William Wisting Books in Order: How to read Jørn Lier Horst’s series?

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The books behind the popular TV series.

What is the William Wisting series about?

Coming from award-winning Norwegian author Jørn Lier Horst-and a former Senior Investigating Officer at Vestfold police district-the William Wisting series is a popular crime series set in Larvik, Norway.

Chief Inspector William Wisting is described as “an experienced policeman who is familiar with the dark side of human nature. He lives in challenging times for the Norwegian police force, meeting them with integrity and humanity, and a fragile belief that he can play a part in creating a better world.”

Like Wallander and other Scandi-Noir detectives, Wisting is also the main character of a TV Series based on the books. Launched in 2019, the show stars Sven Nordin and Carrie-Anne Moss.

How to read the William Wisting Books in Order?

Every book in the William Wisting series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.

The First four books in the series have not been translated yet.

  1. Key Witness (Org. Nøkkelvitnet, 2004)
  2. Disappearance of Felicia (Org. Felicia forsvant, 2005)
  3. When the Sea Calms (Org. Når havet stilner, 2006)
  4. The Only One (Org. Den eneste ene, 2007)

  1. The Night ManFinally translated into English in July 2022! It happened in the quiet town of Larvik. A severed head is displayed on a stake. A crime so dark only one man is capable of solving it: Police Inspector William Wisting. Then more bodies are found. Media frenzy sweeps the locals into a panic. And Wisting’s investigation leads him to one man … The Night Man. Criminal ringleader. Brains behind the murders. And now, Wisting’s target. But what Wisting doesn’t realize is that he’s a target as well …
  2. Dregs – A police report gives the place and time of the discovery of a training shoe washed up on the sand, containing a severed foot from the victim’s body. Soon a second shoe is washed up, but it is another left. What is the explanation for this? Has there been some kind of terrible accident at sea? Does it indicate the killing and dismembering of two victims? Is there a link with the unsolved mystery of a number of disappearances in the Larvik area in recent months?
  3. Closed for Winter – Ove Bakkerud, newly separated and extremely disillusioned, is looking forward to a final quiet weekend at his summer home before closing for winter but, when the tourists leave, less welcome visitors arrive. Bakkerud’s cottage is ransacked by burglars and next door he discovers the body of a man who has been beaten to death. Police Inspector William Wisting has witnessed grotesque murders before, but the desperation he sees in this latest murder is something new.

  1. The Hunting Dogs – Seventeen years ago William Wisting led the investigation into one of Norway’s most widely publicized criminal cases when the young Cecilia Linde was killed. Now it is discovered that evidence was planted and the wrong man convicted. Wisting is suspended and the media smell blood. William Wisting has spent his life hunting criminals, but now it is he who is hunted. To discover what really happened he must work alone and undercover, assisted only by his journalist daughter Line. Then another young woman disappears.
  2. The Caveman – Only three houses away from the policeman’s home, a man has been sitting dead in front of his television set for four months. There are no indications that anything criminal has taken place. Viggo Hansen was a man nobody ever noticed, even though he lived in the midst of a close-knit community. His death doesn’t hit the headlines, but there is something about the case that catches the attention of William Wisting’s journalist daughter, Line, and she decides to write a newspaper article with a different twist for the festive season: the portrait of a completely anonymous and obscure person whose death goes unremarked and unmourned.
  3. Ordeal – Together with her one-year-old daughter Maja, single mother Sofie Lund moves into the house she inherited from her grandfather. Sofie has such painful memories that she has had every trace of the old man removed, every trace but a locked safe that has been bolted to the basement floor. Inside the safe, Sofie finds something shocking that will also become crucial evidence in a case that has plagued Inspector William Wisting for a long time. To follow this lead though, he must cut across important loyalties and undermine confidence in the police force.

  1. When It Grows DarkA prequel story. Stavern 1983: Christmas is approaching, snow is falling heavily, and a young ambitious policeman named William Wisting has just become the father of twins. After a brutal robbery, he is edged off the investigation by more experienced officers, but soon he is on another case that is not only unsolved but has not even been recognized as murder. Forgotten in a dilapidated barn stands a bullet-riddled old car, and it looks as if the driver did not get out alive. This case will shape William Wisting as a policeman and give him insight that he will carry with him for the rest of his professional career: generations form an unbroken chain.
  2. The Katharina Code The first book in the Cold Case Quartet. Katharina went missing twenty-four years ago. Each year on the anniversary of her disappearance Chief Inspector William Wisting visits her husband, the man he could never help. He re-reads her files, searching for the answer he could never find. The code he could never solve. Until now. This year is going to be different. Another woman is missing. And so is Katharina’s husband. Wisting has to find him, but is he rescuing a dear friend, or playing a deadly game?
  3. The Cabin – 15 years ago, Simon Meier walked out of his house and was never seen again. With no leads, the case quickly ran cold. Until now. Because one day ago, politician Bernard Clausen died. And in his cabin on the Norwegian coast, police make a shocking discovery. Boxes of bank notes, worth millions of dollars. Collecting dust. Chief Inspector William Wisting thinks it could link to Meier’s disappearance. But solving both cases will mean working with an old adversary, and delving into a dark underworld – which leads closer to home than he could have imagined . . .

  1. The Inner Darkness – Five years ago, serial killer Tom Kerr was imprisoned. Today, he’s out to reveal the resting place of his final victim. As Kerr leads Detective Wisting to the grave, the expedition goes horribly wrong. Kerr escapes, vanishing into the forest. What’s worse, Kerr’s old accomplice was never caught . . . Now two murderers are on the loose – and Wisting has just hours to find them.
  2. A Question of Guilt – In 1999, seventeen-year-old Tone Vaterland was killed on her way home from work. Desperate for a conviction the police deemed the investigation an open-and-shut case and sent her spurned boyfriend, Danny Momrak, down for murder. But twenty years later William Wisting receives a puzzling letter. It suggests the wrong man was convicted for Tone’s death. And the real murderer is still out there. Wisting is quickly thrown into a terrifying race against time where he must find the sender, decipher this mysterious letter and catch the real killer–before they strike again…
  3. Boundless – Not translated yet.
  4. The traitor – Not translated yet.

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