The Chestnut Man production still

The Chestnut Man: we’re already obsessed with Netflix’s new Nordic noir series

Posted by for TV

Netflix’s The Chestnut Man has been penned by the creator of hit TV show The Killing, so it makes sense that viewers have branded it “tense, emotional and honestly frightening”.

As you’ve no doubt guessed by now, we here at Stylist HQ are big fans of the Nordic noir genre. And why wouldn’t we be, quite frankly? Usually boasting strong female protagonists, compelling societal commentary, stories of triumph (and redemption), gorgeous Scandi landscapes, terrifying mysteries to unravel, and covetable knitwear, they tick all the boxes we’re looking for in a meaty crime drama – and more.

They are, too, especially well suited to autumn evenings, thanks to their dark storylines and wild wintry landscapes. Which means, yes, Netflix’s The Chestnut Man has gone down an absolute storm with… well, with ourselves and everyone else.

From the creator of The Killing, the series (which dropped on the streaming platform today) has been branded “tense, emotional and honestly frightening” by viewers on Twitter.

“You definitely do not want to skip out on this one, people!” reads one rave social media review.

The Chestnut Man has an engaging plot, beautiful landscapes, and complex characters — it’s Nordic Noir through and through, and a can’t-miss binge-watch proposition,” adds a tweet from Ready Steady Cut.

And one more tweet reads simply: “The Chestnut Man is SO good! Watch it immediately!”

Intrigued? Well, here’s what you need to know, then, about The Chestnut Man:

What’s the plot of The Chestnut Man?

Set in Copenhagen, this story plunges us headfirst into a terrifying murder investigation. A body has been found in a children’s playground – with one of its hands missing.

Hanging above the body is the killer’s calling card; a “chestnut man” – basically a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts.

The Chestnut Man totem - production stills
The Chestnut Man is based on the debut novel by award winning writer Søren Sveistrup which has been translated into 28 languages and published in 50 countries.

The case is assigned to ambitious young detective Naia Thulin and her new partner, Mark Hess. And, while examining the doll, they make a shocking discovery – one which connects it the missing (presumed dead) daughter of politician Rosa Hartung.

A tragic coincidence, or something more twisted? To save innocent lives, Thulin and Hess must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.

Because, as soon becomes all too apparent, the murderer’s on a mission that is far from over. And no one is safe.

Who stars in The Chestnut Man?

Danica Curcic takes the lead as Naia Thulin in this murder mystery, while Mikkel Boe Følsgaard takes on the role of Mark Hess.

Iben Dorner, meanwhile, takes on the role of Rosa Hartung.

The Chestnut Man - Production Stills
Danica Curcic takes the lead in The Chestnut Man.

Is there a trailer for The Chestnut Man?

You can watch the official teaser for Netflix’s The Chestnut Man below.

Fair warning, though: it’s seriously twisted.

Who wrote The Chestnut Man?

The Chestnut Man is based on the bestselling debut novel by award winning writer Søren Sveistrup.

As in, yes, the same twisted genius who brought us The Killing.

“Netflix has shown a strong, genuine interest in my book,” he says of the upcoming adaptation.

“I’m excited about the deal and confident that Netflix will be the perfect place for The Chestnut Man.”

What have people said about The Chestnut Man?

Louise Foldager Sørensen, aka the executive producer at SAM Productions Meta, says: “We are looking very much forward to bringing Søren’s amazing international bestseller to the screen, and we are very excited and proud to announce the continuation of our good collaboration with Netflix.

“The novel has been translated into 28 languages and it’s being published in more than 50 countries, we are therefore thrilled to be able to release this original Danish story, in the Danish language, worldwide with Netflix as our partner.”

Tesha Crawford, the director of Netflix International Originals Northern Europe, adds: ”After the success of The Rain, we are excited to announce our next Danish Original which will be building on the great tradition of Nordic Noir.

“We were instantly compelled by the strong story and Søren’s voice. We are happy to continue the collaboration with SAM Productions and are looking forward to bringing The Chestnut Man to our global audience.”

Reviews of the original book, too, are overwhelmingly positive.

“As in The Killing television series, Sveistrup offers lessons to seasoned practitioners of the serial-killer whodunit in how to inject new energy into this near-exhausted subgenre, and a reminder (via his portrayal of the families, homes and workplaces that his cops visit) that crime writing has the potential to be eye-opening, panoramic social realism,” promises The Sunday Times.

The New York Journal Of Books adds: “The Chestnut Man is an incredible novel that drips with atmosphere. This is the perfect potboiler for Nordic noir fanatics and first timers alike. Just don’t read it when you are all alone after dark.”

And The Guardian notes: “If you are one of the millions who enjoyed The Killing, you’ll want to read the first novel by its creator. Sveistrup’s ability at building tension is evident, and this will undoubtedly make for a compelling television adaptation.”

Netflix’s The Chestnut Man, which is set in Copenhagen, was penned by the creator of hit TV show The Killing.
Netflix’s The Chestnut Man, which is set in Copenhagen, was penned by the creator of hit TV show The Killing.

How many episodes of The Chestnut Man will there be?

The Chestnut Man series is composed of six 50-minute episodes.

When will The Chestnut Man be available to stream on Netflix?

The Chestnut Man became available for streaming via Netflix on 29 September.

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Images: Netflix/Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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