17 Scandinavian detective thriller series

A carefully thought-out plot, stunning landscapes and a surprisingly realistic atmosphere are indispensable components of most of the films of the harsh northern countries. Do you want to make sure of this? We offer you to get acquainted with the list of the best Scandinavian series of recent years in the thriller and detective genre.


Caliphate (2020)

An interesting Scandinavian novelty that appeared on the screen in 2020 is a Swedish detective series about the threat of a terrorist act . Homeland security worker Fatima receives information about an impending ISIS attack on Sweden and begins her own investigation. A woman with Muslim roots raises numerous religious issues and, risking her life, tries to prevent a catastrophe.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Kalifat

Actors:
Gizem Erdogan, Amed Bozan, Alyette Opheim …

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Platform 45 (2018 – 2020)

Far out to sea, an accident occurs on an oil platform. A damage investigator arrives there and begins an investigation, which reveals that the incident was a murder. At this time, a storm breaks out and communication with the mainland disappears. A group of people remain locked on the platform, and the killer is somewhere among them. The exciting Swedish series cleverly combines detective with thriller and keeps the viewer in suspense from the first to the last episode.

Original title:
Rig 45

Actors:
Lisa Henny, Gary Lewis, Bjorn Bengtsson …

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Rebecca Martinsson (2017 – 2020)

Atmospheric detective series tells about the Swedish lawyer Rebecca Martinsson. Upon learning of the death of a childhood friend, a resident of Stockholm returns to her native province. The behavior of the village population looks suspicious: it seems that all the inhabitants are united by some terrible secret. Arriving at Mildred’s funeral, Rebecca learns many strange details of her death. The woman understands that she will not be able to return to her former life without knowing all the circumstances of the mysterious death of her friend.

Original title:
Rebecka Martinsson

Actors:
Ida Engvol, Eva Melander, Jacob Jörman …

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Sanctuary (2019)

Helena arrives to meet her twin sister at an Alpine sanatorium. She turns to her with an unusual request – to change places for a couple of days. Helena refuses, argues with her sister, and discovers the next day that she has disappeared. The sanatorium turns out to be a terrible place, all doctors and patients are in mortal danger, and it is not at all easy to escape from there. The new 2019 Scandinavian detective series will appeal to all fans of tense thrillers with an unexpected ending.

Original title:
Himmelsdalen

Actors:
Josephine Asplund, Matthew Modine, Lorenzo Riquelmi…

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


The One Who Kills – Prisoner of Darkness (2019)

The main characters of the new Danish series are experienced detective Jan and profiler Louise. Yang takes on the case of a missing young girl. The investigation has been going on for several months, and during this time it is not possible to find weighty evidence. Six months later, a corpse is found that is similar in description to the victim, and the girl immediately disappears again. Psychologist Louise, who studies the behavior of serial killers, joins the investigation. The investigator and his partner are trying to get on the trail of a maniac, not realizing how close the solution can be.

Original title:
Den som dræber – Fanget af mørket

Actors:
Kenneth M. Christensen, Natalie Manduno, Signe Egholm Olsen …

Country:
Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Arctic Circle (2018 — 2019)

Foreign detective thriller produced in Finland and Germany begins with the fact that a Finnish police officer Nina stumbles upon an abandoned house with the body of a raped woman. Plunging into the investigation, Nina proves that this is the work of a serial killer. A deadly virus is found in the victim’s body. A virologist who came to clarify the circumstances joins the investigation in order to find the perpetrators of the spread of a terrible infection and prevent a catastrophe.

Original title:
Arctic Circle

Actors:
Iina Kuustonen, Maximilian Bruckner, Pihla Viitala …

Country:
Finland, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Trap (2015 – 2019)

Near a snowy town in Iceland, the mutilated body of a man is found, which indicates the appearance of a maniac. The weather worsens and a blizzard cuts off the city from the outside world, leaving the police and locals with no help in investigating the murder. The rampant elements and the wielding maniac are just the beginning in an extensive list of troubles that the police and residents will have to deal with on their own. A leisurely movie shot in the best traditions of the Scandinavian detective series.

Original title:
Ófærð

Actors:
Oulavyur Darri Olafsson, Ilmur Kristjaunsdouttir, Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson…

Country:
Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Great Britain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Deception (2015 – 2019)

The young and very meticulous detective Mads is entrusted with the case of a man’s corpse found in the river. At first glance, everything looks like an accident or suicide, but Mads is too smart not to notice the traces of crime. He even finds out the identity of the killer, but it will not be easy to prove this, because the suspect is a respected person in Denmark, in whose involvement in the crime no one believes. The Danish detective thriller is worth watching for all fans of such cult Scandinavian series as The Bridge and The Murder.

Original title:
Bedrag

Actors:
Esben Smed Jensen, Thomas Hwang H. Andersen, Thomas Bo Larsen …

Country:
Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.6

Age limit:
16+


What’s Hidden in the Snow (2018)

Swedish police officer Peter is happy to be back on duty after being sick. At this time, a mysterious killer appears in Stockholm, declaring the innocence of one of Sweden’s most notorious criminals, who has been serving a sentence in prison for many years. Peter has to quickly assemble a team of experienced policemen and take care of this case. The city authorities are against the investigation and are doing their best to prevent the detectives from proving that they were convicted for the murder of an innocent.

Original title:
Det som göms i snö

Actors:
Robert Gustafsson, Maria Sundbom, Johan Ulveson…

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Tide (2016 – 2018)

The events of the modern Scandinavian series, combining the genres of thriller and detective, revolve around Olivia Renning. The girl hopes to become a good detective, so she diligently completes the tasks that she receives at the police academy. Her attention is drawn to an unsolved crime twenty years ago. Unknown perpetrators took the life of a pregnant woman at high tide and left her body on the sand. Olivia finds out that the murder took place in front of a witness. Many years ago, Detective Stilton ran this case, but it was closed due to lack of evidence. The heroine of the series tries to contact the former detective, hoping to find out about any undisclosed details of the crime.

Original title:
Springfloden

Actors:
Julia Ragnarsson, Kjell Bergqvist, Cecilia Nilsson …

Country:
Sweden, Germany, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Bridge (2011 – 2018)

The popular “long-playing” project, which leads many ratings and TOPs of Scandinavian detective series, tells about a very unusual murder. On the Øresund bridge, which crosses the border between Sweden and Denmark, a female corpse was found. A strange circumstance forces the Swedish and Danish police detectives to investigate together. There is no doubt: a serial killer is involved here, who carefully prepares for each of his crimes. At first it may seem that the unknown maniac is guided by certain social messages, but the detectives suspect the presence of personal motives.

Original title:
Bron/Broen

Actors:
Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia, Thure Lindhardt…

Country:
Sweden, Denmark, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Monster (2017)

The Norwegian series in the genre of detective and thriller is a bright representative of the “Scandinavian noir”. In a province in northern Norway, mass graves of previously missing people are being discovered. The case is taken by Detective Joel Dreyer, who arrived from Oslo for a special investigation. The local police officer Hedda becomes the detective’s assistant. Despite the dissimilarity of characters and completely different methods of investigation, the newly-minted partners are forced to rally in the face of serious danger.

Original title:
Monster

Actors:
Ingvild Holte Bigdnes, Jacob Oftebro, Bjorn Sundqvist …

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Secrets of Silverheid (2015 – 2017)

Scandinavian detective thriller with a touch of mysticism tells about the mysterious disappearance of children. A few years ago, Eva, who lived in a small village, experienced a tragedy: her little daughter was lost, who was walking near the local forest. After a long unsuccessful search, the woman left the province, but after years she nevertheless returned home. It turns out that recently, under similar circumstances, the neighbor’s son disappeared. The police begin to search, and Eva has a hope that her daughter is still alive.

Original title:
Jordskott

Actors:
Mua Gammel, Joran Ragnerstam, Richard Forsgren …

Country:
Sweden, Finland, Great Britain, Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Modus (2015 – 2017)

If you are interested in Scandinavian thriller and detective series, do not miss the story of Inger Johanne Wieck, a former FBI employee. A woman plans to celebrate Christmas with her children, but the holiday is overshadowed: one of her daughters witnesses the violent death of a local reporter. Stina has autism, and now she withdraws even more into herself. The girl is afraid to talk about what she saw. Soon the main character receives an offer to become a detective again. Wanting to protect her daughter, Inger agrees to all conditions. First of all, she needs to understand who committed the murder that Stina saw.

Original title:
Modus

Actors:
Melinda Kinnaman, Henrik Norlen, Esmeralda Struwe…

Country:
Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Midnight Sun (2016)

The main character of this detective series is Swedish police officer Kahina Zadi. The girl was preparing for a vacation, but instead, on the orders of her superiors, she goes to a small province located beyond the Arctic Circle. Together with a French detective, she has to investigate the unexplained murder of Frenchman Pierre Carnot. The forced business trip is not limited to one thing: Kahina is faced with several more similar crimes. The killer leaves strange objects near his victims, apparently trying to convey some message.

Original title:
Midnight Sun

Actors:
Leila Behti, Gustaf Hammarsten, Alben Grenholm …

Country:
Sweden, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Code 100 (2015)

Tommy Conley is a New York detective investigating a series of mysterious murders. Among the victims of the maniac are women of a similar type: spectacular young blondes. Evidence indicates that the perpetrator came from Sweden. The detective goes to Stockholm, trying to get on the trail of the killer. Tommy has to cooperate with the local police, and Inspector Eklund becomes his partner in the investigation. Soon the detectives make unexpected discoveries.

Original title:
The Hundred Code

Actors:
Mikael Nykvist, Dominic Monahan, Felice Jankell …

Country:
Sweden, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Murder (2007 – 2012)

The list of the best Scandinavian detective series is unthinkable without this serial thriller about the investigation of the brutal murder of a young girl. Detective Sarah Lund is temporarily postponing her move to her fiancé, trying to get on the trail of the criminal. The rather successful politician Troels Hartmann almost immediately falls under the suspicion of the police . Gradually, Sarah realizes that his connection with the victim is not direct evidence of guilt. Lund’s attention is attracted by new unusual details of the case. Steep plot twists do not allow you to tear yourself away from the screen, and the unpredictable ending will be remembered for a long time.

Original title:
Forbrydelsen

Actors:
Sophie Grobeul, Morten Suurballe, Lars Mikkelsen …

Country:
Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Other interesting Scandinavian series in the detective thriller genre

  • Karppi (2018-2020)
  • Rain (2018-2019)
  • Black Lake (2016-2018)
  • Valkyrie (2017)
  • Hostage (2017-2019)
  • Hellfjord (2012)
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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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