Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbø, Peter Høeg and Karin Fossum. These names have all come to define the face of the Nordic countries’ now iconic back catalogue of crime fiction. Many questions have been raised regarding the reasons behind both their plot devices and their eternal popularity with us on the outside the Nordic region. The relenting Nordic stereotype familiar to many of those outside the Nordic countries is one of egalitarianism spawned from welfare state ideology and democratic principles. Why then has this ostensibly idyllic landscape become the nucleus for so many of these narratives?

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Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.