Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

World Premiere Held in Berwick Tonight; Berwick's Film Festival Opens Tonight with a World and a European Premiere, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

World Premiere Held in Berwick Tonight; Berwick's Film Festival Opens Tonight with a World and a European Premiere, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

DESCRIBED by one British newspaper as "the hottest female writer in Sweden at the moment," Camilla Lackberg has sold 9m books. This includes 4.5m sold in her native country whose population is only twice that number. One high profile fan is the North East's own Val McDermid who has described Lackberg's work as "Scandinavian crime with a warm heart to melt the ice". That's homage paid by one successful crime writer to another.

But you do sometimes wonder what dark realm of the imagination these people inhabit.

Lackberg's novel The Hidden Child begins with a description of a room which, owing to its resident corpse, has become "a haven for insects and maggots". Nice!

Loads of people love this kind of thing, of course. The sales notched up by other Swedish masters of the crime genre, Henning Mankell and the late Stieg Larsson, prove as much.

Clearly it is something of a coup for Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival that it will open tonight with the European premiere of the film adaptation of The Hidden Child.

Full credit to festival director Melanie Iredale. Having assigned this year's festival the theme North by North East, she was free to explore links between this region and Scandinavia, thereby indulging her not-so-secret passion.

"I'm really into Scandinavian film and we did go out looking for a Scandinavian thriller to open the festival," she says.

"Camilla Lackberg is really interesting. Her books are set in Fjallbacka which is a small and idyllic fishing town on the west coast of Sweden.

"A bit like Midsomer Murders, it's one of those places where you wouldn't think anything horrible would ever happen.

"Actually, though, it's full of murders. It's enough to put you off going there."

Melanie is surely being a little disingenuous here. …

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