This web page was created to supplement my presentation to the Luther College Emeriti Colloquium regarding "Nordic Noir," or Skandinavisk Krim (Scandinavian Crime Fiction). It is intended to serve as a resource for anyone interested in reading the wide range of novels that make up that genre. In particular, it will list IN ORDER the works of the authors I discussed in my presentation; in many cases, elements from one novel are carried over into successive works, so reading a series in order is usually very important. In a few cases, it will also include links to authors' official websites, or publishers' author pages, where they are available.

There are a wide range of resources already available on the subject, so rather than attempting to "reinvent the wheel," I will instead provide a link to one of those that I have found very helpful: "Scandinavian Crime Fiction in English Translation" ( It provides more information about those listed here, as well as a large number of other Nordic Noir authors, from all of the Nordic countries. Another useful website is "Euro Crime" (, which also includes European authors from outside Scandinavia.

Most writers trace the origin of Nordic Noir to the Swedish couple, Mai Sjöwall and Per Walöö. Between 1965 and 1975, they wrote the 10-volume "Martin Beck" series. That essentially established the framework for the genre. They were followed by fellow Swedes, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. Mankell's "Kurt Wallander" series was made into both a movie series and a television series in Sweden, and a television series produced by the BBC. The BBC version, starring Kenneth Branagh, was seen in America as part of the PBS Masterpiece Mysteries. Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" quickly became an international bestseller, and the genre gained international popularity.

Despite individual differences, Nordic Noir writers share a number of common characteristics. In particular, they follow the format of "police procedurals," and use it as a means to critique contemporary society. In particular, the Scandinavian Welfare State is often the target of much of their criticism--not for attempting to do too much, but rather for failing to live up to their expectations for a better society. They use a realistic, precise style, and their characters are often worn down by their own problems. For example, Jo Nesbø's character, Harry Hole, is a sometimes recovering alcoholic, which complicates his relationships with those around him. Their novels also have a definite sense of place, sometimes centering around well-known locales such as Stockholm, Oslo, or Copenhagen, and at other times emphasizing the rural component of their respective countries.

What follows is a brief summary of some of the Nordic Noir authors. There are many others, but these are the ones I am most familiar with. I hope you find this to be a useful resource. (In some cases, the novels in translation appeared under different titles in the UK and the US. I have listed both titles when I have found them.)

Marv Slind
Professor Emeritus of History
Luther College
Decorah, IA 52101


Mai Sjöwall and Per Walöö
Martin Beck Series Roseanna 
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke
The Man on the Balcony  
The Laughing Policeman 
The Fire Engine That Disappeared  
Murder at the Savoy
The Abominable Man  
The Locked Room  
Cop Killer  
The Terrorists  

Henning Mankell
Kurt Wallander Series The Pyramid
Faceless Killers
The Dogs of Riga
The White Lioness
The Man Who Smiled
The Fifth Woman
One Step Behind
Before the Frost with Wallander's Daughter, Linda
An Event in Autumn
The Troubled Man

Camilla Läckberg
("The Swedish Agatha Christie")
Fjällbacka (Erica Falck
& Detective Hedström) Series
The Ice Princess
The Preacher
The Stone Cutter
The Stranger (The Gallows Bird)
The Hidden Child
The Drowning
The Lost Boy
Buried Angels (The Angel Maker’s Wife)
The Ice Child

Håkon Nesser
Inspector van Veeteren Series The Mind’s Eye
Borkmann’s Point
The Return
Woman with Birthmark
The Inspector and Silence
The Unlucky Lottery (Münster’s Case)
Hour of the Wolf
The Weeping Girl
The Strangler’s Honeymoon
The G File

Stieg Larsson
"Millennium Trilogy" Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

by David Lagercrantz:
The Girl in the Spider's Web
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
The Girl Who Lived Twice


K.O. (Kjell Ola) Dahl
Frank Frølich & Inspector
Gunnarstranda Series
Fourth Man
The Man in the Window
The Last Fix
Lethal Investments

Anne Holt
("The godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction" - Jo Nesbø)
Hanne Wilhelmsen Series Blind Goddess (Eva's Eye)
Blessed Are Those Who Thirst
Death of the Demon
The Lion's Mouth
Dead Joker
No Echo
Beyond The Truth
Johanne Vik/Adam Stubo Series Punishment (What is Mine)
The Final Murder (What Never Happens)
Death in Oslo (Madam President)
Fear Not

Karin Fossum
("The Norwegian Queen of Crime")
Inspector Sejer Series
(also Featuring
Inspector Jakob Skarre)
In the Darkness (Eva's Eye)
Don't Look Back
He Who Fears the Wolf
When the Devil Holds the Candle
Calling Out for You (The Indian Bride)
Black Seconds
The Murder of Harriet Krohn
The Water's Edge
Bad Intentions
The Caller
The Drowned Boy
Hell Fire
The Whisperer

Jo Nesbø
Harry Hole Series The Bat
The Redbreast
The Devil's Star
The Redeemer
The Snowman
The Leopard
The Thirst
Olav Johansen Novels Blood on Snow
Midnight Sun
Other Mysteries: Headhunters


Jussi Adler-Olsen
Department Q Series The Keeper of Lost Causes
The Absent One
A Conspiracy of Faith
The Purity of Vengeance
The Marco Effect
The Hanging Girl
The Scarred Woman
Victim 2117
The Shadow Murders

Lene Kaaberbøl (with Agnete Friis)
Nina Borg Series The Boy in the Suitcase
Invisible Murder
Death of a Nightingale
The Considerate Killer


Arnaldur Indriðason
Detective Erlendur Series Jar City
Silence of the Grave
The Draining Lake
Arctic Chill
Black Skies
Strange Shores
Young Erlendur Series The Duel
Reykjavik Nights
Into Oblivion

Ragnar Jónasson
Dark Iceland Series Snowblind
Hidden Iceland Series The Darkness
The Island
The Mist
White Death

These are just the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of the number of Nordic Noir authors--from throughout Scandinavia. I included them here (and in my presentation to the Colloquium) because I have read many of their novels. For more information about these and other Nordic Noir authors (including a number from Finland, whose authors I have not yet read), go to the website "Scandinavian Crime Fiction in English Translation" (, as well as "Euro Crime" (which also contains information about a much broader range of European authors).

If you have any questions or comments about this page, please e-mail me:

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