Katharina-koden The Katharina Code

The Cold Case Quartet #1

It’s that time of the year. For the twenty-fourth time, William Wisting gets out the papers from when Katharina Haugen disappeared. The case was never solved, and every year since Wisting has called on Katharina’s husband, Martin Haugen. The steady contact between the police inspector and the bereaved husband has over the years developed into a friendship. But this year, Haugen’s house stands empty and dark when Wisting arrives. On the anniversary of his wife’s disappearance, Martin Haugen has gone missing.

The same day, Kripos investigator Adrian Stiller comes to see Wisting. A young cold case investigator for the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos), Stiller has uncovered a connection between Katharina’s disappearance and the missing person case he’s working on. The two must join efforts, but the collaboration with the complex Stiller will be a challenge for the experienced Wisting. The two driven investigators must all the same find a starting point they can agree on, and use their combined capabilities to solve the case.

The Katharina Code is the first installment in Jørn Lier Horst’s compelling and already critically acclaimed new crime series, the Cold Case Quartet.


  • “The suspense is carefully escalated, piece by piece, clue by clue. It’s liberating to read a crime novel where the painstaking police work is at the center, and conveyed in Lier Horst’s quiet, flowing, and unaffected prose. /…/ The novel vibrates with anticipation all the way to the finish.”


    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “Jørn Lier Horst has written a novel that leaves a mark. The author has employed literary devices one only rarely finds in a crime novel. And he’s succeeded marvelously. /…/ The novel is engaging and has an inherent momentum that makes it hard to put down before you’ve read the last page. The Katharina Code is the best and most ingenious [novel] that Jørn Lier Horst has written thus far.”


    Tvedestrandsposten, Norway

  • “With The Katharina Code Jørn Lier Horst again delivers an excellent crime novel with a credible plot /…/ He simultaneously shows that he’s mastered the criminal code even better. It’s undeniably a tremendous reading experience when you as you read can play around with different answers, and maybe almost have it solved, but know all the same that it’s probably not quite right. /…/ All that remains is to declare that Jørn Lier Horst impresses again. That he’s counted among one of the country’s foremost crime authors is no surprise.”


    Østlands-Posten, Norway

  • “Old mysteries become as if new.”

    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “It can hardly get any better /.../ Jørn Lier Horst only gets better and better. And he was damn good before. /.../ His The Katharina Code is a beautiful crime story /.../ Horst shines. He leads us in one direction only to suddenly turn the wheel, without it feeling forced. He gives us portents that he then elegantly chooses not to use; he shows us how coincidences are, well, just coincidences. And how there is nonetheless an intentional nature to the actions that people try to hide. And best of all: the suspense is on another level than the simple who-dunnit – here there’s an internal drama almost no other Norwegian crime author is capable of matching.”


    Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

  • The Katharina Code has a plot one could imagine taking place in the real world, without one’s imagination having to run amok. And still it is more suspenseful than almost all else in the genre. /…/ The Katharina Code is a graspable story that never loses itself in sensationalistic intrigue or overdone action. That’s exactly why it’s so impressive that it succeeds in maintaining its intensity all the way.”

    Dagsavisen, Norway

  • “Believable and thrilling criminal mysteries from Horst.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “The untangling [of the mystery], the tactics, and the climax keep the suspense at a solid Horst level.”


    Trønder Avisa, Norway

  • “Jørn Lier Horst has truly done it this time. /…/ Exceptionally well-executed.”


    Tønsbergs Blad, Norway

  • “Horst invites the readers to join the investigation in a credible manner that highlights professional practices [in the police] and generates a new kind of suspense.”


    Bok 365, Norway

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Photo: #{bookData.artist.imageByline}Jørn Lier Horst
  • Crime
Reading material

English translation

Norwegian edition

Rights sold

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Modtryk

Germany, Piper

Norway, Gyldendal

Poland, Smak Slowa

Sweden, Wahlström & Widstrand

Ukraine, Nora-Druk

UK, Michael Joseph

More from Jørn Lier Horst


The Cold Case Quartet

The Wisting Quartet