About Ane Riel

Author Ane Riel

A quirky and original voice

Ane Riel is the author of three novels and a handful of school books.

She debuted as a novelist with THE BUTCHER OF LISELEJE (2013) that was awarded Best Crime Novel Debut of The Year.

Her popular literary breakthrough came with RESIN (2015), which was enthusiastically received by Danish critics and is currently enjoying praise internationally. The novel has won several national and international awards, including the Glass Key in 2016, claiming its spot as that year’s best Nordic thriller. It has been sold to 26 countries and also been adapted into a feature film.

Riel’s first two novels share a peculiarity in that they were both written and presented as literary novels, but were each also welcomed into the crime genre – maybe because of their main characters’ somewhat open relationship with the law.

Her third literary novel, BEAST, came out in Denmark in October 2019 and has so far been sold to six countries including Italy, Germany and The Netherlands. Go HERE to find more information on the new book.

Please note, that BEAST is a fiction novel. It should NOT be mistaken for a thriller or crime novel!

To read reviews, find press material and get more info on all three novels please choose from the English menu in the side panel.

About Ane Riel

Riel is often described as a new, exciting voice with a refreshingly quirky and original take on language and narrative. She often deals with the tortured or conflicted mind and enjoys pushing the plot to its sickest, darkest, even most grotesque limits. And yet the story never becomes unequivocally bleak or depressing since its characters and their actions are depicted with a (perhaps worrying) degree of understanding, compassion and often, humour.

A fascination with contrasts and differ from the norm is a defining characteristic of Riel’s authorship. The same can be said of small, surprising twists that take the plot in unexpected directions

Scroll down to read about Ane Riel’s background.



  • The Glass Key / Best Nordic suspense novel 2016
  • The Harald Mogensen Award / Best Danish suspense novel 2016
  • Den Gyllene Kofoten / Best suspence novel translated into Swedish 2017
  • The Golden Bullet / Best suspense novel translated into Norwegian 2017
  • The ThrillZone Award (The Jury Prize) / Best thriller translated into Dutch 2019
  • Finalist for The Danish Broadcasting Company’s Best Novel Award 2016
  • Shortlisted for The Petrona Award 2018 / Best Scandinavian suspense novel coming out in the UK
  • Nominated for The Readers’ Best Novel Award 2016
  • Nominated for The International Dublin Literary Award 2020


  • Nominated for the Martha Award 2020 (The Readers’ Favourite Author Award)


  • Best crime novel debut 2014

For the authorship

  • The Niels Matthiasen’s Memorial Award 2016 (cultural award)
Ane Riel with the book Resin

The Niels Matthiasen’s Memorial Award 2016

Danish Culture Prize

In 2016 Ane Riel was awarded with the prestigious Danish culture prize ‘The Niels Matthiasens Memorial Award’ (Niels Matthiasens Mindelegat) for her authorship so far. The prize ceremony took place in the Ministry of Culture in Copenhagen.

“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 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.

Ane Riel awarded with The Niels Matthiasen's Memorial Award 2016

Composer Maria Frank, author Ane Riel, actress Lisbet Dahl

Personal life

Ane Riel (b. 1971) grew up in a suburb of Aarhus, Denmark, as the daughter of a lawyer and a children’s book illustrator. She graduated from Marselisborg Gymnasium in 1990 and began to study history of art at Aarhus University the following year.

In 1995 she published her first book, a schoolbook about art, in collaboration with a fellow student from the university. She also translated an educational title about art from English to Danish.
Ane decided to interrupt her university education in Aarhus the same year, and she moved to Copenhagen with an ambition to study illustration at the Danish Design School. Instead she ended up working part time for nine years at the Storm P Museum, a museum dedicated to the life and work of Robert Storm Petersen, a Danish artist renowned for his comic strips and satirical work.

Between 1995-2005 Ane published a total of nine children’s books, among these schoolbooks about art, architecture and Storm P, as well as a few fictional books.

Most of them were published under her maiden name, Ane Brahm Lauritsen.

During the same period she was furthermore pursuing her love of jazz music; going to as many concerts as possible, immersing herself in the Copenhagen jazz scene, joining the board of The Ben Webster Foundation, while simultaneously assisting and traveling with her partner Alex Riel, one of the most significant and influential jazz drummers in Europe. The couple married in 2002.

It wasn’t until Ane Riel had turned 40 that she began writing fiction for adults. Her debut novel, The Butcher of Liseleje, was published 2013 while her second title, Resin, followed in 2015. Riel’s third novel, Beast, was released in Denmark on October 10th 2019.

A feature film based on Resin world-premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019.

Riel has lived with her husband in the small village of Liseleje in North Zealand, Denmark, since 2005.

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