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  • Writer's pictureastrid v.j.

The Bloodbath Continues

The Last Vasa series: Insight and Inspiration


In Sweden, up until recently, crime has been the province of crime thrillers, which are the country’s national genre. Yes, there has been a long history of drug crime, but in comparison to other places in the world, it’s always been pretty low key, especially when it comes to the violent crime that goes hand in hand with the drugs.


All of that has changed significantly in the past decade with an immense spike in the past two years. Where before, gun deaths were an absolute rarity, there have been 48 deaths in 2023, result of gun violence. Of those 16 deaths took Place between 7 September and 20 October and it is estimated that the total number of deaths from gun violence will reach 56 total deaths by the end of this year.


2022 saw 62 deaths from gun violence, the highest ever recorded.


This backdrop of the rising crime rates in Sweden, especially the very recent events of gang infighting in the Stockholm region during September and October of 2023, will feature throughout the series. The situation has reached a stage where I am even considering adding a fourth book to include the most recent wave of violence, which will not be included in Milena’s Crown, the third book in the series, which is planned to span up until August of 2023.


Although the Last Vasa series has a strong superhero feel, I will be tapping into the elements of quintessential Swedish crime thrillers. Many Swedes devour this genre of fiction and in staying true to the culture, I would like to echo some of that in my own series.


An aside...


Since I am a life coach, and I work quite a bit with the Law of Attraction, I have had a thought regarding the rising crime rates. LOA puts forward the idea that we receive what we focus our attention on. The logic dictates that when we fixate on anxious thoughts, we will experience more situations to increase our anxiety, while if we place our attention on elevating ourselves to a lighter emotional state, our experiences match that with greater success and more to be happy about. To me, it doesn’t seem a far stretch that the Swedish fixation on what is called Nordic/Scandinavian Noir could have something to do with the increase in violent crime (at an energetic level).


For what it’s worth, I prefer to read happy books with little to no violence. The more uplifting, the better. In my personal life I can see that somewhat reflected in my personal little fairytale, but maybe I am stretching a little far here…


Now, back to more serious considerations. Due to the immense upswing in recent weeks, the Swedish military has been brought in to help the police handle the situation. I am glad to say there’s no sign of martial law being implemented at this stage. Mostly, the military personnel are helping with things outside of investigations, like piloting helicopters and helping with paperwork. It is also good to know the government is trying to deal with this in reasonable ways.


My heart goes out to the affected families, especially the innocent bystanders who’ve been caught in the crossfire. It’s a truly horrifying situation and I hope the current conflict between gang factions will soon resolve itself, for that’s how these things tend to simmer down. Then again, perhaps Milena has the right approach in wanted to completely eradicate crime in the country. We’ll have to see if her pipe dream is possible.

Next time, I’ll be sharing about my insights about Sweden’s first king, a man who started out as a refugee and achieved the ultimate success despite everything being stacked against him.


If you’d like to find out more about the Last Vasa series, including excerpts from the books as they are written, as well as opportunities to join my beta reader and advance reviewer teams, join my author newsletter here.


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