Few works of fiction from the Scandinavian (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) authors were translated into English until Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander trilogy brought them due attention. Books by the authors listed below have been published in the United States. Many thanks to Barbara Fister for the invaluable information published on her website Scandinavian Crime Fiction in English.
Denmark | Finland | Iceland | Norway | Sweden
The Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen
Adler-Olsen has written four novels about Denmark’s fictional Department Q and Inspector Carl Mørck. Two have been published in the United States. Unfortunately, Adler-Olsen’s novels have differing English titles. The Keeper of Lost Causes is known in the United Kingdom as Mercy.
Call Me Princess, Sara Blædel
Copenhagen Detective Inspector Louise Rick is the main character in these police procedurals.
Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Peter Høeg
First published in Demark in 1993, this novel displays Høeg’s unique brand of thriller. Høeg’s most recent novel to be published in the United States is The Quiet Girl.
The Exception, Christian Jungersen
The Exception is a psychological thriller, a page-turner centered around office politics.
The Boy in the Suitcase, Lene Kaaberbol & Agnete Friis
Kaaberbol is a noted author of fantasy fiction for youth. This collaboration with Friis is her first venture into adult crime novels. The protagonist in this novel, first in a proposed series, is Red Cross nurse Nina Borg.
The Last Good Man, A. J. Kazinski
This metaphysical thriller is the collaboration of two filmmakers, Anders Rønow Klarlund and Jacob Weinreich, who go by the pseudonym Kazinski.
Nights of Awe, Harri Nykänen
Ariel Kafka is a rare species of Finnish policeman. He’s Jewish, and that is why he is selected to investigate a series of murders that may be related to the visit of an Israeli minister.
Snow Angels, James Thompson
Thompson is actually an American, but he’s been living in Helsinki for a number of years. His novels were written in English, translated into Finnish and published in Finland before being published in the U.S.
Silence, Jan Costin Wagner
Wagner is a German national who lives part-time in Finland, the setting for his fiction.
Jar City, Arnaldur Indriðason
The police procedurals featuring Erlendur Sveinsson are set in the capital, Reykjavík. Seven in the series, along with the standalone Operation Napoleon, have been published in the United States.
Ashes to Dust, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
Ashes to Dust is the latest of three novels by Yrsa to be published in the United States. They feature Reykjavik lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir.
The Last Fix, K. O. [Kjell Ola]Dahl
Inspectors Frølich and Gunnarstranda are featured in three award-winning psychological thrillers by Dahl. A fourth, Lethal Investments, will be published in the United States later this year.
Burned, Thomas Enger
Henning Juul is just returning to work as an investigative reporter in Oslo after a fire took the life of his six-year-old son and left him scarred. He is assigned to investigate a death, thought to be an “honor killing,” in retribution for a breach of Muslim honor.
The Caller, Karin Fossum
The latest in Fossum’s Inspector Sejer series is one of those novels that has you looking over your shoulder. Someone is playing sick pranks and Sejer is not amused. But then the pranks turn deadly. . .
1222, Anne Holt
Holt’s Hanne Wilhelmsen series is the most accessible of her two mystery series. Unfortunately, the novels are not published in the United States in chronological order. Hanne is a former police detective left wheelchair bound by a duty-related shooting.
The Redbreast, Jo Nesbø
Oslo detective Harry Hole is Nesbø’s unforgettable character in his intricately plotted novels. As with Holt, Nesbø’s thrillers have not been published in order in the United States.
Missing, Karin Alvtegen
Sybilla left home at 17 under mysterious circumstances and has been living on the streets of Stockholm. She occasionally finds a lonely businessman to provide a meal and a room for a night. But when one of these men is found dead, Sybilla is accused of murder, her true identity about to be revealed.
Frozen Moment, Camilla Ceder
In Ceder’s first book to be translated into English, Inspector Christian Tell looks into the murders of men who were subsequently run over by vehicles.
Misterioso, Arne Dahl
This is the first of ten planned novels about an elite Swedish police force. Arne Dahl is a pseudonym for author Jan Arnald.
Sail of Stone, Åke Edwardson
Edwardson has been a journalist and university professor. His main character is Chief Inspector Erik Winter, who investigates in Gothenborg.
The Hand that Trembles, Kjell Eriksson
Eriksson writes about Uppsala homicide detective and single mother Ann Lindell in this, the fourth novel in the series. Here she investigates two mysteries – the discovery of a severed foot and reports of the reappearance of a long-missing government official.
Some Kind of Peace, Camilla Grebe & Åsa Träff
Grebe and Träff are sisters. They have written a psychological thriller about psychologist Dr. Siri Bergman. Bergman believes someone is trying to murder her and/or ruin her career. She turns to detective Marcus Stenberg for help.
Midwinter Blood: A Thriller, Mons Kallentoft
In the frozen small Swedish city of Linkoping, a naked man is found hanging from an oak tree. Investigators Malin Fors and Zeke Martinsson must identify the man and find his killer. Fans of Stieg Larrson will not want to miss this.
The Nightmare, Lars Kepler
Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for husband and wife team Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Homicide detective Joona Linna investigates murders that may be tied to an arms deal.
The Inner Circle, Mari Jungstedt
On the isolated island of Gotland, Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas investigates what appears to be a Viking ritual murder.
The Stonecutter, Camilla Läckberg
Set in the coastal town of Fjällbacka, Läckberg’s hometown, Detective Patrik Hedstrom must investigate the death of a young girl, whose mother is a close friend of his partner. Third in the series.
Easy Money, Jens Lapidus
Lapidus is a criminal defense lawyer. This noir, the first of a planned trilogy, reveals the seamiest of Stockholm’s drug underworld as Lapidus follows three criminals.
Until Thy Wrath Be Past, Åsa Larsson
Originally from Uppsala, author Larsson worked in Kiruna as a lawyer, as does her heroine, Rebecka Martinsson. In this novel, the body of a young woman surfaces during a spring thaw and prosecutor Rebecka investigates with policewoman Anna-Maria Mella.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Henning Mankell was a well-established fiction author long before Stieg Larsson’s books were published. With the publication of the Millenium triology, though, the world went crazy for Nordic authors. Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander has left a lasting impression.
The Troubled Man, Henning Mankell
Henning Mankell has a long and distinguished career as a writer. His Police Inspector Kurt Wallander series has been translated into many languages.
Last Will, Liza Marklund
James Patterson fans may recognize Marklund as his co-author for The Postcard Killers. She also is the author of crime fiction featuring investigative journalist Annika Bengtzon.
Münster’s Case: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery, Håkan Nesser
For many years Nesser was a teacher in Uppsalla. He began writing full-time in 1998. His main character is Inspector Van Veeteren, whose crime solving occurs somewhere in Scandanavia.
Unwanted, Kristina Ohlsson
Unwanted is the first in a series featuring Fredrika Bergman, who, like Ohlsson, is an investigative analyst. Ohlsson has worked in intelligence, foreign affairs and as analyst on Middle Eastern-Swedish affairs.
The Viper, Håkan Östlundh
Formerly a journalist and television scriptwriter, Östlundh now writes crime novels full time. He introduced police detective Fredrik Broman in this, The Viper, his first novel.
Another Time, Another Life: The Story of a Crime, Leif G. W. Persson
Leif Persson is a criminologist as well as an author of crime novels. He has appeared on television as a commentator. His crime novels are based on historic events.
Cell 8, Anders Roslund & Börge Hellström
Hellström is an ex-criminal working in rehabilitation. Roslund is a journalist. Together, they write some very gritty crime thrillers. This latest, Cell 8, tries to unravel the mystery surrounding a Canadian expatriate who also may be a former Ohio death row inmate.
The Darkest Room, Johan Theorin
This is Theorin’s second novel to be published in the United States. Set on the Swedish island of Öland, amateur sleuth Gerloff gets involved in his great-niece Tilda’s investigation of a drowning.
Night Rounds, Helene Tursten
Detective Inspector Irene Huss is Tursten’s main character and she operates out of Goteborg. A nurse is murdered in a small hospital where 50 years ago a nurse committed suicide by hanging. A few days later another nurse is found murdered. The only witness believes a ghost is to blame.
Strindberg’s Star, Jan Wallentin
Wallentin is a journalist. His debut is a complex thriller with elements of Norse mythology, ancient relics, psychic powers and Holocaust survivors.
For more information about Nordic Crime, visit these websites, all accessed September 18, 2012: