Lars Kepler Logo

The Nightmare


Joona Linna No. 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.


Published: 2010

Pages: 561

“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
“This crime novel is densely constructed – full of action.”
Die Welt , Germany
“The Nightmare by Lars Kepler makes you break out in a cold sweat.”
Ruhr Nachrichten, Germany
“The Nightmare was written with great joy, you can feel it.”
Público, Portugal
“One of the most exciting Swedish crime novels of recent years /.../ It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden
“All said, The Nightmare is superior to the majority of contemporary crime fiction.”
Aftenposten, Norway