Books Set In Sweden That Will Make You Feel Like A Detective (And A Few Others)

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I know nothing about Sweden, other than it looks like Alaska (thanks, Geeoguessr) and has some good nordic noir books.

I would love to visit someday and I’m sure reading some of these books set in Sweden will make me want to go even more. As I put this post together, I got at least two of these and added more to my wishlist.

There is quite a bit of Nordic noir set in Sweden on here (like, so much) but I tried to get a variety of choices to cozy up with and what better time for that than winter?

  • If you’re want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! Righ now you can get four months for just $5.95 a month plus a $20 Audible credit. That’s a steal for Audible!  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot.
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option and right now you can get four months for $4.99! It’s usually $9.99 so this is a great deal. Get that deal here!

A Nearly Normal Family

Stella is standing on trial for the murder of a man almost fifteen years senior her eighteen. She’s a normal teenager from an upstanding local family, why would she kill someone?

Her family is struggling with their own moral compasses as they wonder why she is a suspect.

The Ice Beneath Her

A woman is found beheaded in a posh Stockholm suburban home. It’s even more unsettling because of its resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier.

This time they have a suspect: Jesper Orre, a controversial chain-store CEO and the owner of the home. In the homicide detectives’ search for answers, they turn to retired and unhappy criminal profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schon.

But they’re not the only ones searching. Emma Bohman, a young clerk at Orre’s company, had a chance to meet the charming executive two months before and romance bloomed. It was over as fast as it started when he disappeared.

As things continued to go wrong, she was certain Orre was to blame and her heartbreak turns to anger. In pursuit of the same man, their paths cross with obsession, vengeance, madness, and love gone horribly wrong.

The Missing

Greta, Alex, and Smilla take an ordinary outing across Sweden’s Lake Malice to a small, isolated island. Alex and Smilla go off into the woods while Greta waits in the boat but later she realizes they haven’t returned.

Her frantic search turns up nothing. They’ve disappeared into thin air. She struggles to understand their vanishing and is desperate to contact local authorities, but now her phone is also missing. Back home, she finds it tucked under the bedsheets.

As she struggles to put the pieces together of what happened, she worries her dark past is coming back to haunt her.

Midwinter Blood

Malin Fors is the most driven superintendent to ever work on the police force in her small town. On a frigid night in the coldest February anyone remembers, the bloody, naked, and mutilated body of a man is found hanging from a tree in the middle of a frozen plain not far from town.

Fors is assigned to the case and has to track down the man’s identity and why he ended up there while following in the wake of a killer just starting his work.

Acts of Vanishing

Sara Sandberg was about to die. Somewhere in the cold gray hell that is Stockholm was the that called himself her father.

She had a warning for him in her backpack, but whether he would receive it or not was all down to her.

The Faceless Killers

One morning, a small-town farmer finds his neighbors tortured and bludgeoned to death and the only clue is the woman saying “foreign” before she died.

Inspector Kurt Wallander’s personal life is in shambles and he’s leading the investigation. He and his colleagues now face violent xenophobia as they search for the killers.

Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End

A young man falls to his death from a dorm window in Stockholm and his loose shoe hits and kills a small dog on its daily walk. The police decide it seems to be a mundane suicide before they find out he’s American, not Swedish, and find some odd things about his room.

Leif GW Persson slowly unravels a puzzle growing larger and more complex before sweeping us into a world of international espionage, politics, greed, and bad police work that leads to the murder of the prime minister.

Sun Storm

Rebecka is going to her hometown, Kiruna, after having left in disgrace years earlier. But she has good reason to return: her friend Sanna’s brother was horrifically murdered in the revivalist church he helped create.

In order to help her friend, Rebecka will now have to face her own dark past she left behind while facing. conspiracy of deceit and confronting a killer with dark motives that are impossible to guess.

The Unit

This is the perfect choice for fans of dystopian books (definitely just go this one).

Unmarried and childless women over 50 and men over 60 are sent to the Unit where they get lavish apartments with beautiful gardens and delicious meals at a state-of-the-art facility.

The only catch is they have to donate their organs one-by-one until the final donation. Dorrit has resigned herself to this fate but upon arrival, her future is thrown for a loop when she fall in love.

A Man Called Ove

Ove is the cranky old man everyone knows, with a short fuse, staunch principles, and strict routines. One morning, a chatty family moves in next door and accidentally flattens his mailbox leading to a heartwarming and unexpected friendship that will change the cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their core.

Beartown

Beartown’s junior ice hockey team is competing in the national semi-finals on the rink by the lake in town and they actually have a shot at winning. The hopes and dreams of the town rest on their shoulders.

Under the heavy burden, the game becomes a catalyst for a violent act that leaves a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil.

Let the Right One In

It’s the fall of 1981 in Bleckeberg, Sweeden when the body of a teenage boy is found drained of blood, reported being part of a ritual killing. 

Twelve-year-old Oskar hopes this is revenge for the bullying he has endured at school day after day.  Soon, the murder isn’t the most important thing on his mind, but instead, it’s a girl that just moved in next door. 

She has never seen a Rubik’s Cube, but can solve one right away.  There is something wrong with her and she only comes out at night.

The Golden Cage

Faye has loved Jack since they were in business school. Jack is the golden boy and Faye is trying to bury a dark past. Jack needs help launching a new company so she leaves school to help him. The business is flourishing and they decide to have a baby.

Now Faye finds herself home, taking care of their daughter, wealthier than she imagined but removed from the business world. Nothing makes up for the fact that Jack is being cold to her, undermining her, when she finds out he’s having an affair.

Their life cracks open and Faye is left alone but she is set on revenge. Jack is about to get more than he ever bargained for.

The Hidden Child

Erica Flack, crime writer, is shocked to find a Nazi medal in her mother’s things as she digs into her family’s past to uncover the reasons she experienced a childhood of neglect.

She is led to a retired history teacher who was a good friend of her mother’s during WWII but his answers to all her questions are weird and evasive. Two days later, he meets a violent death.

Her husband, Detective Patrick Hedstrom, is on paternity leave but soon becomes embroiled in the investigation as Erica reads her mother’s wartime diaries and finds a painful revelation of her past in their pages.

October is the Coldest Month

Vega is just sixteen when the police come knocking on the door looking for her older brother Jakob. She hasn’t heard from him for days but needs to find him before the police do.

No one knows Jakob was involved in a terrible crime, except Vega. Because she was there too.

Handling the Undead

The power grid in Stockholm has gone crazy and the recently deceased in morgues and cemeteries are waking up. A grandfather has hope his grandson will be returned while a husband is horrified by what his wife has become.

The Gingerbread House

Upon her return home from a Stockholm hospital, Ingrid finds a dead man she doesn’t recognize in her kitchen. Conny Sjoberg, criminal investigator, takes the call leaving his wife and five children for the night to find out why this man was in her kitchen and who bludgeoned him to death.

The team struggles with the case until they link it to another apparently random killing but it looks like they have a serial killer with a vendetta now.

The Man from Beijing

A mass murderer has wiped out almost an entire village in the far north of Sweden. The only clue left behind was a red ribbon. Judge Brigitta Roslin’s grandparents were two of the victims and now she’s determined to find the killer and that is wasn’t random, but part of something far darker.

The Ice Princess

Erica Falck is returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after her parent’s funeral where she finds the community on the brink of tragedy and the death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning.

It seems she has taken her own life when she is found frozen in a ice-cold bath with her wrists slashed. Her interest grows into an obsession as she decides to write a book about Alex.

Patrik Hedstrom is a local detective with his own suspicions about the case but the disturbing past of the town isn’t revealed until they start working together.

Silver Tears

Faye is living a delicious lie, wealthy beyond belief with her ex-husband that killed her daughter behind bars.

But unbeknownst to everyone around her, Julienne, her daughter is still alive and in hiding with her mother, the woman Faye’s father was sentenced for allegedly killing years ago.

Together, three women have survived in hiding from the men that tried to destroy them. But secrets always end in tears.

Marked for Life

There is no shortage of suspects in the murder of the head of the migration board, but what isn’t expected is tiny fingerprints in his child-free home.

Jana Berzelius, the steely public prosecutor, steps in to lead the investigation and she won’t be intimidated by threats. Then the body of a young boy is found on a deserted beach with the weapon that killed the official.

Her own dark childhood comes back to her when she sees familiar initials cut into his skin that screams child trafficking. To protect her own past, she has to find the killers before the police do.

Dark Pines

It’s the first week of the Swedish elk hunt in an isolated town with the sounds of gunshots everywhere. Tuva is investigating a story that could make or break her career when she stumbles on a web of secrets knitting the town together.

She has to face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and get the story out there before getting out of Gavrik.

Slowly We Die

A patient is left injured for life after a tragic incident on the operating table. The young surgeon abandoned his career and now years later a series of murders are rocking the same medical community.

The weapon? A surgical scalpel.

Jana has her own dark secrets and is put in charge of the investigation. What she doesn’t know until she’s closing in on the murderer is how her own mother’s recent death is connected.

I would really like to read this one!

Yes, Chef

Ahh, finally something other than Nordic noir, I hear you thinking!

Every Saturday afternoon an Ethiopian boy goes to his Swedish grandmother’s house to help make a roast chicken for dinner.

Now, that boy is a world-renowned chef and this is his love letter to food. You’ll find stories about his grandma’s kitchen table, his arrival to New York City, and his career of chasing flavors.

While this isn’t entirely set in Sweden, I’m still counting it and adding it to my own TBR!

The Hypnotist

There is only one surviving witness of a gruesome triple homicide, the boy who watched his family die, and he can’t remember anything.

Detective Joona Linna asks for help from Erik Maria Bark, a hypnotist, but when he unlocks the memory of the boy, a terrible chain of events is set in motion.

The Room

Bjorn is a compulsive and meticulous bureaucrat who happens to discover a secret room at his government office that no one else will acknowledge. When he’s in the room, his coworkers just see him by the wall staring into space looking dazed and creepy.

This leads his coworkers to try and get him fired but he turns the table on them with the help of his secret room.

I love this cover and I definitely just got this.

The Crow Girl

The abused body of a young boy is found in a Stockholm city park. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is leading the investigation while battling a force unwilling to solve the murder of an immigrant child.

It becomes apparent a serial killer is at large when two more mutilated corpses are found. As they get closer to finding the truth, they also uncover evidence of an insidious evil entwined deep into Swedish society.

Hunting Game

Embla has been plagued with nightmares for the majority of her twenty-eight years. She channels most of her anxious energy into her Detective Inspector position in the mobile unit in Gothenburg, Sweden, and sports.

She joins her family and friends on the annual moose hunt trip as a needed break from her stressful job. When they arrive, she sees a familiar face: Peter, attractive and newly divorced. A longtime hunt member also notices and doesn’t like the presence of an outsider which happens to make their group number thirteen, a bad omen for the week.

Bad things start to happen and two group members disappear. Embla takes charge of the search, delving into the dark pasts of her fellow hunters as she searches for the killer.

Wolf Winter

Maija, her two daughters Frederika and Dorotea, and her husband Paavo arrive in Swedish Lapland from Finland in 1717 hoping to forget their traumatic past and put down new roots in this new beautiful land. A foreboding mountain looms over them and its history haunts those that live beneath it.

Frederika is herding the family goats when she stumbles on the mutilated body of Eriksson, one of their neighbors. It’s said to be a wolf attack but the wounds could only have come from fellow man.

Maija feels compelled to investigate even though Eriksson’s widow seems disinterested. She is drawn into the dark history of the area while Frederika feels herself pulled toward the mountain, feeling something none of the adults do.

During the harshest winter in memory, Paavo travels to find work and Maija struggles with the darkness. As the snow falls, secrets are laid bare and resources become scarce. This forces the community to come together but Maija doesn’t know who she can trust.

Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie can’t stand a mess and she is not one to judge others but sometimes people interpret her suggestions as criticism, which isn’t her intention.

But hidden inside this busybody is a woman with bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone realizes.

When she walks out on her cheating husband, she has to fend for herself in the miserable town of Borg and finds a job as a caretaker for a soon-to-be-demolished rec center.

She finds herself drawn into the daily lives of her fellow citizens and most alarming of all, she’s left to lead the highly untalented children’s soccer team to victory.

The Red Address Book

Doris is 96 years old and lives alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors but her weekly Skype calls with her grandniece, Jenny, bring her joy and remind her of her own youth.

She was given an address book by her father when she was young and has lovingly filled it in with everyone she met and loved over the years. As she flips through and sees names crossed out of people long gone, she decides to write the adventures of her life down to help Jenny get past a haunted childhood and find the secrets of their family, to look to the future.

The Wolf and the Watchman

Watchman Mikel Cardell is awakened one morning in the autumn of 1793 to reports of a body found in the Larder, a formerly pristine lake on Stockholm’s Southern Isle, now a rancid bog.

Incorruptible lawyer, Cecil Winge, is left to identify the mutilated body and he enlists the help of Cardell to solve the case but Winge’s health is declining, the monarchy is in shambles, and whispered paranoia is abound.

They become immersed in the case as they peel back layer upon layer of the city’s society as they all collide and interconnect with the body pulled from the lake.

Have you read any of these books set in Sweden? Which ones? Any other books about Sweden I should check out?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US. You can probably find me reading on the beach, wandering through the desert, or hanging out in a cute little coffee shop.

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