3.61 (352 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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'Clinch is a dark, atmospheric, powerful thriller, the best debut novel I've read in years' - Lynda La Plante
The first book in the Harry Kvist Trilogy
You can put the gloves on the shelf but it takes a long time to wash their smell from your knuckles.
The writing's on the wall for Harry Kvist. Once a notorious boxer, he now spends his days drinking, and his nights chasing debts amongst the pimps, prostitutes and petty thieves of 1930s Stockholm. When women can't satisfy him, men can. But one biting winter's night he pays a threatening visit to a debtor named Zetterberg, and when the man is found dead shortly afterwards, all eyes are on Kvist.
Determined to avoid yet another stint in prison, Kvist sets out to track down the only person who can clear his name. His hunt will lead him from the city's slums, gangster hideouts and gambling dens to its most opulent hotels and elite nightclubs. It will bring him face to face with bootleggers and whores, aristocrats and murderers. It will be the biggest fight of his life.
Blending noir with gritty violence, Clinch is a visceral, compulsive thriller that packs a punch and leaves you reeling.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20.32mm | 181.44g
  • Pushkin Vertigo
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1782271929
  • 9781782271925
  • 403,666

Review quote

Holmen has Raymond Chandler's rare ability to evoke a character in a few deft strokes -- Lynda La Plante EVENT, Mail on Sunday Best Reads of 2016 Ferociously noir... If Chandler and Hammett had truly walked on the wild side, it would read like Clinch Val McDermid Clinch is a gritty, stylish debut from a Swedish history teacher and in Kvist he has created a brutal anti-hero quite unlike any seen in crime fiction before Express If you're looking for a new addiction, try [Clinch]... it's a tough thriller that packs a punch Daily Star on Sunday A dark, atmospheric, powerful thriller, the best debut novel I've read in years Lynda La Plante A clever plot woven into prose that depicts 1930s Stockholm in a detailed manner... it punches you in the face like one of Kvist's knockout blows. Definitely not for the faint-hearted Crime Scene Atmospheric Scandi retro, but Chandleresque to its core The Sunday Times Crime Club Vivid account of working-class struggle for survival in a city... where poverty and corruption went hand-in-hand for the poor Attitude A ferociously noir revelation of Stockholm between the wars... the sort of novel Chandler and Hammett would have written if they'd been permitted to include sex! -- Val McDermid Sunday Times Crime Club The city that Harry sees around him is very much at one with Harry himself: dirty, violent and cruel, with sickness and pain ever in plain sight... It all feels very convincing Crime Review Martin Holmen has created a remarkable novel that works well at many levels, ticking all the right boxes for the Scandi crime category Thriller Books Journal Gritty, stylish Scandinavian noir from one of Sweden's hottest emerging authors Booklover Clinch is a fabulously classy twist on pulp fiction: it'll be a top-notch summer book for readers looking for something diverting but smart, as long as they don't mind a little blood and bonking Elle Thinks (blog) This is noir writing at its best and you won't want to give this book a miss if you are a fan of this genre The Bookbinder's Daughter (blog) Blending noir with gritty violence, Clinch is a visceral, compulsive thriller that packs a punch and leaves you reeling Col's Criminal Library A debut that rings of Chandler... Holmen has created a unique, equally idiosyncratic as remarkable, debut crime novel Boras Tidning Scandinavian Crime meets Film Noir, the crime novel of the year -- Alexander Bard A great read Expressen Brutally entertaining M-Magasin A real tour de force... a fascinating race through 1930s Stockholm -- Kate Rhodes
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About Martin Holmen

Born in 1974, Martin Holmen studied history, and now teaches at a Stockholm secondary school. Clinch is his first novel, and the first instalment in The Stockholm Trilogy: Down for the Count is published in June 2017 and Slugger will follow in 2018.
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Rating details

352 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 23% (81)
4 32% (112)
3 32% (111)
2 11% (37)
1 3% (11)
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