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Best Nordic Noir Books You Must Read

Looking for the best Nordic Noir books? Browse our list to find excellent book recommendations on the subject.

1. Nordic Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Film & TV (2013)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadThis information-packed study examines and celebrates books, films, and TV adaptations, from Sjöwall and Wahlöö’s highly influential Martin Beck series through Henning Mankell’s Wallander (subject of three separate TV series) to Stieg Larsson’s groundbreaking The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; cult TV hits such as the Danish The Killing, The Bridge, and the political thriller Borgen; up to the massively successful books and films of the current king of the field, Norway’s Jo Nesbø. It anatomizes the nigh-obsessive appeal of the subject and highlights every key book, film, and TV show. Aimed at both the…
Author(s): Barry Forshaw

2. Swedish Crime Fiction: The making of Nordic Noir (2014)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadWhy have authors from the safe, social welfare state Sweden captivated the minds of the crime fiction readers across the globe? Kerstin Bergman suggests that killer marketing and a widespread curiosità about the “exotic” Nordic welfare states, their waste landscapes and alleged gender equality, has propelled these authors and novels into the international spotlight. Bergman uses this innovative angle to retell the recent history of crime fiction in Sweden, exploring central themes and selecting key authors that have garnered national and international…
Author(s): Kerstin Bergman

3. The Wanderer: A Magnus Iceland Mystery (2018)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadFrom the million-copy bestselling author, perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson, Anne Holt, and The Killing.”Michael Ridpath is trouncing the Scandinavians on their home turf. This is international thriller writing at its best.” PETER JAMESDid Christopher Columbus know the Icelanders discovered America before he sailed there himself? When a young Italian tourist is found brutally murdered at a sacred church in northern Iceland, Magnus Jonson, newly returned to the Reykjavík police force, is called in to investigate. At the scene, he finds a stunned TV crew, there to film a documentary on the life of the legendary Viking, Gudrid the…
Author(s): Michael Ridpath

4. Loner (Oslo Mysteries) (2018)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadWhich is worse, trying to catch a cunning killer leaving decapitated women in the woods, or trying to tame an unconventional forensic psychiatrist that seems determined to go his own way? The Oslo autumn is creeping in with its cold spells and Homicide Detective Julia Ryland is feeling pretty content with her team of three, but when the FBI behavioral analyst, Alexander Smith, is thrust upon her, the crisp autumn air doesn’t feel as refreshing anymore. A young Icelander is found dead, an arrow piercing his heart and the extensive list of his…
Author(s): Hildur Sif Thorarensen, Dmitri Antonov

5. The Keeper of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel (A Department Q Novel) (2012)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must Read.Carl Mørck used to be one of Denmark’s best homicide detectives. Then a hail of bullets destroyed the lives of two fellow cops, and Carl—who didn’t draw his weapon—blames himself. So a promotion is the last thing he expects. But Department Q is a department of one, and Carl’s got only a stack of cold cases for company. His colleagues snicker, but Carl may have the last laugh, because one file keeps nagging at him: a liberal politician vanished five years earlier and is presumed dead. But she isn’t…
Author(s): Jussi Adler-Olsen, Lisa Hartford

6. We Shall Inherit the Wind (Varg Veum Series) (2015)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must Read1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he’s made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then, in one of the most heart-stopping scenes in crime fiction, the first body appears… A chilling, timeless story of love, revenge and desire, We Shall Inherit…
Author(s): Gunnar Staalesen, Don Bartlett

7. When it Grows Dark (William Wisting Series) (2017)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadStavern, Norway 1983: Christmas is approaching, snow is falling heavily, and a young ambitious policeman named William Wisting has just become the father of twins. He is edged off the investigation of a brutal robbery by more experienced officers, but soon he is on another case that is not only unsolved but has not even been recognized as murder. Forgotten in a dilapidated barn stands a bullet-riddled old car, and it looks as if the driver did not get out alive. This case will shape Wisting as a policeman and give him insight that he will carry with him for the rest of his professional career: generations form an unbroken chain….
Author(s): Jorn Lier Horst

8. Devil’s Star, The: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series) (2017)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadIn the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is found murdered in her flat—with one of her fingers cut off and a tiny red star-shaped diamond placed under her eyelid. An off-the-rails alcoholic barely holding on to his job, Detective Harry Hole is assigned the case with Tom Waaler, a hated colleague whom Harry believes is responsible for the murder of his partner. When another woman is reported missing five days later, and her severed finger turns up adorned with a red star-shaped diamond ring, Harry fears a serial killer is at work. But Hole’s determination to capture a…
Author(s): Jo Nesbo, Don Bartlett

9. 1222 (2011)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must Read1222 metres above sea level, train 601 from Oslo to Bergen careens off iced rails as the worst snowstorm in Norwegian history gathers force around it. Marooned in the high mountains with night falling and the temperature plummeting, its 269 passengers are forced to abandon their snowbound train and decamp to a centuries-old mountain hotel. They ought to be safe from the storm here, but as dawn breaks one of them will be found dead, murdered. With the storm showing no sign of abating, retired police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is asked to investigate….
Author(s): Anne Holt

10. Unrest (The Axel Steen Detective series) ()

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadMulti-award-winning Scandi crime series from the third bestselling author in Denmark. When the bound, hooded corpse of an unidentified man is found propped up against a gravestone in the central cemetery, Axel Steen is assigned the case. Rogue camera footage soon suggests police involvement and links to the demolition of a nearby youth house, teeming with militant left-wing radicals. But Axel soon discovers that many people, both inside and out of the force, have an unusual interest in the case – and in preventing its resolution. With a rapidly worsening heart…
Author(s): Only 19 left in stock – order soon.

11. The Return of the Dancing Master (2005)

 Best Nordic Noir Books You Must ReadWhen retired policeman Herbert Molin is found brutally slaughtered on his remote farm in the northern forests of Sweden, police find strange tracks in the snow — as if someone had been practicing the tango. Stefan Lindman, a young police officer recently diagnosed with mouth cancer, decides to investigate the murder of his former colleague, but is soon enmeshed in a mystifying case with no witnesses and no apparent motives. Terrified of the disease that could take his life, Lindman becomes more and more reckless as he unearths the chilling…
Author(s): Henning Mankell

Best Nordic Noir Books You Must Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some nordic noir books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Nordic Noir, Adaptation, Appropriation

Author(s): Linda Badley, Andrew Nestingen, Jaakko Seppälä
ID: 2700707, Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2020, Size: 7 Mb, Format: pdf

Locating Nordic Noir: From Beck to The Bridge

Author(s): Kim Toft Hansen, Anne Marit Waade
ID: 2152910, Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2017, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Nordic Noir on Page and Screen

Author(s): Steven Peacock (eds.)
ID: 1473846, Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK, Year: 2013, Size: 1 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are truly chart-busters according to Los Angeles Times, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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