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The Nightmare (Joona Linna, Book 2)


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A heart-pounding, unmissable thriller from a No.1 international bestselling author

About the Author

Lars Kepler is a No.1 bestselling international sensation, whose Joona Linna thrillers have sold more than 14 million copies in 40 languages. The first book in the series, The Hypnotist, was selected for the 2012 Richard and Judy Book Club and the fourth, The Sandman, was one of the Evening Standard's books of the year. Lazarus is the seventh book in the series and went straight to No. 1 in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Holland, Iceland, and the Czech Republic.

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for writing duo, Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril. They live with their family in Sweden.


Scandinavian sleuth Joona Linna of the National Homicide Squad has a way with odd murder cases, and in Kepler's latest, he faces two real puzzlers. A young woman is found dead on a deserted yacht, her lungs full of water, but her body and clothes dry as a bone. The following day, a government official is discovered in his Stockholm apartment hanging from a high rafter, an apparent suicide-except there is no furniture in the room on which he could have made his fatal climb. Narrator Mark Bramhall smoothly handles tongue-twisting Nordic names, and sets a pace that allows the listener to properly process the often-perplexing events without diminishing their chilling effect. He also provides a variety of appropriate voices for a large cast that includes a surprisingly emotional antiterrorist expert, a frightened young peace activist on the run from an unstoppable assassin, and the evil mastermind behind the deaths. An FSG/Sarah Crichton hardcover. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

On a June night, a pleasure boat is found drifting on a bay in the Stockholm archipelago; its only passenger is a young woman who drowned although her clothes are dry. The next day a well-dressed man is discovered hanging from a lamp hook in his apartment, an apparent suicide. There seems to be no connection between the cases until Insp. Joona Linna identifies the victims. The dead woman is the sister of Penelope Fernandez, a well-known peace activist, and the hanged man is Carl Palmcrona, a government official in charge of approving Sweden's arms exports. Now Joona must race to find Penelope before a ruthless killer does. Verdict As in The Hypnotist, Kepler (a husband-and-wife writing team) displays a sharp talent for intricate multistrand plotting and nail-biting suspense. The scenes of Penelope and her boyfriend trying to escape their single-minded pursuer on a remote island are almost unbearable in their gripping tension, yet the reader can't stop turning the pages. Unfortunately, the gothic creepiness and shocking violence turn cartoonish when the villain is finally confronted in an unbelievable and ridiculous denouement that comes out of a bad James Bond movie. Still, fans of Swedish crime fiction may enjoy, although they will hate themselves for wasting precious vacation reading time after finishing this disappointing thriller. [See Prepub Alert, 1/21/12; previewed in Kristi Chadwick's "Crime Travels" spotlight feature, LJ 4/15/12.-Ed.]-Wilda Williams, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Praise for The Nightmare:

'A high-octane, taut thriller' Marie Claire

'One of the most exciting Swedish crime novels of recent years...It doesn't get much better than this' Goeteborgsposten

'Intricate detective work and heart-ticking suspense' Boston Globe

'Joona Linna is quietly assured and as smart as a bag full of Morses' Metro

Praise for Lars Kepler:

'Kepler's plots are always thrilling, but The Sandman is one of the most hair-raising crime novels published this year' The Sunday Times

'Hurtles along ... full of nuanced detail which sets it far above the average thriller ... You'll be terrified' Evening Standard

'Taking Europe by storm...ferocious, visceral storytelling that wraps you in a cloak of darkness' Daily Mail

'Deeply scarifying stuff' Independent

'Kepler has a direct line to a very dark place in the human soul' Lev Grossman, Time

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