ANE RIEL / author

Born 1971 in Aarhus, Denmark.

Hi there!

Welcome to my homepage – and apologies for this very limited English version of it.

I'm the author of two novels, 'Slagteren i Liseleje' (2013) and 'Harpiks' (2015). Previously I've published a number of children's books / school books on art, architecture etc.

In 2014 my debut novel 'Slagteren i Liseleje' was awarded Best Danish Suspense Debut Novel of the year. 

And in 2016 'Harpiks' was awarded Best Nordic Suspense Novel of the year which means I won the prestigious Nordic award THE GLASS KEY.

Before that 'Harpiks' was awarded Best Danish Suspense Novel of the year. Also, it was nominated for The Readers' Novel Award 2016 and shortlisted for The Danish Broadcasting Company's Best Novel Award 2016.

More about the books and awards below ...


If you would like to contact me (or my agency): click here



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Published by Tiderne Skifter, October 2015

My second novel is about a little girl who grows up in a loving but also very dysfunctional family: Her father is a hoarder who gradually becomes more and more paranoid and frigthened of loosing his child. As a result he chooses to report the death of his daughter and then hide her in an old container behind their house.  

The book has recieved excellent reviews – scroll down for press quotes.

It was awarded Best Nordic Suspense Novel of the Year (scroll down for details) as well as Best Danish Suspense Novel of the Year. Furthermore it was nominated for another two big literary awards in Denmark (not crime). As for the Danish Broadcasting Company's Best Novel Award it was shortlisted for the final – the other two finalists being the renowned writers Carsten Jensen and Ida Jessen – and reached second place, only one jury vote from the winning novel (the wonderful 'En ny tid' by Ida Jessen).

Please note that 'Harpiks' wasn't written or presented as a crime/suspense novel but as a fiction novel. Apparently it is both. ;)

It has been sold to Germany (btb Verlag/Randomhouse), Norway (Aschehoug), Finland (Aula & Co), Slovakia (Premedia), Estonia (Eesti Raamat), Sweden (Modernista), The Czech Republic (Knihy Dobrovsky) and Japan (Hayakawa). More to be announced soon.

It's been optioned by the film company Zentropa.


For the Harder family, there are no limits to their love, living their peaceful life surrounded by fir trees on the small island of Head. Yet what happens to a sensitive man, who’s losing again and again, and finally can not bear to lose once more?

Perhaps one flees from it all. Perhaps one chooses to murder one’s own mother. Report the death of one’s own child. Allow one’s wife to choke. Drown oneself in the things one can not let go. Perhaps.

And how does a much loved child grow up in a world turned upside down—where good is evil and right is wrong, where darkness is light and the dead are living? A child, who isn’t allowed to say anything or speak to anyone. A child who is kept hidden from the world? And how does the world respond?

RESIN is a beautiful story about love between people, about loyalty and caring. It is also a frightening account of the fear of losing, about holding on, breaking apart and paranoia – and about unintentional cruelty. 

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Holy smokes, Ane Riel has written one wholly captivating and remarkable novel. [...] Gloomy Nordic and at the same time, and magically realistic, a spell conjured up by a sensitive child's fantastic descriptions of life on the island and an ending that is almost apocalyptic and - fortunately - leaving a chink of light and hope for the child's future. [...] RESIN has been one of the most pleasurable reads I have found among Danish novels for a long time.

 - Weekendavisen (national newspaper)


Shipwrecked dreams and the pain of loss are central themes in Ane Riel’s second novel, RESIN. Although it may sound bleak, which it certainly is, the story is interspersed with so much humor and vitality, that it is truly a little mixed bag of cross-genre gems. At the end of the book, one is both enriched, moved and amused, having been led through a whole gamut of emotions, and if one had known beforehand, just how increasingly unnerving it would become, one wouldn’t pick it up in the late hours of the night. Ane Riel manages, in other words, to strike a chord with her readers. Her language is pure and sharp in a crooked sort of way, her characters ambiguous and colorful, while the story is captivating, the tone melancholic, melodious and masterfully strange, and in the end she bundles everything into a little universe of its own, where there are no definitive answers or conclusions, but where interpretations and the very backbone of one’s point of view is challenged. […] RESIN is about how a sensitive individual like Jens is overcome by the grief of losing someone, and how he takes it out on his own family and his own life, to avoid further pain. But it is also about how love can allow and tolerate too much, and how the outside world cares little more for those who stand out –  other than using them as fuel for a little cheap gossip. However, at the same time, there is no finger wagging or moralising reprimands in Ane Riel’s novels. Her text is open to interpretation, both because those who live lives stuck within their own heads, aren’t always the strangest among us, but also because Liv’s naive and logical approach to the world puts both big and small issues on the table and challenges the reader, so that he or she reconsiders normality as they know it. RESIN is a tremendous little novel.

 Berlingske (national newspaper)  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


It is both a thriller and a family saga of the odd sort, narrated with a fantastic feel for the child’s mind and inner world. […] Riel manages to paint her strange stories with love and terror, poetry and paranoia, imagination and death without ever loosing track of the human aspect. One of the things that makes “Resin” luminous and light, in spite of the fact that it weights on the heart and rattles your nerves, is the author’s ability to maintain a certain tongue-in-cheekness in the midst of the tragedy as well as a wonderful eye for the quirky in both language and characters. It is one of the best books to emanate from the body of Danish crime in a long time.

 Ekstra Bladet (national newspaper)  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Ane Riel’s second novel clearly contends with her debut released two years ago. She follows her characters right to the end, to the point of madness and danger.

- Politiken (national newspaper)  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Ane Riel has done it again, written a novel that spell-binds and captivates you right from the beginning .... A supremely successful work that rightly questions, if it really is so obvious, what it is that is good and the opposite of that. 

- Litteratursiden (website of the Danish Libraries)


Riel's second novel is unimaginably cruel, and yet so beautiful in its own way. […] As suggested, the novel offers slightly quirky characters a voice, a loving voice - and that’s what I'm crazy about. Calls for an afterthought.  

- Bognørden  (book blogger)   ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Ane Riel gives the reader goosebumps in a grotesque novel that is as beautiful as it is dark, and one that is difficult to forget. 

 VG / Verdens Gang, Norway (national newspaper)  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Ane Riel’s Resin is crime that eclipses suspense… Darker and darker. Riel throws down many gothic/ grotesque elements, but this marked sensationalism is offset by a precise poetic sensuality and a complete and brutal immersion into a child’s split mind. Light actually shines out of Liv. Like a piece of amber, she carries large parts of the book on her small shoulders. A book that uses its crime plot as a starting block, rather than a safety blanket.
 – Aftenposten. Norway (national newspaper) 
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'Resin' has been optioned by the film company ZENTROPA (the company of film director Lars von Trier). I'm trying not to be too excited yet ... but I am!!!



Best Nordic Suspense Novel of the Year (Resin)

HARPIKS has been awarded the best nordic suspense novel of the year for which I've recieved 'The Glass Key 2016'. 

The list of previous award winners includes: Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbø, Jussi Adler Olsen, Håkon Nesser, Peter Høeg, Karin Alvtegen, Henning Mankell a.o. 

Somebody, pinch me!

"Resin is written with a mischievous and whimsical élan, as well as solidarity with its characters, especially the oddballs and the anti- socials. There is actually a lot of amusement in this tragic story. Resin is written in the fertile borderland between strict genre and originality, the beloved cliché and the new code. Or what Umberto Eco calls the good balance in all good literature; the known is what is already seen and the chocking is what is unkown. It is in this borderland that the best thrillers are and where prizes are won." – Extract from the award ceremony speach by Bo Tao Michaëlis

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NEWS FROM SWEDEN (December 2017)


The Niels Matthiasen's Memorial Award

On April 25th 2016 I was awarded with the prestigious Danish culture prize 'The Niels Matthiasens Memorial Award' (Niels Matthiasens Mindelegat). The prize ceremony took place in the Ministry of Culture in Copenhagen. 

The award has been named after Niels Matthiasen, the very popular long-term minister of culture of Denmark who served from 1971 to 1973 and from 1975 to 1980. 

The list of previous award recipients includes national icons like musicians Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Palle Mikkelborg and Michala Petri, actress Ghita Nørby, writer Benny Andersen, film director Thomas Vinterberg and architect Jørn Utzon. It goes without saying I'm dead proud to see my name among them.




’’[Ane Riel has] manifested herself as an author of unique talent, extraordinary courage and a rare imagination. Along with her command of the subtleties of language, she has positioned herself at the forefront of her genre in record time. She is clearly not a “one hit wonder”. With an imagination bordering on the grotesque and her exceptional writing style, she has forged a universe entirely of her own making.’’

– from the jury of the Grant in Memorial of Niels Matthiasen


The Harald Mogensen Award 2016

Best Danish Suspense Novel of the Year (Resin)

Here I am on stage trying to say something incredibly funny after having recieved the most prestigious Danish crime fiction award for 'Harpiks'.

There IS something comical (I think) about recieving a crime award for a novel I never considered a crime novel myself. Especially since it's happened to me before ...  


Best Crime/Suspense Debut Novel of the Year 2014 (The Butcher of Liseleje)

In 2014 my debut novel from 2013 was awarded 'The Best Suspense Debut Novel of the Year' by the Danish Crime Academy.

The photos are taken in the former Horsens State Prison where the largest crime fiction festival of Northern Europe is taking place every year. Contrary to what you may think there is a wonderful atmosphere – and they let you out of there. :) 

'Best Danish Suspense Novel of the Year' (RESIN)


'Best Crime/Suspense Debut Novel of the Year' (THE BUTCHER OF LISELEJE)

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SLAGTEREN I LISELEJE (The Butcher of Liseleje)

Published by Tiderne Skifter, 2013


My first novel was published by the renowned Danish publishing house Tiderne Skifter in September 2013. It has recieved great reviews in leading Danish newspapers and has also been featured in a couple of national TV-shows here in Denmark.

In the Spring of 2014 it was awarded Best Danish Suspense Debut of the Year by The Danish Crime Academy - a great surprise since it wasnt sold and presented as a crime novel and the author never thought of the book as such. 

In 2015 I was representing Denmark at The European First Novel Festival / Budapest Literature Festival. 

The novel has been sold to Norway (Aschehoug) and Germany (Btb Verlag/Randomhouse) at auction.

The German edition, titled "Blutwurst & Zimtschecken", was published on June 13th 2016 and categorized as a crime novel unlike the Danish edition. Scroll down for reviews in German.


At the heart of a collection of oddballs and misfits in the small seaside town of Liseleje is Judith, charming and generous, who regales the rather more down-at-heel characters of the town with cognac and nightly dinners. It turns out, though, that Judith's hospitality is promted not by sisterly love, but by loathing. (Danish Literary Magazine)




The German version of 'The Butcher of Liseleje' was published on June 13. 2016 by btb Verlag / Randomhouse

The book is called 'Blutwurst und Zimtschnecken' and is presented as a crime novel (unlike the Danish edition).

[...] Dies ist ein äußerst skurriler, ungewöhnlicher Krimi mit hohem Unterhaltungswert. Die genaue Beschreibung der einzelnen Charaktere mit einem sehr humorvollen, schmunzelnden Unterton macht das Lesen zum Genuss. Absolut empfehlenswert! [...] Read the full review by Angelika Steinhäuser at


Es ist ein fulminanter Einstieg, der Ane Riel in die Welt der "Erwachsenenliteratur" gelungen ist. Mit scharfem aber zugleich sehr warmem Blick skizziert sie die Szenerie. Landschaft, Pflanzen, Häuser, Orte und natürlich Menschen werden detailreich und interessant beschrieben.
Ob es um „die Rentierflechte, die am Waldboden leuchtete wie verirrte Sonnenflecken“ oder um Schrullen und Charakterzüge selbst von Nebenfiguren geht - Ane Riel entwirft Bilder, in die man gern eintaucht. [... ] Read the full review at

Toll. Super super. Die Geschichte ist humorvoll, spannend, grausam, lehrreich, phasenweise böse aber auch liebevoll. Man sollte es unbedingt gelesen haben.

„Die nette Alte von nebenan“ – Wer hat nicht so eine penible ältere Dame in der Nachbarschaft? Judith Bering ist immer äußerst freundlich und nimmt alles sehr genau – Alles! Umso mehr verärgert sie die arrogante, distanzierte und vor allem unaufmerksame Art des Postboten. Sie beschließt, die Welt von ihm zu befreien. Von ihm und allen anderen Störfaktoren. Ein richtig schräger, „leicht“ morbider Krimi, mit einem sehr ungewöhnlichen „Täter-Werdegang“. Schlagen Sie die nächste Einladung zu Cognac und Zimtschnecken besser aus, von Blutwurst ganz zu schweigen!

Wunderbar! Unvorhersehbar, gruselig ohne Alpträume zu verursachen, weitestgehend unblutig, davor psychisch herausfordernd. [...] Read the full review at Franziskas Bücherblog

[...] Ane Riel muss in ihrer Geschichte weit ausholen. Zum allgemeinen Verständnis, zumindest wenn sich die erste Verwirrung gelegt hat, kann und muss man ihr in ihren umfangreichen Rückblenden folgen. Und falls dies nicht gelingt, kann man sich, völlig unabhängig davon, zunächst an ihrer herzerfrischend-geistreichen Metaphorik erfreuen. Vielleicht ist dies auch der einzig richtige Weg, denn von Anfang an ahnen Leserinnen und Leser nichts Gutes. Deshalb kann es nur froh und heiter stimmen, erst einmal Land und Leute und überhaupt die ganze, mit Worten gemalte, Stimmung in Liseleje und Umgebung kennenzulernen, bevor sich Abgründe auftun, die man so auf keinen Fall erwartet hat! 
Read the full review at 

Sehr dänisch - sehr gut!

Read / listen to the review on 


   Copenhagen Literary Agency / News

Danish Literary Magazine (Autumn 2015)

A biannual magazine with the main aim to provide foreign publishers, literary agents and translators with information on trends in Danish literature and on the various forms of literary funding available from the Danish Arts Foundation.

My book is presented on page 12 in the latest issue. Click here to read the magazine (Autumn 2015)


Click to read