Is Swedish crime writer Robert Karjel on his way to becoming the next international Swedish crime success? According to an article in Dagens Nyheter, he might very well be. At the recent book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, publishers from all over the world fought over the book ”De redan döda” (also known as ”The Swede”). American Harper Collins made the largest transaction, paying ”a substantial six figure sum” in dollars for the English-language rights. In that deal a sequel is also included. Says Karjel to DN: ”I still haven’t recovered from the Frankfurt fair.

The book sold left and right. It’s incredibly amazing, yet strange. I have tried to take it in, but it’s still difficult to understand.” Karjel’s thrillers take place in international arenas, and he admits he’s dreamed about selling his books abroad as well. In Frankfurt, ”The Swede” was compared to le Carré meets ”Homeland,” as an action-filled thriller in which Swedish security agent Ernst Grip’s mission is to question a terrorist suspect in the U.S. The story takes the reader back to the tsunami in Thailand in 2004. As if that wasn’t enough, the book is also going to become an American television series, keeping the title ”The Swede.” The Sweden-based production company Yellow Bird will produce the series along with the American studio Chernin, responsible for, among other projects, the Tom Cruise film ”Oblivion” and the series ”New Girl.” Yellow Bird’s Marianne Gray says it was after reading Dagens Nyheter’s review of Karjel’s book that she got interested. She adds that it soon became clear it was a story made to be filmed, but with a budget most Swedish television companies can't afford. ”(The story) takes place in Texas and Thailand, so we turned to Chernin, and they got very interested. The plans for the project have come a long way, and there are two actors intended for the two Swedish parts in the series. ”But I cannot tell you here and now who they are,” says Gray. What does this mean for Karjel himself? That he better sharpen his pen and start to write. ”It’s too early to say (if this will turn into a series of books),” Karjel says. ”It’s a new adventure, but the agent Ernst Grip is still the lead character.”