Misterioso Misterioso

Intercrime #1

In sheer panic after the killings of several high profile business executives, the National Police Commissioner decides to start a new elite force, made up of select officers from all over of the country. The newly formed group embarks on its first mission: to find an elusive killer with a sophisticated modus operandi. He breaks into the homes of wealthy businessmen, listens to a bootleg recording of a specific jazz tune, and finally shoots his victims twice through the head. Multiple clues lead in different directions: to Russia and to the worlds of jazz and banking, until finally, a rare recording of Thelonious Monk’s jazz classic Misterioso becomes the decisive lead.

Although initially published after Bad Blood, Misterioso is the first installment in the Intercrime series.


  • “The Stockholm writer’s last two novels, Misterioso and Bad Blood, are literary sensations.
    /…/ His character studies of people in vulnerable situations are of top class within the European detective novel genre.”

    Die Zeit, Germany

  • “Skillfully told. /…/ He describes our contemporary world without all the moralization typical of Mankell. Because of this, Misterioso is also a debut novel that’s truly worth reading.”

    Westdeutsche Zeitung, Germany

  • “A crime novel that is truly worth reading.”

    Jyllands-Posten, Denmark

  • “This is, without a doubt, one of the best Swedish crime novels of the year; well written, a good plot and a cold blow to the ways of contemporary society.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “Arne Dahl´s writing is both raw as well as sensitive from a literary point of view. The various members of the spiced up Intercrime team get to share the lead role, so that the many false tracks simultaneously unfold in a tightly knit plot, which in the end offers top-notch suspense. It's really impressive.”

    Information, Denmark

  • “What makes the novel extraordinary in comparison to other Swedish and international detective stories, is its originality and reliability. Arne Dahl seduces the reader through his precise character descriptions in a well though-out intrigue, together with a variety of amusing and very accurate expressions.”

    Funkhaus Europa, Germany

  • “If you haven’t yet gotten acquainted with Arne Dahl’s crime novels, you have a lot to look forward to.”

    Femina, Denmark

  • Misterioso is a masterful crime novel.”

    Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

  • “It appears that Sweden has, once again, produced a brilliant and socially engaged crime writer.”

    Fyens Stiftstidende, Denmark

  • “Dahl, who is hailed in northern Europe as Henning Mankell's successor, sets a full plate for himself in the first of a series about Hjelm and his colleagues. He introduces and fleshes out a baker's-dozen characters. He describes a once comfortable country fragmented by racial malaise; East European Mafias; a financial collapse brought on by greedy, reckless bankers and government deregulation; "post-industrial capitalism"; and a gnawing fear that Sweden has lost its way. Although this is also Mankell's turf, Dahl handles it differently but also very successfully. Mystery devotees who loved Mankell's Kurt Wallander, and crime fiction "lifers" who still treasure Sjöwall and Wahlöö's Martin Beck, will want to add Paul Hjelm to their short list of international favorites.”

    Booklist, US

  • “Thoughtfully haunting and sometimes beautifully written, the first of Hjelm's cases to be translated into English is likely to resonate with readers of the Stieg Larsson trilogy.”

    Kirkus Reviews, US

  • “With Misterioso Arne Dahl, an acclaimed master of the crime genre, has definitely delivered one of his most intensely intriguing thrillers.”

    Corriere della Sera, Italy

  • “Required reading.”

    New York Post, US

  • “This exciting debut in a three-book series follows Paul Hjelm, a Swedish detective considered a hero by the media and a loose cannon by Internal Affairs. /…/ The intriguing plot can be complicated at times, but Dahl neatly ties up all of the loose ends in a symmetrical exposition. Fans of hard-boiled detective and Swedish crime novels will enjoy this.”

    Library Journal, US

  • “A truly fine crime novel”

    The Advocate, US

  • “Arne Dahl's Misterioso is an endearingly dour procedural /…/ [The] existential brooding is very much part of the novel's charm. /…/ More John le Carré than Stieg Larsson, most of the fun ofMisterioso comes from the follow-the-power, follow-the-money games played by Hjelm and his associates. And while Dahl clearly sees detective fiction as having the ability to tackle hardhitting issues of the day, the mystery's solution isn't lacking in good old-fashioned puzzle intrigue, either.”

    Portland Mercury, US

  • Misterioso by Arne Dahl is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization. On the surface, it is a mystery but so much of the novel lies below the surface, getting into the characters' minds and thoughts… /…/ This background of existential ennui reminded me of Sartre andCamus, especially Sartre’s book Nausea. /…/ Much of the dialog is tongue in cheek and I found myself laughing at the oddest moments. Tiina Nunnally did a wonderful job of translation and the book flows throughout. There is not a dull moment. It seems like the Scandinavians are having a true renaissance in crime writing and Arne Dahl is right at the top with this first in a 10 book series finally available to US readers.”

    Mostly Fiction, US

  • “The translation is well done, the staccato language reminiscent of Thelonius Monk’s performance technique. Jazz, not just the song of the title, but as a social model, plays an important role as a metaphor for the pace of the mystery. /…/ The mystery requires the team to act in concert and it’s the democratic principle of the jazz band that enables these well developed characters to hold the line without overwhelming one another. /…/ I’m looking forward to reading more about Helm and his colleagues as they navigate a modern Sweden, teeming with immigrants, and shaken by violence that continually threatens the characters’ sense of self and their society.”

    The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog, US

  • “[A] superb police procedural… Dahl has created a brilliant character and a terrific story, and should that not be enough, this is a classic cop-shop tale of the old school /…/ It's all worked out neatly in a plot that leaves enough at the end to promise more to come.”

    Globe and Mail, Canada

  • “One of the hot new scribes from Scandinavia. /…/ [Dahl is] one of the premiere purveyors of Europe's detective novel genre. /…/ A sophisticated romp with undertones of the Russian Mafia and the xenophobic northern country, that is rapidly becoming internationalized.”

    ABC Newspapers, US

  • “In this clever novel by award-winning Swedish writer Arne Dahl, the unique characters of the group are as interesting a part of the plot as the crime itself.”

    Edmonton Sun, Canada

  • “[Dahl's] yarn is terrific… The plot's full of twists and turns, blind alleys and sudden assaults, procedural hassles and stakeouts. I won't reveal the meaning of the title, but it haunts the entire mystery and adds a level of quirkiness you won't soon forget.”

    Providence Journal, US

  • “Based on this debut, one can only hope that the rest of the series arrives in the US rapidly. It is an addictive and riveting ensemble work that moves quickly through a smart, complex plot full of twists and turns. /…/ You will regret reaching the end, not because of what happens, but because it wraps up a wonderful novel /…/ It is wishful thinking, but Misterioso succeeds so well, not only as a mystery but also as a multiple character study, that I’m thinking future installments will meet (and perhaps exceed) the high standards that have already been established.”

    The Book Reporter, US

Photo: Sara Arnald Arne Dahl
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

English edition

German edition

French edition

Spanish edition

Rights sold

Bulgaria, Enthusiast

Czech Republic, Mladá Fronta

Denmark, Modtryk

Finland, Otava

France, Seuil

Germany, Piper

Greece, Metaixmio

Israel, Kinneret Zmora

Italy, Marsilio

Japan, Shueisha

Korea, Balgunsesang

Lithuania, Baltos Lankos

Netherlands, De Geus

North Macedonia, Begemot

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Poland, Muza

Portugal, Presença

Romania, Tritonic

Russia, Corpus

Slovakia, Priroda

Spain, Destino (World Spanish)

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

Thailand, Nokhook

UK, Harvill Secker

US, Pantheon

Film rights sold

Sweden, Filmlance International

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