Skip to main content

Alvtegen, Karin 1965–

Alvtegen, Karin 1965–

(Karin Anna Alvtegen)

PERSONAL: Born June 8, 1965, in Huskvarna, Sweden; daughter of two teachers; married; children: two.

ADDRESSES: Home—Stockholm, Sweden. Agent—Salomonsson Agency, P.O. Box 2337, 103 18 Stockholm, Sweden.

CAREER: Writer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Glass Key award for best Scandinavian crime novel, 2000, and Silverpocket award, 2002, both for Saknad; Goldpocket award, 2004, for Svek.



Skuld, [Sweden], 1998, translation by Anna Paterson published as Guilt, Canongate (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2006.

Saknad, [Sweden], 2000, translation by Anna Paterson published as Missing, Canongate (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2003.

Svek, [Sweden], 2003, translation by Steven T. Murray published as Betrayal, Canongate (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2005.

Skam (title means "Shame"), [Sweden], 2005.

Alvtegen's works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

ADAPTATIONS: Missing was adapted by Jimmy Gardner as a film for SMG TV Productions.

SIDELIGHTS: Karin Alvtegen, niece of famous Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, is a best-selling author of thriller novels in her homeland of Sweden. Alvtegen never aspired to be an author until after a tragic occurrence in her family. In 1993 one of her two brothers, Magnus, died while mountain climbing. Stricken by the sudden realization of life's uncertainties, Alvtegen found herself paralyzed by frequent panic attacks for several years. "Then one morning," she related on her Web site, "I woke up with the beginning of a story in my head. I imagined someone being in the same state as me, but with the courage to break his own entrenchment." The idea inspired the character of Peter Brolin in her debut novel, Skuld, which was later translated as Guilt. Writing helped Alvtegen overcome her panic attacks by focusing on a goal. Since then, she has published several more novels that have been well received by reading audiences.

Guilt is about how, in a case of mistaken identity, Brolin is paid to deliver a package that contains something horrifying. Pursued by others who want the package, Brolin can only survive if he is able to face up to his own past. Other novels by Alvtegen have also tended to feature tormented protagonists, such as Skam ("Shame"), which is about a young girl whose zealously religious parents force her to suppress her own sexuality as well as the family's darkest secret, and Saknad, translated as Missing, which is about a homeless woman escaping her past only to find herself accused of murdering someone she does not even know. Writing in a Spectator review, Diana Hendry commented on how, in Missing, Alvtegen combines two main plots involving the crime and the protagonist Sibylla's coming-of-age struggles. Although Hendry felt that these elements "are skillfully woven together," she further commented that she "didn't emerge from the book knowing more about how it really feels to be homeless." On the other hand, Paul Richmond called Missing "a fine psychological mystery/thriller" in his Reviewing the Evidence online assessment. Contrary to Hendry, Richmond felt that "Alvtegen excels … in creating a haunting yet engaging character portrait of a homeless person."



Spectator, July 12, 2003, Diana Hendry, "Watching Panties Dry," review of Missing, p. 39.


Karin Alvtegen Home Page, (January 21, 2006).

Reviewing the Evidence, (October 1, 2003), Paul Richmond, review of Missing.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Alvtegen, Karin 1965–." Contemporary Authors. . 19 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Alvtegen, Karin 1965–." Contemporary Authors. . (April 19, 2019).

"Alvtegen, Karin 1965–." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved April 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.