By Morten Hesseldahl

Winner of 2022’s Glass Key Award for best Nordic Crime Novel 

Below the Ice is a highly engaging suspense novel taking place on Greenland. It shines a light on current global issues such as climate change and melting icebergs, as well as international conflicts surrounding not only Greenland’s territory but also the island’s natural resources such as oil. Hesseldahl manages to portray likable characters, and paints a picture of a cold, rural environment that is simultaneously very alive and “exotic”  – and the center of international interests.

Pipaluk is half Inuit, half Danish. Raised in Greenland with an absent father and an abusive mother. But she was lucky, an empathetic teacher saw Pipaluk’s potential and got her away from drugs and sexual abuse in Nuuk. The now adult Pipaluk has no plans to return to the North Atlantic continent. But neither does she have any other plans for the future after a career as a former elite soldier with deployment in Afghanistan and employment in the Danish intelligence service. Now a civilian, she has been fired from her job in adventure travels after an unlucky love affair with her boss.

One day she is contacted by her former boss from Danish intelligence service. He wants her to travel to Greenland and establish a company in Skrømt. This due to the fact that the infamous case from 1968 with a crashed US bomber plane equipped with nuclear weapons will be opened up again, in the wake of global warming and the great powers’ fight over Greenland’s natural resources. Before long, Pipaluk finds herself at the center of a homicide investigation, and her only way to clear her name is to join those who try to find the answer to both the bomber plane case as well as the Americans’ secret and very extensive nuclear base deep below the ice east of Thule – called “Iceworm”.  And since climate change makes the ice quickly melt, old secrets suddenly resurface…

First published by Modtryk, Oktober 2021

Czech Republic, Dobrovsky s.r.o & Omega
Denmark, Modtryk
Sweden, Bokfabriken

“This hybrid of Lisbeth Salander, Miss Smilla and Pippi Longstocking goes straight to the finish line”
– Jyllands-Posten newspaper

“There are authorships that not only enrich you with entertainment, but also make you wiser. Such an authorship is Morten Hesseldahl’s. Every time I put one of his books down, I have thought about current political topics that I otherwise hadn’t given much thought to before. He never gives dogmatic solutions, but instead asks some of the most topical questions of the time – and he does it with warmth, humor and always with respect for the conventions of the suspense genre.”
– Nanna Rørdam Knudsen, Publisher, Modtryk

“In Morten Hesseldahl’s solid suspense novel, the Danish Afghanistan veteran Pipaluk fights against both Denmark’s intelligence service, and disillusioned idealists. When she is forced to return to Greenland, she also encounters corrupt politicians, Chinese bribe money and American nuclear weapons, hidden in the dark under the melting ice.”
– The Swedish Crime Academy

“Nice and enjoyable … a seamless and brilliant prose, concise and to the point.”
– Politiken

“A solid suspense novel with a plot choreographed around current international tensions.”
– Jyllands-Posten

“Both exuberant and potent (…) a relevant and current suspense novel with vision and drama.”
– Berlingske

“Morten Hesseldahl exposes, in a very convincing way, all the political problems the commonwealth between Denmark and Greenland experiences right now (…) Added to this is a loving depiction of the Greenlandic nature, which is now being challenged by climate change.”
– Dagbladenes Bureau. 

“Excellent political thriller with an entertaining plot, which is both super excitingly put together, and which raises important thoughts about Greenland’s role as a political and cultural focal point in the world.”
– The libraries’ lecturer’s review

2022, Winner of Glass Key Award for best Nordic Crime Novel 

About the The Glass Key Award: Scandinavia’s most prestigious and joint crime award for Best Nordic Crime Novel. It is awarded every year for best Nordic literary work, since 1992 when Henning Mankell won for Killer Without a Face. A jury in each of the five Nordic countries nominates a national candidate, after which all the jurors vote. This year Morten Hesseldahl beat out the competition of Åsa Larsson, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Antti Tuomainen. Previous winners include Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and Jussi Adler Olsen.

2022, Winner of the Danish Crime Academy’s Harald Mogensen prize for Best Danish Crime Novel.