Tove Alsterdal

”I wanted to write a novel about a dead person floating a shore on a beach. And nobody gives a damn.”

Terese from Sweden wakes up at dawn on a beach in southern Spain. As she stumbles down to the water she steps on the dead body of an African man. Under the cover of night a woman sneaks onto land in the neighbouring harbour. She was smuggled across the sea and has been saved from the waves. Her name is Mary, but not for much longer.

In New York, Ally is trying to get hold of her husband who is a well known freelance journalist. He is in Paris writing about human trafficking and slavery. Ally faces her fear of enclosed spaces and boards a plane across the Atlantic to find him. This takes her on a journey through the deepest dark of Europe, and into a confrontation with her own past.

Women on the Beach is a black thriller about three women and three lives undergoing brutal change. Three paths will cross; three paths leading beyond the influence of any law, where evil holds sway behind beautiful facades and where people can be bought or sold, become someone else, or die.

The story takes place in five countries and in the boarderland of totally different worlds. Although this is fiction, a lot of what takes place in the book has happened in real life. Yesterday, today – and probably tomorrow as well.

364 pages

Rights sold

China: Xinhua Publishing House
Czech Republic: Motto/Albatros
Denmark: Modtryk
Finland: Gummerus
France: Actes Sud
Germany: Lübbe
Greece: Metaichmio Publications S.A
Iceland: Bjartur
Israel: Sela
Italy: Sperling & Kupfer
Japan: Tokyo Sogensha
The Netherlands: Prometheus
Norway: Kagge Forlag
Poland: Muza
Slovakia: Motto/Albatros
Spain: RBA Libros
Sweden: Lind & Co
UK: Harper Collins
USA/AUS/NZ: Harper 360


Film rights

Dansk Film Kompagni


Women on the Beach has all the characteristics of the Scandinavian crime novel – the suspense, the literary quality, the critical view on society – but with a global perspective. The Swedish critics are right: this is an international thriller of the highest standard.”
Liza Marklund


“The perfect social crime mystery, skillfully linking the social problems with the protagonist on her personal level. The narrative is also outstanding, making readers absorbed in the story and never letting them go. I would say she is one of the biggest debut authors this year”.

Honyaku (Mystery Syndicate)/Japan


“A strong debut with admirable realistic back ground story.”

Kultur Buch-Tipps/Germany


“An impressive debut of a Swedish journalist. Without the usual clichés and with real characters in a serious criminal environment. The main character ends up in the middle of a hot political environment in which the author navigates without a moment of lost tension.”



“”The last scene is one of the strongest in the whole novel. A captivating debut!”

Der Standard/Germany


“A complex topic is condensed into this book with great finesse. Nothing is missing and nothing can be added. The balance is perfect. This first novel by Tove Alsterdal is a total success and the translation of her second book is already eagerly awaited.”

Huffington Post/ Canada


“Alsterdal is a gift to crime novel lovers.”



“Tove Alsterdal’sWomen On The Beach is a shaking and well underbuilt thriller about modern slavery./…/She really knows how to write, Tove Alsterdal. And she knows her facts. The story is extremely well researched and despite the fictive costume it gives a cruel and vital description of the darkest alleys of Europe.”




“If you are only going to read one Swedish crime novel this summer, read Women On The Beach by Tove Alsterdal.”

6 stars out of 6, Berlingske Tidende/Denmark


“Women On The Beach i s the most beautiful lovestory, the scariest thrilller and the most trustworthy description of modern society I have read in a very long time.Tove Alsterdal holds top class.”



“The Women on the Beach provides a credible glimpse into modern day slavery, breathing great commitment and a solid factual basis. Alsterdal also adds a surprising twist in the story that makes the reader aware of his or her own prejudices. Alsterdal has written an international thriller where the story starts in New York and goes on to Paris and Lisboa. The pace is fast in this successful debut in which the serious questions are shown in black and white.”

Aftenblad, Norge


“The best detective novel of the year. Sorry Lars Kepler, that’s just how it is.”



“A thrilling, insightful and very well written story.”



“A debut thriller whith a true talent for drama. She knows the art of slowly building up excitement of infernal proportions. She writes intuitively using the style and dramatic language that other authors have used with great success. She is in the same league as Dan Brown and John Grisham in terms of her craftsmanship. She proves that it is completely possible for a Swedish debut author to create a piece of work that bypasses kitchen sink realism and everyday annoyances, to focus wholeheartedly on moving the story forward towards an ending that is both surprising and heartrending.”

Borås Tidning





“High international standard./…/”…I dearly hope that publishers (and readers) will realise the potential of Tove Alsterdal’s debut thriller Women on the beach./…/Either Alsterdal is knowledgeable on a great many topics, or she is just an amazing researcher. Her writing is light footed and accessible, with the occasional hard edged comment interspaced with quick and humorous repartee.”




“A fantastic debut.”

Gefle Dagblad


“An ice cold thriller. /…/ … an unusal detective story with a nervous energy and a furious objectivity lifts the book high over the suspenseful intrigue.”

Dagens Nyheter


“I have never come across a Swedish author who writes with such drive that it feels as if one is reading one of the more renowned American authors in the thriller genre. It would very much surprise me if Tove Alsterdal’s debut Women on the beach doesn’t break through with sound and fury, both with the critics and with the readers. (…)With this book she has surpassed many of our most well known thriller writers in terms of quality, excitement, intrigue and use of dramatic language.”

Dast Magazine


“Tove Alsterdal’s thriller is one of this year’s most surprising debuts within the criminology genre./…/ Women on the beach is a madly thrilling and yet provocative story about human trafficking and trade in poverty stricken people./…/Ally’s strong will to get to the bottom of what has happened to Patrick conveys a deep love. A true love story emerges through her memories of their life together and her search. Through the sensitivity with which Alsterdal treats her characters and environments, as well as the strength of the topic, and not in the least, her use of language, she manages to weave together both love and excitement and thus convinces.”

Skånska Dagbladet


“This story contains everything needed to make a really good detective novel: the combination of a thrilling criminal story and a up-to-date description of modern society. Add to this perfectly drawn characters and that it is extremely well written.”

Ystads Allehanda


“Altough the suspense is very well, this is not why you keep turning the pages. It is the very story and the characters that keeps you hooked.”

Uppsala Nya Tidning


“Strong novel by Alsterdal.”



” Engaging and thrilling.”



“A hair raising page turner.”


Regardless of genre, Mats Strandberg has been praised for his sharp eye for character and dialogue. His characters are created with a large portion of psychological insight. They are never purely ”good” or ”evil”, but always relatable and believable. His novels are carefully plotted, the stories weaved with precision and confidence in the universe he has created.