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German hard-boild detective novels?

Hi, could anyone recommend some german hard-boild detective novels?

I like books by Lawrence block and Jo Nesbø, and would like to find some German counterparts of these guys. I heard Volker Kutscher is great, but I prefer to start from books with modern setting (e.g. in 2000s or post-9/11).

April 22, 2018



I am just reading my second book by Marc Elsberg, a novel about gene manipulation called "Helix". The other one was "Blackout", a disturbing book about loosing electric power in all of Europe due to a cyber attack and the consequences thereof. I could hardly put the book(s) aside, but hey, sometimes you need to sleep a bit, don't you?


Hi, I can recommend Roland Geisler / Julia Seusler. Their crimestories are really particular, although can be hard to take. Roland Geisler was a former detective and has a lot of knowledge of real crimes (which he integrates in his books.) So a lot of the stories are based on true events and go rather deep in hard topics. One of their books is: "Mortificantur" and its story line is set in Nürnberg. Have fun if you like these books.. ;-))


I like novels by Andreas Franz


Hm... Sebastian Fitzek is really popular. Not sure if his books are what you're looking for, but he writes crime thrillers with dark psychological stuff. :)


Netflix has a new show "Babylon Berlin" that in German, with English subtitles. It's a Volker Kutscher story, and it is fantastic. I suggest giving it a go, and then see if you want to read his stuff.


I'm currently reading the Bodenstein-Kirchhoff Taunuskrimi series by Nele Neuhaus.

I don't know if they'd meet your specs (I have no idea what "hard-boild" is), but they're detective novels - specifically solving murder cases - and the first one takes place in 2005 (and the others all follow chronologically), so it sounds like a Volltreffer to me.

Even on Amazon.de there are reviews by native German speakers who have critiqued her books as hard to follow (which I can attest to!), due to the number of characters and the complexity of the plots, but I've found these books a good challenge.

The two main characters Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirchhoff work for the Criminal Inspection Unit in Hofheim (near Frankfurt) and are (along with the other members of their team K11) responsible for solving any and all murders that happen in the Hofheim am Taunus region.

There are 8 books in the Taunuskrimi series at the time of writing, and I am part way through no.4 „Schneewittchen muss sterben“ and would recommend giving them a go! They're not perfect, and with each book there's been at least one unanswered question or peculiarity, but I've certainly found them a good read, and they're definitely helping my German, so I can't really complain.

Well anyway, I hope this helps.
Viel Spaß!

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