Danish author S.J. Gazan established herself as an international talent to watch with her debut thriller novel, The Dinosaur Feather. In addition to being named "Crime Novel of the Decade" by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, NPR's Maureen Corrigan called it her favorite mystery of 2013, and The Wall Street Journal's Tom Nolan placed it in his year-end top ten list. Now, Gazan's much-anticipated follow-up is here, bringing back maverick policeman Soren Marhauge. In The Arc of the Swallow, a perilous investigation reveals a profit-motivated conspiracy involving the upper reaches of Big Pharma, government, and academia. Biology Ph.D. candidate Marie Skov is devastated when, on the same day as her mother's death, her mentor Kristian Storm apparently kills himself. Storm had been facing academic dishonesty charges, as well as heated criticism of his research on a vaccine for African children--that suggested the vaccine was causing more harm than it was preventing. Skov is skeptical that the death was a suicide. She knows Storm's research on the vaccine was sound, and learns that his on-site work in Guinea-Bissau was marred by intimidation, sabotaged data, and the suspicious death of another scientist. She also learns that in his final days, Storm felt he was being followed by a blue Ford with tinted windows. Soon afterwards, a blue Ford with tinted windows parks across from Skov's home. The police have no interest in re-examining the official narrative. But Marhauge shares Skov's desire for answers, and defies his superiors to help her investigate. They receive unlikely help from a Nobel Prize-winning rival of Storm's, and find themselves on a perilous trail that leads to Big Pharma and the World Health Organization. Interwoven in this thrilling storyline are deeply-moving portraits of Skov's troubled family and Marhauge's tenuous relationship with his girlfriend, another biologist. The result is a complex page-turner that establishes S.J. Gazan (herself a biologist) as a world-class author at the beginning of a formidable career.
About the Author
S.J. Gazan graduated from the University of Copenhagen with a graduate degree in biology. By incorporating science with murder, and recognizing the secrets and drama of everyday life, Sissel-Jo Gazan has found a unique style that makes her stand out on the Scandinavian crime writing scene. Her debut work of crime fiction, The Dinosaur Feather, was awarded the 2008 Denmark Radio Literature Prize for Best Novel of the Year and went on to become an international bestseller. The Danish Broadcasting Corporation voted The Dinosaur Feather the Crime Novel of the Decade, and in January 2013, it was awarded the Literature Prize of the Ambassadors of the French-Speaking Countries. The Dinosaur Feather made the top 10 lists of 2014 for both The Wall Street Journal and NPR. It has been sold into more than a dozen countries. Gazan lives in Berlin with her husband and two children.
International Praise for The Arc of the Swallow
“An amazingly suspenseful scientific thriller… you will be entertained, provoked, and educated along the way. One of the best [crime novels] I have read, and one you should treat yourself to." —Julia Lahme, Femina (Denmark)
“Sissel-Jo Gazan once again demonstrates the careful composition and genre skill that is needed to create a crime novel with more to offer… It has taken her five years to get there, and she scores highly on all the components that an entertaining and challenging crime novel should contain." —Dina Sorensen, Politiken (Denmark)
"Brutal, elegant, and complex scientific thriller... [Gazan's] plot totally rocks." —Marie Louise Kjølbye, Information (Denmark)
Praise for The Dinosaur Feather
“My best mystery of the year turns out to be yet another stunner from Scandinavia. I could be wrong (but I don't think I am) when I say that Gazan disposes of a murder victim here by an infernal means that no other mystery writer‑not even the resourceful Dame Agatha‑ever concocted.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR. "Favorite 10 Books of 2013."
“Formidable and satisfying . . . in the author's menacing world, sins of emotional cowardice and betrayal can be just as awful as offenses against the criminal code.” —Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal (selected as one of the top ten mysteries of 2013)
“The asides—the dissemination of DNA, the structure of dinosaur skulls—prove as intriguing as the central mystery. A top-flight thriller that's poisonous, smart and outrageously entertaining.” —Christopher Fowler, Financial Times
“Simply put, The Dinosaur Feather is the weirdest and most ingenious new mystery I've read in years . . . it will be obvious to readers why Gazan's novel would be the leader of almost any pack. Moody and intricate, The Dinosaur Feather is every bit as unforgettable as its creepy title.” —Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
“Skulls, feathers, claws and winged flight‑all are part of an ongoing scientific controversy about the evolution of birds that winds through the pages of Danish author S.J. Gazan's absorbing debut thriller.” —Barbra Clark, BookPage
“Gazan's brainy thriller . . . Gazan orchestrates the suspenseful action and overlapping lives of her complex characters with deceptive ease . . . [A] moving exploration of such broader themes as parenthood, love, and the potentially poisonous results of living with lies.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Intelligently plotted and psychologically believable.” —Marcel Berlins, The Times
“Imaginative . . . a book with an independent, capable female lead, and one in which scientific research is central.” —Maxine Clark, Eurocrime