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The Nightmare: A Novel (Detective Inspector Joona Linna) Hardcover – July 3, 2012

135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for the Detective Inspector Joona Linna Series:
"This is definitely a series to watch."
Globe and Mail
"Stieg Larsson had a good feel for characters, but it's his fellow Swede Kepler . . . who has a direct line to a very dark place in the human soul. . . ."
—Lev Grossman, Time magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for a literary couple who live and write in Sweden.

Product Details

  • Series: Detective Inspector Joona Linna (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books; 1st edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374115338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374115333
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Short version: THE NIGHTMARE is one of those books that is so good, you never want it to end.

Long version: Lars Kepler is the pen name for the Swedish husband and wife writing team of Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Both have had works published separately, but have attracted particular attention worldwide with THE HYPNOTIST, their debut novel that introduced Swedish police investigator Joona Linna. THE NIGHTMARE is Kepler's sophomore effort (a third installment has already been published in Sweden), and it is even better than its predecessor. Unforgettable characters dip and swirl through a complex and chilling plot, which in turn is loaded with suspense and action. There is something for everyone here.

Linna is the smartest person in the room at any given point, a legend within his own department, to the consternation of some and the adoration of others. So it is that his skills and talents are in demand for the more bizarre law enforcement investigations, those that match the DLR (Don't Look Right) criteria. Two of those are introduced within the first few chapters of THE NIGHTMARE. The first involves the discovery of the body of a young woman, sitting dead in the cabin of a yacht. Her lungs are filled with water, yet her clothes and body are dry. The reader knows a little, but certainly not all, of how this came to be, and witnessing how Linna puts things together is worth the price of admission all by itself.

The second concerns an apparent suicide by hanging. The dead man, who holds an important position in a Swedish oversight committee, is found in the middle of his living room, hanging from a high beam. The question is raised as to how he got there. Linna figures it out, but something still is not right.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Julia M. on May 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was really enjoying this book until one of the plot elements spun out of control. The pursuit that occurs in this story stretched my credulity too far. The couple on the run in this book seem to only run into a--holes as they flee through the archipelago. The first nasty people who won't help them are not impossible to believe, but the psychopath they subsequently encounter is a bit much. And the death of the helicopter pilot who is lifting one of them to safety pushed me too far. I had been really wrapped up in the story previous to this, and was trying to skim through the pursuit portions of the book, but each event gets more and more absurd. I will not be able to finish it, it is irritating me too much. I know I am an excessively persnickety reader, but one abysmally unlucky encounter after another is just too much--not to mention their complete inability to get access to a working telephone of any kind. If you think you won't be bothered by such a series of implausibilities, then you might like the book. Some of the characters are interesting--I particularly like the politician who can't sleep without his human sleeping pill (it sounds sexually perverse but it isn't at all). I gave four stars for how much I liked it at the beginning, and subtracted two for how ridiculous the chase scenes became.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"The Nightmare," by Lars Kepler (a husband and wife writing team), is a police procedural with a political slant. As the story opens, twenty-four year old Penelope Fernandez, an activist and spokesperson for the Swedish Peace and Reconciliation Society, appears on television to speak out against avaricious businessmen who smuggle armaments to war-torn countries. Subsequently, a criminal mastermind orders a vicious assassin to methodically take out anyone whom he judges to be a threat. Penelope and her boyfriend, Björn, are soon on the run from a hired killer who is an expert in hand-to-hand combat, explosives, and firearms.

The protagonist, Detective Inspector Joona Linna of the National Criminal Investigation Department, analyzes a crime scene better than anyone, has an intuitive grasp of most situations, and acts intelligently and decisively in a crisis. Linna and with his colleagues from various law enforcement agencies are pushed to their limits when they track down one of the most lethal killers Sweden has ever known. The plot focuses on an incriminating photograph, the suicide of a major government official, a former violinist virtuoso who is haunted by distressing memories, and a wealthy and influential man who delights in making people's worst nightmares come true. The violence is off the charts; corpses pile up so rapidly that appalling carnage quickly becomes routine.

Kepler pads his overwrought and lengthy narrative with a large cast of characters, most of whom play minor roles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Debra Hamel VINE VOICE on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Nightmare is the second book in Lars Keplar's series featuring Swedish detective Joona Linna, a smart, sometimes almost prescient policeman who, this book hints, is haunted by some sort of tragedy. This time around Joona is investigating the murder of a young woman on an abandoned boat, a crime that winds up having connections to a much larger complex of crimes. The book is a page turner, and Joona is a very likeable protagonist. I enjoyed this book a bit more than The Hypnotist, the first book in Keplar's series, which lost its focus, I think, by telling the story from too many different perspectives. The one thing that bothered me about The Nightmare was the character of Saga Bauer, a policewoman who winds up working with Joona. She's a competent female in a man's world and she's very sensitive about misogynstic slights, to the point of throwing quite unprofessional hissy fits now and again. I found that hard to believe. But this series started well and got better: I look forward to reading more from the author.

-- Debra Hamel
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