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Håkan Nesser books in order

Håkan Nesser is a Swedish award-winning and bestselling author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels.

Born in Kumla, Nesser worked as a secondary school teacher in Uppsala before turning to fiction writing on a full-time basis.

His most famous work is arguably the series featuring Detective Chief Inspector van Veeteren, which is set in the fictional city of Maardam, in northern Europe.

The series has been published in over 20 countries and sold more than 10 million copies, earning Nesser awards such as the European Crime Fiction Star Award (Ripper Award) 2010/11, the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy Prize (three times) and Scandinavia's Glass Key Award.

Nesser has also authored a crime fiction series revolving around inspector Gunnar Barbarotti.

In total, his books have been translated into more than 25 languages, selling over 13 million copies across the globe.

Nesser lives in Stockholm and Gotland.

More about Håkan Nesser

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Non-fiction, Thriller

Born: 1950



Non Series

  • The Living and the Dead in Winsford - Levande och döda i Winsford (2015)
  • The Summer of Kim Novak - Kim Novak badade aldrig i Genesarets sjö (2015)


  1. Intrigo - Intrigo (2019)

Gunnar Barbarotti

  1. The Darkest Day - Människa utan hund (2017)
  2. The Root of Evil - En helt annan historia (2018)
  3. The Secret Life of Mr Roos - Berättelse om herr Roos (2020)
  4. The Lonely Ones - De ensamma (2021)
  5. The Axe Woman - Styckerskan från Lilla Burma (2022)

Inspector Van Veeteren

  1. Mind's Eye - Det grovmaskiga nätet (2008)
  2. Borkmann's Point - Borkmanns punkt (2006)
  3. The Return - Återkomsten (2007)
  4. Woman with Birthmark - Kvinna med födelsemärke (2009)
  5. The Inspector and Silence - Kommissarien och tystnaden (2010)
  6. The Unlucky Lottery - Münsters fall (2012)
  7. Hour of the Wolf - Carambole (2012)
  8. The Weeping Girl - Ewa Morenos fall (2013)
  9. The Strangler's Honeymoon - Svalan, katten, rosen, döden (2013)
  10. The G File - Fallet G (2014)


  1. Norton's Philosophical Memoirs - Nortons filosofiska memoarer (2018)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Living and the Dead in Winsford

There is nobody in the world who knows that we are here...

A woman arrives in the village of Winsford on Exmoor. She has travelled a long way and chosen her secluded cottage carefully. Her sole intention is to outlive her beloved dog Castor. And to survive the torrent of memories that threaten to overwhelm her.

Weeks before, Maria and her husband Martin fled Stockholm under a cloud. The couple were bound for Morocco, where Martin planned to write an explosive novel; one that would reveal the truth behind dark events within his commune of writers decades before. But the couple never made it to their destination.

As Maria settles into her lonely new life, walking the wild, desolate moors, it becomes clear that Winsford isn't quite the sanctuary she thought it would be. While the long, dark evenings close in and the weather worsens, strange things begin to happen around her. But what terrible secrets is Maria guarding? And who now is trying to find her?

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Levande och döda i Winsford
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1447271949
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
The Summer of Kim Novak

Fourteen-year old Erik and his friend Edmund spend their vacation by a Swedish lake, day-dreaming about Ewa, a young teacher who looks just like the actress Kim Novak. They have a great time, until the Terrible Thing happens and everything changes. Twenty-five years later, when Erik happens to come across an article about unsolved crimes, he is overwhelmed by memories about that summer. What happened back then?

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Kim Novak badade aldrig i Genesarets sjö
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-9462380257
Publisher: World Editions



For fans of Scandinavian crime, Intrigo is the gripping collection of Håkan Nesser’s best novellas and short stories, three of which have been adapted into major motion pictures.

Set in the fictional city of Maardam, each story is linked by themes of secrets coming to light, lies being exposed and pasts coming back to haunt the people who thought they had fled them - all told in Håkan Nesser’s signature style of dark, cutting prose that displays a true understanding of human nature.

The collection is the basis for a trilogy of international films - Dear Agnes, Death of an Author and Samaria - directed by Daniel Alfredson and starring Ben Kingsley and Gemma Chan.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Intrigo
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1509892181
Publisher: Mantle

Gunnar Barbarotti

The Darkest Day

Its December in the quiet Swedish town of Kymlinge, and the Hermansson family are gathering to celebrate a big family birthday. But beneath the guise of happy festivities, tensions are running high, and its not long before the night takes a dark and unexpected turn...

Before the weekend is over, two members of the Hermansson family are missing, and its up to Inspector Barbarotti to determine exactly what happened on that darkest day, and unravel a web of sinister family secrets in the process...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Människa utan hund
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1509809349
Publisher: Pan
The Root of Evil

July 2007. A letter arrives on Inspector Barbarotti’s doorstep detailing a murder that is about to take place in his quiet Swedish town. By the time the police track down the subject of the letter, he is already dead.

So when a second letter arrives, then a third, and a fourth, it’s a game of cat and mouse to stop the killer before he can make good on all of his promises.

Meanwhile, an anonymous diary is unearthed depicting the incidents of a two week holiday in France five years earlier, and it doesn’t take Barbarotti long to realize the people populating the diary are the ones whose lives are now in the balance...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: En helt annan historia
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1509809394
Publisher: Pan
The Secret Life of Mr Roos

A secluded hut in the middle of the woods. A double life that could be his downfall.

At fifty-nine years old, Valdemar Roos is tired of life. Working a job he hates, with a wife he barely talks to and two step-daughters he doesn’t get on with, he doesn’t have a lot to look forward to. Then, one day, a winning lottery ticket gives him an opportunity to start afresh.

Without telling a soul, he quits his job and buys a hut in the remote Swedish countryside. Every day he travels down to this man-made oasis, returning each evening to his unsuspecting wife. Life couldn’t be better, until a young woman arrives in paradise . . .

Anna Gambowska is a twenty-one-year-old recovering drug addict. On the run from the rehab centre she hated and an abusive relationship she can’t go back to, all Anna’s prayers are answered when she comes across a seemingly vacant hut in the Swedish woodland. But it’s not long before Anna’s ex discovers her location, and an incident occurs that will mar the lives of both Anna and Valdemar forever.

Inspector Barbarotti doesn’t take much interest when a woman reports her husband as missing. That is, until a dead body is found near the missing man’s newly bought hut, and Mr Roos becomes the number one murder suspect...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Berättelse om herr Roos
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1509892259
Publisher: Pan
The Lonely Ones

A trip behind the Iron Curtain would change their lives forever....

It begins in 1969. Six young people arrive in Uppsala. Different circumstances push the three young couples together, and, over the course of a few years, they become friends. But a summer trip through Eastern Europe changes everything, and, when their time at Uppsala University is over, it also signals the end of something else.

Years later, a lecturer at Lund University is found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the woods close to Kymlinge. And chillingly, it is the very same spot where one of the Uppsala students died 35 years before.

Detective Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti takes on this ominous case of history repeating itself and is forced to confront an increasingly grave reality.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: De ensamma
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1509892280
Publisher: Mantle
The Axe Woman

Sweden 2012. When Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti returns to work after a terrible personal tragedy his boss asks him to investigate a cold case, hoping to ease him back gently into his police duties.

Five years previously a shy electrician, Arnold Morinder, disappeared from the face of the earth, the only clue his blue moped abandoned in a nearby swamp. At the time his partner, Ellen Bjarnebo, claimed that Arnold had probably travelled to Norway never to return. But Ellen is one of Sweden’s most notorious killers, having served eleven years in prison after killing her abusive first husband and dismembering his body with an axe. And when Barbarotti seeks to interview Ellen in relation to Arnold’s disappearance she is nowhere to be found...

But without a body and no chance of interviewing his prime suspect Barbarotti must use all the ingenuity at his disposal to make headway in the case. Still struggling with his personal demons, Barbarotti seeks solace from God, and the support of his colleague, Eva Backman. And as he finally begins to track down his suspect and the cold case begins to thaw, Barbarotti realizes that nothing about Ellen Bjarnebo can be taken for granted...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Styckerskan från Lilla Burma
First Release: 2022
Publisher: Mantle

Inspector Van Veeteren

Mind's Eye

The swift conviction left Van Veeteren uneasy: Janek Mitter woke one morning with a brutal hangover and his wife dead in the bathtub. With only the flimsiest defense, he is found guilty and imprisoned in a mental institution. But when Mitter is murdered in his bed, Van Veeteren regrets not following his gut and launches an investigation into the two murders. As the chief inspector delves deeper, the twisted root of these violent murders will shock even him.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Det grovmaskiga nätet
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0307387226
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Borkmann's Point

Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is called to the sleepy coastal town of Kalbringen to assist the local police in the investigation of two recent ax murders. Soon the case turns from bad to worse when another body turns up and one of Van Veeteren’s colleagues, a young female detective, disappears without a trace. Now Van Veeteren must find the killer, and, it is hoped, his colleague, before anyone else comes to harm.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Borkmanns punkt
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-1400030323
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
The Return

A new case for Chief Inspector Van Veeteren - the complicated history of a nearly perfect murder. On a sunny August day a man is released from prison. On a rainy April day children at play find his corpse. The fact that the dead man is Leopold Verhaven only becomes clear after some time because the mutilated corpse is without its head, legs and feet. Who would be interested in killing this man, a double murderer who spent 24 years in prison?

Determined to let no case go unsolved, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren reopens the case. What he discovers is that Verhaven was a star sprinter before he went to prison for allegedly killing two of his lovers. However, he never confessed to the murders and spent a lifetime proclaiming his innocence.

Was he killed because someone thought he had not been punished enough? Or was someone afraid of Verhaven's revenge? A terrible suspicion stalks Van Veeteren: had Verhaven been telling the truth? Was he really innocent?

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Återkomsten
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0330492775
Publisher: Pan
Woman with Birthmark

Van Veeteren and his associates are left bewildered by the curious murder of a man shot twice in the heart and twice below the belt. An utterly dull man, the only suspicious activity his surviving wife can report is a series of peculiar phone calls.

Repeatedly the telephone would ring, offering no answer but an obscure pop song from the 1960s. This siren song would be linked to an identical murder, but the true connection remains unknown.

With a cool, critical eye, Van Veeteren pursues his subject across the country, wading through outrageous leads and fruitless tips...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Kvinna med födelsemärke
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0307387233
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
The Inspector and Silence

It’s a sweltering summer in Sweden and Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is long overdue for a holiday when a secretive and dubious religious sect comes under investigation. One of its members, a girl on the cusp of adolescence, is found dead in the forest near their holiday camp, brutally raped and strangled; the discovery of her body has been phoned in by an anonymous caller.

The members of the sect, the Pure Life, are led by Oscar Yellinek, a charismatic but unnervingly guarded messiah figure. In an act that mystifies and infuriates Van Veeteren and his associates, the members of the Pure Life choose to remain silent about the incident rather than defend themselves.

But an unidentified woman is continuing to assist the authorities, and her knowledge suggests she’s more than just a passing Good Samaritan. Her tips become doubly perplexing as a new string of increasingly horrifying crimes defy everything Van Veeteren and his team thought they knew about the case.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Kommissarien och tystnaden
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0307387240
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
The Unlucky Lottery

Four pensioners celebrate the fact that they have won 20,000 kronor in the lottery. Just hours later, one of them Waldemar Leverkuhn is found in his home, stabbed to death. With Chief Inspector Van Veeteren on sabbatical, working in a second hand bookshop, the case is assigned to Inspector Munster. But when another member of the lottery group disappears, as well as Leverkuhn's neighbour, Munster appeals to Van Veeteren for assistance.

Soon Munster will find himself interviewing the Leverkuhn family, including the eldest Irene a resident of a psychiatric clinic. And as he delves deeper into the family's history, he will discover dark secrets and startling twists, which not only threaten the clarity of the case but also his life...

NB: This book is also known Munster's Case.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Münsters fall
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0330512589
Publisher: Pan Publishing
Hour of the Wolf

In the middle of a dark, rain-slicked night, a young man is struck and killed by a car. The driver, drunk, abandons the body by the side of the road. Tormented with guilt the next morning, he struggles to put the death out of his mind—until a blackmail note arrives and sets into motion a devastating chain of events.

Reinhart, the new chief inspector of the Maardam police force, initially has few leads. But when the victim of a second, possibly related killing is identified as somebody in his inner circle, Reinhart realizes that this is no ordinary investigation. And as the killer becomes increasingly unhinged, former chief inspector Van Veeteren—a legend now in retirement—is called forth to face the most haunting and difficult case of his life.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Carambole
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0307946423
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
The Weeping Girl

For Ewa Moreno, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren’s protégé, her most perplexing case yet...Winnie Maas died because she changed her mind...A community is left reeling after a teacher – Arnold Maager – is convicted of murdering his female pupil Winnie Maas. It seems the girl had been pregnant with Maager’s child.

Years later, on her eighteenth birthday, Maager’s daughter Mikaela finally learns the terrible truth about her father. Desperate for answers, Mikaela travels to the institution at Lejnice, where Maager has been held since his trial. But soon afterwards she inexplicably vanishes.

Detective Inspector Ewa Moreno from the Maardam Police is on holiday in the area when she finds herself drawn into Mikaela’s disappearance. But before she can make any headway in the case, Maager himself disappears – and then a body is found. It will soon become clear to Ewa that only unravelling the events of the past will unlock this dark mystery...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Ewa Morenos fall
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1447216582
Publisher: Pan Books
The Strangler's Honeymoon

Desperately lonely, sixteen-year-old Monica Kammerle has little idea of what she is getting herself into when she begins an affair with her mother s latest partner; the sophisticated Benjamin Kerran...Months later, when a woman s strangled body is found, the Maardam police must discover who has committed this terrible crime. It isn't long before they realize the perpetrator may have killed before and is likely to do so again.

Meanwhile former Chief Inspector Van Veeteren finds himself drawn into the mystery when a priest, who has learned dreadful secrets, appeals to him for help. But when the priest falls beneath the wheels of a train and the police find more dead-ends than leads, it seems Van Veeteren will have to come up with a new approach to unearth this dark serial killer. Before he chooses his next victim...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Svalan, katten, rosen, döden
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1447217336
Publisher: Pan Books
The G File

1987. Verlangan, a former cop turned private detective is hired by a woman to follow her husband Jaan 'G' Hennan. A few days later, his client is found dead at the bottom of an empty swimming pool.

Maardam police, led by Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, investigate the case. Van Veeteren has encountered Jaan 'G' Hennan before and knows only too well the man's dark capabilities. As more information emerges about G's shadowy past, the Chief Inspector becomes more desperate than ever to convict him. But G has a solid alibi – and no one else can be found in relation to the crime.

2002. Fifteen years have passed and the G File remains the one case former Chief Inspector Van Veeteren has never been able to solve. But when Verlangan's daughter reports the private detective missing, Van Veeteren returns to Maardam CID once more. For all Verlangan left behind was a cryptic note; and a telephone message in which he claimed to have finally discovered the proof of G's murderous past...

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Fallet G
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1447217398
Publisher: Pan Books


Norton's Philosophical Memoirs

Now don't start getting ideas. I am not a philosopher. I'm a dog. But I look like a philosopher, they say, and I'm not sure the distinction is as great as you might think. I'm what's known as a Rhodesian Ridgeback. My forebears used to hunt lions in Africa, but I'm a modernized urban specimen. I don't hunt much of anything.

I was born somewhere on the plains west of Uppsala, Sweden. In the beginning I was blind and tumbled around with my siblings. We pooped and bit each other and nursed, and our mother — who I must admit was kind of a bitch — tried to raise us to the best of her ability. Without all that much success, I must say too.

When I was about two months old I was adopted. Two long-legged humans, a man and a woman, came and picked me up, loaded me in a car and drove into town. This is the story of the eleven years we spent together.

Author: Håkan Nesser
Original Title: Nortons filosofiska memoarer
First Release: 2018
Ebook: B0731J6LHW
Publisher: Anima