the deportation of Jews to Sachsenhausen." - Anna Jansson, BTJ Bibliotekstjänst, Sweden, September 2013
"It feels rewarding to be given a more profound picture of the various roles in which people find themselves during this period preceding the Holocaust. Torsten Pettersson generally succeeds in engendering psychological understanding for benefactors, murderers, victims as well as collaborators." - Lisa Gidelöf - Ergo, Sweden, 7 October 2013
Poetry and short stories
Besvärjelse (Incantation). Helsinki: Söderströms, 1985.
Ser du dem inte? (Don’t You See Them?). Helsinki: Söderströms, 1987.
Solen är en tunnel (The Sun Is a Tunnel). Helsinki: Söderströms, 1989.
Livets namn är alltid (The Name of Life Is Always). Helsinki: Söderströms, 1994.
Det finns inget annat (There Is Nothing Else). Helsinki: Söderströms, 1999.
Varje dag (Every Day). Helsinki: Söderströms, 2002.
Mörkret. Det börjar. Glansen. Den varar (The Darkness. It Begins. The Sheen. It Remains). Helsinki: Söderströms and Uppsala: Edition Edda, 2005.
Jag ser en stjärna. Ett diktat porträtt av Carl von Linné (I See a Star: A Portrait in Poems of Carl Linnaeus). Helsinki: Söderströms and Uppsala: Edition Edda, 2007.
Seendets rike. Dikter (The Realm of Seeing. Poems). Helsinki: Söderströms, 2009.
Skapa den sol som inte finns. Hundra år av finsk lyrik i tolkning av Torsten Pettersson (Create the Sun That Is Not There. A Century of Finnish Poetry Translated by Torsten Pettersson). Helsinki: Schildts & Söderströms and Skellefteå: Norma, 2012.
Vargskallen och andra berättelser (The Wolf’s Skull and Other Stories). Helsinki: Söderströms, 1991.
Click here for a comprehensive list of the academic publications of Torsten Pettersson in his role as professor of literature at Uppsala University in Sweden.