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Introducing William Wisting

When I had in mind to create a new, Scandinavian crime hero, I was very conscious of what he should be like. I was tired of reading about detectives who singlehandedly solved murder cases while dead drunk, waking up in the mornings with three-day-old designer stubble and a whisky bottle at the ready on the bedside table. I wanted a central character who was more like the policemen I knew from my daily work in the police force. It turned out to be William Wisting, a fair-minded, exemplary policeman, but above all a decent and genuine human being.

One of the greatest demands on a writer of police procedurals is the depiction of the interpersonal. The Katharina Code, and the previous Wisting novels, therefore do not merely deal with how Wisting tackles and solves a case, but also the impact the case has on him. Wisting changes from one book to the next. He has become a widower and the twin children Line and Thomas have grown up around him. In The Katharina Code, he has recently become a grandfather.

But some things with him stay the same. Wisting is a conscientious man, with genuine concern for his community and its social issues. Despite having delved into the depths of human depravity, he wants to be a force of good, to make the world a better place. As a detective, he is highly skilled and intuitive, with a keen eye for detail. He cares more about righteousness than elevating his position, prioritises collaboration over his own status, allowing his team’s expertise to shine. But, when confronted with strong personalities or unacceptable behaviour, he can be meek and deferential.

The Katharina Code is the seventh Wisting title to be published in English, and the first standalone in the Cold Case Quartet. To anyone who has not read any of my earlier books, I like to think that it will provide an interesting first meeting with Chief Inspector Wisting. And to those already familiar with him, I hope that the book will be a pleasant reunion with a dear old friend.

How many of Jørn Lier Horst’s Willing Wisting books have you read? Let us know in the comments below!

William Wisting
William Wisting
Jørn Lier Horst

Having worked as a police officer and head of investigations before becoming a full-time writer, Jørn Lier Horst has established himself as one of the most successful authors to come out of Scandinavia. His books have sold over two million copies in his native Norway alone and he’s published in twenty-six languages. The Wisting series is being adapted for TV by the producers behind Wallander and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. 


    I have read The Katharina Code and The Cabin – and I liked both of them a lot! This is why I have now ordered Dregs, Closed for Winter and A Question of Guilt and I am looking forward very much for them to arrive.

    I have read all the William Wisting’s books published in English and I’m looking forward to reading the next in the Cold Case Quartet. The books are so engaging and Wisting character is so unique! I love it!

    I have just listened to all the Wisting novels on Audible. I love the characters and Jørn’s style of writing. Can’t wait for the next. Any idea when?

    I’ve read all of mr Horst’s books about W.Wisting.
    I’m so looking forward to his new book later this month.

    I’ve read all the books available on iBooks! But this is not listed yet! When will it be available?

    I’ve neither heard of nor read any of Lorn Lier Horst’s books but ‘The Katharina Code’ has intrigued me. I think I may have to treat myself to it as I love a good mystery.
    Thank you fur the recommendations.

    I have read all of mr Horst’s books about Wisting. Hihgly recomending!

    I have read all of the William Wisting novels which have been translated into English and am looking forward to this next quartet. Love the whole concept and become totally immersed in these stories. Just hope the TV series do justice to the series!


    Just read your comment, very intereste to hear more about the tv series, I only discovered the books about 3 weeks ago and am working my way through them, I love them, pity only 7 are available in English. .

    I’ve read all of Lorn Lier Horst’s books that are available in English translation, and I’m a big fan of his writing. We’ve read two of his books in the U3A Nordic crime Fiction group I belong to, and I’m hoping The Katharina Code will be on our list to read next year. I’ve passed on my copy to our group leader.

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