The Wednesday Club
By Kjell Westö
An award-winning literary thriller of redemption and revenge, set in 1930s Helsinki, with Europe on the brink of war
1938. Hitler's expansionist policies are arousing both anger and admiration, not least in Helsinki's Wednesday Club. The members of this relaxed gentleman's club are old friends of lawyer Claes Thune. But this year it is apparent that the political unrest in Europe is having an effect on the cohesion of the group.
Thune has recently divorced and is at something of a loss, running his law practice with no great enthusiasm. Luckily he has the assistance of an efficient new secretary, Matilda Wiik.
But behind her polished exterior Mrs Wiik is tormented by memories of the Finnish Civil War, when she experienced horrors she has been trying to forget ever since. And one evening, with the Wednesday Club gathered in Thune's office, she hears a voice she hoped she would never hear again.
She is suddenly plunged back into the past. But this time she is no longer a helpless victim . . .
Born in 1961, Kjell Westö lives in Helsinki. He made his literary debut in 1986, and since then has published poetry, collections of short stories, and novels. His five great novels set in Helsinki in the twentieth century have established him as a leading name among today's Swedish-language writers in Finland. His international breakthrough came in 2006 with the novel Där vi en gang gått (Where Once We Walked), which was translated into most major European languages and for which he was awarded the Finlandia Prize, Finland's most prestigious literary prize. His novel Hägring 38 (The Wednesday Club) was awarded the Nordic Council award 2014.
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- Publication date:
05 May 2016
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Thoughtful and knowledgeable . . . An interesting and instructive book — Jessica Mann, Literary Review.
An extremely impressive achievement — Svenska Dagbladet
A well-constructed, taut narrative that feels fresh, and as tense as a thriller. He has created a story that reaches out through time and space, but in which every component works towards the tragic, vaguely foreshadowed yet still unexpected climax — Hufvudstadsbladet
The Nordic region's most important interpreter of the grand themes of our political history, and how they have affected people's lives and thoughts. — Sveriges Radio
The Wednesday Club is a tense, gripping thriller ... a book one cannot put down or easily forget — Mika Provata-Carlone, Bookanista
Extremely focused and tense: Westö has turned his talent for balanced, attractive storytelling to a sharper, snappier form of crime-writing — Norrbottens Kurir