This month we released the English audiobook and ebook sequel to Niels Krause-Kjær’s bestselling political thriller ‘Solitaire’. Book 2 is entitled ‘Darklands’ and is the perfect fix for fans of TV shows like ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Borgen’. The first novel had massive success in Denmark and was adapted into the award-winning film “King’s Game” by Nikolaj Arcel, starring Anders W. Berthelsen, Søren Pilmark and Lars Mikkelsen.
In 2000, journalist and present-day TV host Niels Krause-Kjær shocked the whole country when he made his debut as author of an intense new political thriller. Following his time as the press chief for the Danish Conservative Party’s Parliamentary Group, he took to writing a novel that not only presented this fast-paced environment in the highest calibre, but also struck a chord in a fraught political landscape.
19 years on from ‘Solitaire’
Last year Saga brought you the long-awaited English digital formats of ‘Solitaire’, and we definitely wanted to spare you the 19-year wait that Danish readers had to endure for the sequel. When asked why a sequel was coming almost two decades later, Krause-Kjær commented “It is only now that the story has become a pressing matter – things have happened both in Denmark and in the West for a story to be written”.
The inspiration behind ‘Darklands’
“When working on ‘Darklands’ I was thinking “what if the good guys – the ones with pleasant opinions, the ones who built our society, the ones we have trusted and continue to trust – what if the good guys become evil?” What would society then look like? I thought a little bit more about this, and then I wrote a novel about it.” the author explained.
Could election fraud happen in Denmark – is it even possible?
Krause-Kjær reflects on how Denmark and Finland are said to have most secure electoral systems in the world. But having consulted the best on the subject – if it is possible, then ‘Darklands’ is the way!
The result of the author’s 6-month work camp on a small island in the Mediterranean
Looking back on the writing process for ‘Darklands’, Krause-Kjær comments that “For ‘Darklands’, my wife and I tore half a year out of the calendar and took the dog to Gozo – an island off the coast of Malta. 5-6 hours of writing every day on the terrace. A walk with the dog. A long run and a dip in the sea followed by late dinner and a bottle of wine to share. To bed, up, 5-6 hours of writing … and so on. It worked!”
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Darklands by Niels Krause-Kjær
Release Date: 2nd March, 2022
Suspicion of fraud at the highest level turns out to have threads reaching far into Danish democracy.
A young civil servant in the Ministry of the Interior is murdered the day before parliamentary elections are called. The journalist Ulrik Torp, who after a round of job cuts has ended up on social security, is sent by the Job Centre to a company internship at the Daily News and starts writing about the murder. The young civil servant had allegedly got wind of a widespread deception and, together with a student intern, Torp stumbles upon the trail of a small circle of former politicians and top officials who seem ready to use all means at their disposal to defend society against an illiberal agenda ruled by tweets and Facebook posts.
Like “Solitaire”, “Darklands” moves in the border zone between media and politics, describing current political dilemmas, and drawing on the factual story about The Firm – a private intelligence service set up in Denmark after World War II and allegedly closed down in the 1960s – in a contemporary context.