Welcome… - 2013-08-17

… to my web-site! I am a journalist, a writer and an international trainer of journalists. Just a few words about myself: I am born in 1951 in my home country Sweden, married to Hong Vu who has a PhD-degree from the University of Westminster in London, and is employed in the Stockholm school authority. Together we have a daughter born in 2011 and a son born in 2013. We both have grown-up children from previous marriages. We live in the Stockholm area, but also at times in Hanoi, Vietnam. Earlier in life, I have lived in Berkeley, California; and in London, Jerusalem and New Delhi.

I have been a journalist for more than 40 years, and even if I covered a lot of ground, I am mostly happy with what my TV-documentary “Stolen Childhood” (Swedish Television 2005) resulted in. The film was about abuses to children in a communal childcare home 1955-1975, and only three weeks later the government decided to launch a nationwide inquiry into the treatment of the children that had been taken from their parents to be placed in institutions or foster homes. The inquiry grew to be one of the largest in the world on a similar issue and was not finished until 2011. After that, the state offered the abused children (then grown-up men and women) an unconditional excuse in a special ceremony with the Swedish queen present. The thousands of victims were being offered a compensation of 250 000 SEK each, equivalent to almost 30 000 USD.

I have produced two follow-up documentaries (2009 and 2012) and published a book on the subject in 2014.

In 2020 Swedish Radio published a series of documentaries about the conditions in the Swedish mental hospital ”Vipeholm” during the mid-20th century, which I took the initative to. In 2021 I was awarded the Swedish Grand Price for Journalism, together with my two colleagues behind the series. This award can be described as the Swedish Pulitzer price. The same year, I published a book about this institution.

As a writer I have also published seven novels, of which five are crime stories and two are thrillers. The novels have been published in more than ten languages. One of them, “the Sunday man”, reached sales rank 4 of all books on German the summer of 2009. Another book, “the Borderland”, was short-listed in France as best crime novel in Europe 2010. Both these books were nominated as best crime novel of the year in Sweden. The latest novel, “the man who returned” was published in 2018. I have also written other books with investigative reportages than the two above mentioned.

Since 1997 I have trained professional journalists (further education) on behalf of the Swedish Fojo institute, first in Palestine, later in Vietnam and also in Sri Lanka. My areas are Investigative journalism and TV-skills.


Mordet på Olof Palme (the murder of Olof Palme), Ordfront 1987.
Kommunistjägarna (The Communist hunters, together with Jonas Gummesson), Ordfront 1990.
Pengar pengar (Money money), Brevskolan 1993
Första stenen (First stone), Norstedts 2001
Sjung som en fågel (Sing like a bird), Norstedts 2002
Den döda vinkeln (the dead angle), Norstedts 2003
Söndagsmannen (the Sunday man), Norstedts 2004
Ockupanterna (the Occupiers), Norstedts 2005
Gränslandet (the Borderland), Norstedts 2007
Drakens år (the Dragon year), Norstedts 2011                                              Stulen barndom (Stolen Childhood) Bonniers 2014                                       Göra TV, helt enkelt (Handbook in TV-skills), Ordfront 2016                Mannen som kom tillbaka (The man who Returned) Mai Linh förlag, 2018 Idiotanstalten (The ”idiot” institution), Kaunitz-Olsson, 2021

Reviews - 2013-08-17

Reviews (for more, go to

For the Boarderland (2007):
”This short but intense novel is exciting from beginning to end. Every reader will devour this excellent detective novel.”
Vers l’avenir (France)

”This amazing crime novel, written by Swedish novelist Thomas Kanger, is a sensitive and hopeful portrayal of the legacy of hatred, madness and forgiveness.”
La Liberté (France)

”In this breathtaking novel, Thomas Kanger evokes a tragic period in the history of former Yugoslavia. /…/ Thomas Kanger is a sensitive author, but without sentimentality; his fairy tales are very cruel.”
La Gazette (France)

”Former great reporter, Thomas Kanger uses his knowledge of conflicts in former Yugoslavia to build a very strong and nuanced story.”
Le journal de la Haute-Marne (France)

”If there is one character in crime fiction that deserves to be dubbed a spiritual relative of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, it would have to be Thomas Kanger’s saucy inspector Elina Wiik, gifted and self-willed. In this fifth novel in the series, Elina Wiik quits her job, takes a leave of absence and goes to Italy. There, she meets a man, falls head over heels in love – and then, of course, everything very much goes to hell. Which leads to Elina Wiik finding herself in small peasant villages in the Balkans, carrying out a highly private investigation. The plot is full of dramatic turns, but works nonetheless, because Kanger knows how to stick with his effective, austere framework. He manages to mirror world politics through his characters, so that the big events become sadly personal. In the middle of all of this stands Elina Wiik, whose only comfort is to find out the truth.”
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
”One of the best. With the fifth book about Elina Wiik, Kanger confirms that he is one of the best crime authors in Sweden, perhaps the very foremost at this time. /…/ Read it!”
SIF-tidningen (Sweden)

”This is a story about passion and love, about responsibility and survival, about sudden, violent death. /…/ It is a suggestive and at times hair-raising narrative…”
Västervikstidningen (Sweden)

”With The Borderland, Thomas Kanger once again proves that he definitely belongs in the league of the best crime writers in the country. /…/ An efficient prose, good characterization and a profound story are all that you need. Kanger has these things, and you can tell that he knows his stuff. Throughout his writing, Kanger has constantly chosen to take the road less traveled by. In short, he has something to tell us that is miles beyond the worn-out theme ”someone is killed, police finds the killer”. The novel is of such quality that it should be widely read among those who categorically state ”Crime is not for me.” They don’t know what they’re missing out on by continuing to ignore Thomas Kanger.”
Kristianstadsbladet (Sweden)

”[The Borderland] offers surprise effects in abundance, maintains the pace at a constant high and provides suspenseful reading.”
Journalisten (Sweden)

”Anne Holt likes Thomas Kanger, and so do I. He writes about Inspector Elina Wiik in Västerås and the themes are different from book to book, but always equally captivating.”
Västerbottens Folkblad (Sweden)

For the Ockupiers (2005):
”[Kanger] lays a sharp and entertaining puzzle in the world of finance and politics. /…/ There is an engaging energy in his construction of a complex and global crime.

Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)

”Kanger’s language is that of the determined reporter’s. Concise but effective. The setting and the plot are as precisely adapted as a ticking bomb. The portrayals of the terrorists are brilliant… Kanger has told an immensely good story.”
Kristianstadsbladet (Sweden)

”The Hostage Takers by Thomas Kanger is a thriller with an intrigue that could become a reality. Kanger is a master of suspense but also a skilled depicter of modern society. He picks up on our fears and creates literature out of them. And he does it very well. /…/ It’s an imaginary story but not unrealistic. That’s why it’s all the more frightening and doesn’t stop at just being an entertaining crime novel. Thomas Kanger has written several crime novels, some with razor-sharp social criticism, and he does not shy away from subjects that others turn a blind eye to. With [The Hostage Takers] he takes another step in the right direction.”
Västervikstidningen (Sweden)

”Thomas Kanger writes an incredibly tight and suspenseful thriller, which simply must lead to his true international breakthrough. The Hostage Takers is among the very best I’ve read in the genre.”
Ystads Allehanda (Sweden)

For The Sunday man (2004):
”The Sunday Man is a very well-written and breathtaking crime novel with a surprising ending.”
La Liberté (France)

”Thomas Kanger has written a solid novel about a moody Swedish society still marked by the unsolved murder of former prime minister Olof Palme.”
Le Maine Libre (France)

”This intriguing novel with a well-crafted plot is a realistic portrayal of Swedish police, a reflection of the Swedish society.”
Ouest France (France)

”The Sunday Man has an intriguing plot, engaging characters and a surprising ending; three good reasons to discover this Swedish author translated for the first time in French.”
Prima (France)

”Born in 1951, Thomas Kanger is a great reporter depicting in his novels contemporary Swedish society.”
Le Journal Toulousain (France)
”A great and original thriller. Nothing to do with the style of American thrillers, but still very accomplished.”
Le courrier indépendant (France)

”First work published in French written by this very popular Swedish author, The Sunday Man is a very mature novel. /…/ With The Sunday Man, Thomas Kanger has written an amazing story, in line with the best Scandinavian detective novels. Henning Mankell and Arnaldur Indridason enthusiasts around the world will love it.”
Ence noire (France)

”The Sunday Man is the best crime novel I’ve read this far into the year. This is an excellent police procedural: well-plotted, with impressive characterization and use of setting. Kanger seems to go from strength to strength.”
Folket i Bild/Kulturfront (Sweden)

”Best crime novel of the year? The best I’ve read this year, and I’ve read quite a few. Here is a Swede definitely worth acquainting yourself with. What a thriller!”
Drammens tidning (Norway) (Five stars out of six)

”A first-rate crime novel.”
Vecko-Revyn (Sweden)
”Thomas Kanger has truly established himself as one of the best crime writers we have. In his new novel, The Sunday Man, he is spot on all through the book. /…/ a believable and suspenseful story with a suprising denouement.”
Norrbottens-Kuriren (Sweden)

”A sophisticated thriller.”
Verdens Gang (Norway) (Five stars out of six)

”One of the best, if not the best, crime novel I’ve read this year. /…/ Kanger knows his stuff.”
Östran (Sweden)

”The Sunday Man is a real page-turner, with a plot that is as sophisticated as it is high in suspense.”
Mersmak (Sweden)

”With [The Sunday Man], Thomas Kanger cements his position as one of the most interesting crime writers in Sweden of today.”
Jakobstads Tidning (Finland)

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