Leif Davidsen is a Danish author born in 1950. He was educated as a journalist and in 1977 started working in Spain as a freelance journalist for Danmarks Radio (the Danish radio/TV broadcasting company) and some Danish newspapers.
Starting in 1980 Leif Davidsen visited Russia on many trips to make news reports for Danmarks Radio, and in the years 1984 - 1988 he was stationed in Moscow as DR's Russian correspondent.
Mr. Davidsen started writing books while he was working for DR. His first book was published in 1984 and has been followed by eight others. As his success as an author increased he reduced his workload as a journalist. He left DR in 1999 but says that he is still available for freelance journalistic jobs.
Classifying Leif Davidsen's books
Leif Davidsen's books can be classified as thrillers, but they are more than that. The personalities of the characters are very important and there is always a lot of information about social and historical conditions. Mr. Davidsen shows a keen interest and great insight into what has happened in Europe (and to a lesser extent the rest of the world) from the late 1960's until the present. There is typically also a romantic element woven into each story, although this aspect does not particularly appeal to me.
I find it interesting that Mr. Davidsen is quoted as saying the following during a talk held in the fall of 2004 (my translation): "In thrillers an author has the chance to present his opinions on great questions like life and death. Because even though a thriller is more dramatic, it is still a reflection of daily life, and a good novel can be used to tell about society and what is happening, better than most documentary films."
Many of Leif Davidsen's books have been translated to other languages. Unfortunately, not all of them are available in English, at least not yet. In Denmark some movies and a TV series have been made based on some of his books.
Leif Davidsen on the Internet
Mr. Davidsen does not have any official web site, and I have not found any good web sites about him in English. Here is a one-page profile of him: http://www.danishliterature.info/2d9000c/Action/002/fid/72
The following French web page contains an overview of Leif Davidsen's books that have been translated to French: http://www.leif-davidsen.net
Books by Leif Davidsen
In the following list there are only links available for the editions that happen to be listed here at Amazon.com. You should be able to find the other editions elsewhere on the Internet.
'Uhellige Alliancer' (1984), 'Unholy Alliance' and The Sardine Deception (English translations). This is Leif Davidsen's first book and takes place mostly in Spain.
'Den Sidste Spion' (1991), Le dernier espion (French translation). The second book in "The Russian trilogy". It takes place when the Berlin Wall falls, and involves the hunt for a highly-placed Russian spy in the Danish administration. I've read and reviewed this book. My rating: 4 stars. ****
'Den Troskyldige Russer' (1993), Un Russe candide (French translation). The final book in "The Russian trilogy".
'Forræderen og andre historier' (1995). A collection of short stories.
Lime's billede: Roman (Danish Edition) (1998), Lime's Photograph (English translation), 'La Photo de Lime' (French translation), Der Augenblick der Wahrheit. (German translation). Peter Lime, a Danish photographer living in Spain, suffers a devastating tragedy. Some of the book consists of flashbacks of European history during the last 30 years as Peter tries to discover what happened to him and why. This book won Leif Davidsen a pan-Scandinavian prize for best crime novel of the year. I've read and reviewed this book. My rating: 4 stars. ****
De gode søstre: Roman (Danish Edition) (2001), 'Femme de Bratislavia' (French translation), 'Die Guten Schwestern' (German translation). This book is in some ways a continuation of "Den Serbiske Dansker" in that ex-Yugoslavia again plays a role, and the good guy is once again Per Toftlund.
'Fjenden i spejlet' (2004), 'L'Ennemi dans le Miroir' (French translation), 'Der Feind im Spiegel' (German translation). The 11 Sept. 2001 terrorist strike against the USA is the starting point for this book. The American war on terrorism and the way in which this war highlights the clash between European and Arab/Muslim cultures in Europe is a major element in the story. I've read this book and rate it 4 stars. ****
(I can't review the book until it gets listed here at Amazon.com.)
'Den ukendte hustru' (The Unknown Wife) (2006). Leif Davidsen's newest book, once again set in Russia. A Danish man and his Russian-born wife are on vacation in Russia, and the wife disappears. This leads to a long and involved search to discover what has happened to the wife, and who she really is.
Rennie Petersen, created April 2005, last updated 30 Nov. 2006.