Mirror Books acquire multi-award winning Scandi Noir from the third best-selling author in Denmark

In English for the first time: Multi-award winning Scandi noir from the third best-selling author in Denmark

Film rights sold to producers of The Bridge

Mirror Books have acquired a five-book series by multi-award winning Scandi noir sensation, Jesper Stein, it was announced today. The third best-selling author in Denmark (over 250,000 copies sold), Stein has already won huge critical and commercial success across Denmark but this is the first time his work is being translated into English. Film rights for the first three books have already been secured with the producers of hit Scandi TV series The Bridge and foreign rights have sold to more than 10 countries including Germany, Italy, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

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The first book in the series, Unrest is due for publication in the UK on 19 July 2018 and will feature the same cover artwork as the bestselling Danish edition.

Drawing on his experience of working as a crime reporter on Denmark’s biggest newspaper and with a sharp eye for detail, Stein introduces his rough-hewn and complex homicide detective, Axel Steen. Brilliantly capturing Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district ­­– an area of drugs, dissent and red lights - he has also been praised for his assured, innovative storytelling; winning comparisons to Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and Lee Child.


When the bound, hooded corpse of an unidentified man is found propped up against a gravestone in the central cemetery, Axel Steen is assigned the case.

Rogue camera footage soon suggests police involvement and links to the demolition of a nearby youth house, teeming with militant left-wing radicals.  But Axel soon discovers that many people, both inside and out of the force, have an unusual interest in the case – and in preventing its resolution.

With a rapidly worsening heart condition, an estranged ex-wife and beloved five-year-old daughter to contend with, Axel will not stop until the killer is caught, whatever the consequences. But the consequences turn out to be greater than expected – especially for Axel himself.


Paula Scott, Publishing Director of Mirror Books says:

‘The Axel Steen series is one of the best examples of the hugely popular Scandi Noir genre and a fantastic addition to our ever-expanding crime fiction list. Jesper’s books are dark, seductive and gritty, and will undoubtedly find a broad fan base in the UK and beyond.’

Sofie Voller, Politiken Literary Agency, Denmark says:

‘We are thrilled to have signed this deal with Mirror Books. They have already proved to be a superb partner with their efforts and ambitions to grow and expand Jesper Stein’s brand and readership in the English speaking market.’
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About the author

JESPER STEIN was born in Aarhus, Denmark. He began his writing career as a journalist and covered the Balkan war, and catastrophes in Africa. He also spent 10 years interviewing lauded fiction writers, such as John le Carré, Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbø, Henning Mankell, Peter Høeg, Peter James, PD James, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood and Haruki Murakami.

He made his literary debut in 2012 with the crime novel, UNREST – the first in the Axel Steen series. He has received massive attention for his sharp eye for detail, rich and innovative plotting and confident prose. Praised by critics as a writer who will keep readers on the edge of their seat, Stein has positioned himself as one of the most talented authors of crime fiction in Scandinavia.

Jesper writes about a Copenhagen that’s both full of change yet always the same, where the human condition must be constantly re-evaluated. It’s harsh, dark, yet with a warm, beating heart at its core.
— Lars Kepler, Author of THE HYPNOTIST
Jesper Stein’s crime novels cast a strong light on contemporary Denmark in such a way that they deserve readers far beyond Danish borders.
— Gunnar Staalesen, winner of the 2017 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel Of The Year

For all media enquires please contact Annabel Robinson or Sophie Goodfellow at FMcM on 020 7405 7422 or email annabelr@fmcm.co.uk / sophieg@fmcm.co.uk