The Captivating Chill : Why Readers Desire Nordic Noir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article outlines some of the common denominators of Nordic crime fiction: characteristics beyond the geographical setting, which are shared by a majority of the fiction included in concepts like Nordic Noir or Scandicrime, and which seem to make this fiction especially attractive to international readers. Five such factors are found to be of particular importance: 1) The Stieg Larsson effect, 2) Welfare state criticism, 3) (Relative) gender equality and strong women characters, 4) Exotic landscapes and settings, and 5) A strong bond to the Anglo-American crime fiction tradition. Many aspects of these common denominators are also shown to be related to or functioning as symbols of a national and/or Nordic identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-89
JournalScandinavian-Canadian Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Specific Literatures

Free keywords

  • Swedish crime fiction
  • Nordic Noir
  • crime fiction


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