Paganinikontraktet The Nightmare

Joona Linna #2

On a summer night, police recover the body of a young woman from an abandoned pleasure boat drifting around the Stockholm archipelago. Her lungs are filled with brackish water, and the forensics team is sure that she drowned. Why, then, is the pleasure boat still afloat, and why are there no traces of water on her clothes or body? The next day, a man turns up dead in his state apartment in Stockholm, hanging from a lamp hook in the ceiling. All signs point to suicide, but the room has a high ceiling, and there’s not a single piece of furniture around – nothing to climb on. Joona Linna begins to piece together the two mysteries, but the logistics are a mere prelude to a dizzying and dangerous course of events.

At its core, the most frightening aspect of the No. 1 internationally bestselling The Nightmare isn’t the gruesome crimes it portrays – it’s the dark psychology of its characters, who show us just how blind we can be to our own motives.


Shortlisted for the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year) Sweden 2010
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  • “Action-oriented, inventive, with over-the-top plots and larger-than-life heroes and criminals /…/ Even stronger [than The Hypnotist].”

    Los Angeles Times, US

  • “Gripping /…/ Kepler will have you turning pages long after your bedtime.”

    The Philadelphia Inquirer, US

  • “Intricate detective work and heart-ticking suspense.”

    Boston Globe, US

  • “A high-octane, taut thriller.”

    Marie Claire, UK

  • “Joona Linna is quietly assured and as smart as a bag full of Morses.”

    Metro, UK

  • The Nightmare by Lars Kepler makes you break out in a cold sweat.”

    Ruhr Nachrichten, Germany

  • “This crime novel is densely constructed – full of action.”

    Die Welt, Germany

  • The Nightmare was written with great joy, you can feel it.”

    Público, Portugal

  • “A fascinating thriller that keeps exploring the dark side of Sweden”

    To Vima, Greece

  • “One of the most exciting books in the last few years and a magnificent work of fiction. What more could anyone ask for?”

    LiFO Magazine, Greece

  • “All said, The Nightmare is superior to the majority of contemporary crime fiction.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “One of the most exciting Swedish crime novels of recent years /…/ It doesn’t get much better than this.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

Photo: Ewa-Marie Rundquist Lars Kepler
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

English edition

Rights sold

Albania, Dituria

Arab World, HBKU Press

Bangladesh, Kaloharaph

Brazil, Intrinseca

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, Animus

Iceland, Forlagid

Israel, Modan

Italy, Longanesi

Japan, Hayakawa

Lithuania, Lectio Divina

Netherlands, Cargo

North Macedonia, Matica

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Poland, Dolnoslaskie

Portugal, Porto

Romania, Editura Paralela 45

Russia, Corpus

Serbia, Vulkan

Slovakia, Ikar

Slovenia, HKZ

Spain, Penguin Random House

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

Turkey, Pegasus

UK, HarperCollins

Ukraine, KM Books

US, Knopf

Film rights sold

US, Hardy, Son & Baker / Apple TV+

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