Sandmannen The Sandman

Joona Linna #4

During a cold winter night in Stockholm, a man is found walking alongside a railway bridge, suffering from hypothermia and legionnaires’ disease. After he’s rushed to the hospital, it’s discovered that according to records the man has been dead for over seven years. He is believed to be a victim of notorious serial killer Jurek Walter, arrested years ago by Detective Inspector Joona Linna and sentenced to a life of total isolation in forensic psychiatric care. As Joona Linna investigates where the “dead man” has been all these years, some unexpected evidence leads to the reopening of a cold case. Danger is imminent, and someone needs to get under the skin and inside the mind of the serial killer – fast – before they run out of time.

The fourth installment in the Joona Linna series, The Sandman took the world by storm when it became an instant No. 1 bestseller in nine countries. Sinister and full of nuanced detail, the novel showcases Lars Kepler’s unrivaled gift for crafting plots as original as they are dark.

The most sold crime novel in Sweden of 2012.
Selected by the Evening Standard as “One of the best novels of 2014”.

“Sensational ... like meeting Hannibal Lecter all over again – twice.”
Lee Child


  • “Kepler doesn’t pull any punches, and his care in creating characters will make readers deeply invested in their fates.”

    Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*, US

  • “If any Scandinavian crime series is poised to top the characterization and gripping action of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, it’s this one. Kepler has crafted a phenomenal hero in Linna, who wields intuition, strategic genius, and refreshing vulnerability against a foe as compelling and calculating as Hannibal Lecter.”

    Booklist *Starred Review*, US

  • “More dark psychological thriller than police procedural, this shiver-inducing read will have you turning pages until the cliff-hanger ending.”

    Library Journal, US

  • The Sandman is Nordic noir at its best: a modern, nightmarish fairytale with an heroic, intuitive policeman, a monstrous villain and a maiden in distress. Kepler’s effective use of short chapters quickens the exhilarating pace of the narrative and the unexpected ending increases the enigma that is Joona Linna.”

    Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

  • “Far more energetic than Henning Mankell, as socially involved as Larsson but a better writer, Kepler matches the great Jo Nesbø for gothic excitement.”

    The Australian, Australia

  • The Sandman was so frightening it nearly gave me a nervous breakdown.”

    Evening Standard, UK

  • “Kepler’s plots are always thrilling, but The Sandman is one of the most hair-raising crime novels published this year.”

    Sunday Times, UK

  • “A perfect summer read /…/ It’s been a long time since I read a book that was this thrilling. I was still thinking about the characters long after I finished reading The Sandman.”

    SIÓ/, Iceland

  • “Negative critics can go and shoot themselves right away – that is, if they’ve momentarily thought they’ve read anything better in this particular genre.”

    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “You shouldn’t start reading this novel if you have things that need to get done the next few days.”

    Oppland Arbeiderblad, Norway

  • “Above all it is the originality of the story that captivates the reader. The Sandman is not a crime novel with blood splatters, but is all the same extremely intense because of the twisted logic of the criminal mind.”

    Hamar Arbeiderblad, Norway

  • “If you manage to put away The Sandman after beginning reading it, you have nerves of steel. Because it’s not often you get to read a book with this level of suspense, both on a psychological and physical level. So all shaken up you keep on reading - fast - until your run-down nerves are intertwined with the novel’s highly dramatic ending.”

    Sandefjords Blad, Norway

  • “The technical expertise and brilliant horror film aesthetics surrounding the Finnish-descended prosecutor Joona Linna is a show of highly addictive writing.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “It's the first time I've been scared by the opening sequence of a book. The successful authors behind the pseudonym Lars Kepler is out with a new book in Norwegian, and I was unable to finish painting the wall before it was finished. The Sandman is simply frighteningly well-written.”

    Drammens Tidende, Norway

  • “So convincingly skilled that they hardly have any writer above them within that genre today. /.../ In short: Your novels feel like carefully utilized jewelry.”

    Fædrelandsvennen, Norway

  • “I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, gritty novel.”

    Romerikes Blad, Norway

  • The Sandman is Kepler’s fourth novel and maybe the best, most extreme, and horribly exciting so far. The dramaturgy is excellent and the structure of short chapters and an effective language chases the reader from one page to the next.”

    Avisa Hordaland, Norway

  • “As has been necessary with all previous thrillers by Kepler: Keep an oxygen tank close at hand.”

    Frankfurter Stadtkurier, Germany

  • “Gripping, chilling, paranoid – the most suspenseful crime novel of the year.”

    SüdhessenWoche local, Germany

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Photo: #{bookData.artist.imageByline}Lars Kepler
  • Crime
Reading material

English edition

Swedish edition

Rights sold

Bulgaria, Enthusiast

Canada, McClelland & Stewart

Catalonia, Ara

Croatia, Fraktura

Czech Republic, Host

Denmark, Gyldendal

Estonia, Pegasus

Finland, Tammi

France, Actes Sud

Germany, Lübbe

Greece, Patakis

Hungary, Cartaphilus

Iceland, Forlagid

Israel, Modan

Italy, Longanesi

Korea, Woongjin Thinkbig

Latvia, Mansards

Lithuania, Media Incognito

Netherlands, Cargo

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Poland, Czarne

Portugal, Porto

Russia, Corpus

Slovakia, Ikar

Spain, Penguin Random House

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

UK, HarperCollins

US, Knopf

Film rights sold

US, Anonymous Content

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Joona Linna