Teddy Maksumnic

Created by Jens Lapidus

VIP-rummet (The VIP Room; 2014) kicked off a brand new and equally ambitious trilogy by celebrated Swedish author, Jens Lapidus, creator of the acclaimed Stockholm Noir trilogy (2014).

The novel introduced Serbian immigrant, former criminal and ex-con (eight years for his part in a kidnapping he apparently had nothing to do with) turned working-class gumshoe NAJDAN “TEDDY”‘ MAKSUMNIC, a private eye very much in the Chandler mode. He works as an investigator–despite his rough edges–for a swanky, hoity-toity high-priced law firm. There he often serves as the middle man between them and Stockholm’s ethically diverse criminal underworld.  It’s a sweeping but rather cold and gloomy view of Swedish society presented here, of course, and in the course of the trilogy, there’s enough drugs, sexual abuse (including of children), white collar crime, business fraud, police corruption, skanky underworld figures, perversion and racism to keep any fan of Scandinavian noir happy.

VIP-rummet was followed by Sthlm Delete (Stockholm Delete; 2015), in which the thuggish, unpolishedTeddy strikes up an acquaintance (and a bit of a will they? won’t they? relationship) with Emelie Jansson, an ambitious young commercial lawyer at the firm, who really wants to set up her own criminal defense firm. The two team up to take down a Swedish sex ring, while in the third and final installment, Top Dog (2017), Emilie finally has her own firm (she was fired for the events in the previous novel), and is reunited with Teddy, whom she hasn’t seen for a while.

The books proved popular enough –and in fact the author is a perennial bestseller in his native Sweden–that a television series seemed almost inevitable, and sure enough, Top Dog made its debut in 2020, starring Alexej Manvelov as Teddy and Josefin Asplund as Emilie. The series zoomed in on their personal relationship–though it seems unlikely anyone will confuse this hard, noirish and at time brutal show with Moonlighting.


Jens Lapidus is a criminal defense lawyer who represented several of Sweden’s more notorious organized crime figures, and is the author of the acclaimed Stockholm Noir trilogy, three of the bestselling Swedish novels of all time: Easy Money, Never Fuck Up, and Life Deluxe. He lives in Stockholm with his wife.


  • “Hard-hitting… (Lapidus’s) picture of Swedish social debilitation is powerful stuff.”
    — Publishers Weekly on Top Dog
  • “Lapidus plots on an epic scale; if you think one plotline is beginning to flag, just wait for new details about his double-crossing gangsters, his two-faced socialites, and his hard-used heroine and her unlikely swain. Even better, he produces a climactic surprise that really does tie many of the strands of this untidy saga together.”
    — Kirkus Reviews on Top Dog



    (aka “Hidden Agenda”)
    (2020, C More)
    8 60-minute episodes
    Based on characters created by Jens Lapidus
    Writers: Linnea Möller Lindh, Lovisa Milles, Veronica Zacco, Josefin Johansson, Amanda Högberg, Alexis Almström, Gunnar Järvstad, Dunja Vujovic
    Directors: Molly Hartleb, Alexis Almström
    Starring Josefin Asplund as Emily Jansson
    and Alexej Manvelov as TEDDY MAKSUMIC
    Also starring Jessica Grabowsky, Gustav Lindh, Kardo Razzazi, Peter Gardiner, Joel Spira, Christian Hillborg, Beka Kuliev, Milan Dragisic, Mahmut Suvakci, Set Sjöstrand, Malin Barr, Björn Elgerd, Marcel Khouri, Dag Malmberg, Jan Mybrand, Sandra Stojiljkovic, Lina Englund, David Fukamachi Regnfors, Amanda Ooms, Sara Shirpey, Oscar Töringe

    • “Episode 1” (May 29, 2020)
    • “Episode 2” (May 29, 2020)
    • “Episode 3” (May 29, 2020)
    • “Episode 4” (May 30, 2020)
    • “Episode 5” (May 30, 2020)
    • “Episode 6” (May 30, 2020)
    • “Episode 7” (May 30, 2020)
    • “Episode 8” (May 30, 2020)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply