As the Wave of IKEA Noir Continues, Should Dan Brown be Jealous?

“The next Stieg Larsson” label, spread around in the last couple of years by book publicity departments like so much herring, has become tiresome, even to those whose book sales may have benefited from the comparison. Which is why we were so struck by the wry answer given to the inevitable question by Jo Nesbo, the multi-talented Norwegian author of the increasingly popular “Harry Hole” novels.

Interviewed at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, and asked how he felt about being called “the new Stieg Larsson,” Nesbo replied: “It could have been worse – I could have been the new Dan Brown.” 

As The Independent goes on to report, the Norwegian writer’s success — which stands on its own — may be beginning to rival both his late Swedish contemporary and the author of The Da Vinci Code. Apart from the fact that Nesbo is now (according to his publishers) selling one book every 23 seconds, Hollywood success beckons, as Nesbo’s The Snowman is shortly to be filmed by no less than Martin Scorsese.

There is a second reason we were interested in the story: The Dan Brown connection. As readers of The Tattooed Girl may know, we were authors of the bestselling guides to the Dan Brown novels with our Secrets of the Code, Secrets of Angels and Demons, and Secrets of the Lost Symbol. The Hollywood rumor mill continues to swirl with stories about when we will see The Lost Symbol movie. For a while we were given to understand that Dan Brown was trying to write the screenplay himself, but recent word is that screenwriting has been taken over by Danny Strong, who received a lot of attention last week for his work on Game Change, the HBO movie of the Sarah Palin campaign story.

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