Audie Award Nominee, Mystery, 2013
Lars Kepler returns with a piercing, best-selling sequel to The Hypnotist.
After spellbinding audiences in The Hypnotist, Detective Inspector Joona Linna is back in The Nightmare, an internationally best-selling Swedish thriller published to critical acclaim in dozens of countries. As the Swedish newspaper Arbetarbladet put it, "The reader is ready to sell his own soul for the opportunity to read this book without interruption, in one sitting."
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. 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 Nightmare isn’t its gruesome crimes—it’s the dark psychology of its characters, who show us how blind we are to our own motives.
©2010 Lars Kepler (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
I learned after finishing this book that the author listed is actually a pen name for a pair of authors that write together. I found that interesting, because while 90% of the book was a well written crime mystery that I enjoyed very much, the other 10% was comprised of short sections and sub-plots that seemed to come completely from left field. One event was so bizarre I had to wonder if it had been written as an inside joke that inadvertently made it into the final version.
While most of the issues weren’t that dramatic, there seemed to be a dissident chord running throughout the plot, right up to the end. After learning about the dual authors, I wondered if that fact might explain the dueling voices in the story.
Except for that issue, I really enjoyed this book. You just have to be ready to overlook a few scenes that don’t fit the rest of the narrative. If you can do that, you’ll be rewarded with some interesting characters and a solid mystery.
I don't understand the rave reviews "Lars Kepler" gets (off Audible). Like several of the other reviewers, I found this book and The Hypnotist as well to be awkwardly written and creepy, not in a good way. I hate mysteries told in the present tense, as if Joona Linna is always and forever engaged in each particular moment of the action, but that's a prejudice of mine others might not have. However, the writing is just poor, the characters are flat, the is no sense of place, no texture to the novel. The events are so contrived that it's just impossible to engage with the story. I finished them both, but it was a chore rather than a pleasure.
The reviewer who said this was a "Tale of Two Authors" had it right. I would add one word to that review: "Tale of Two LAZY Authors."
It's like one of them was charged with Plot A (and c, and d) and the other one with Plot B (and e and f) -- and then they got together on a weekend to try to figure out how all the pieces would come together in one novel. Aside from the out-of-left-field incident (I am pretty sure I know which one the reviewer is referring to) that the "Tale of Two Authors" reviewer is talking about, there is a HUGE coincidence where a character from story-line A happens to have this long-abandoned talent (due to tragic circumstances which you are told about in sub-plot e) that just happens to solve a key puzzle piece. Strangely enough, he is ALSO in a position to take action on the matter! The funny thing is that the detectives keep reiterating how they don't believe in coincidences. Well, the authors certainly hope that YOU do!
The actual "writing" itself isn't bad, but the novel gets worse and worse. There is actually one police briefing where you are told EVERYTHING that the police has uncovered up to that point (but that you know ALREADY, because you've been reading the stupid novel!). Was that for us or for the other half of Lars Keplar? (So that she/he would not have to endure the novel up to that point -- like you just had to do.)
Also, if you are one of those mystery fans who likes to "figure things out" along with the detectives, forget it. There is no way you could do that in this novel. MAJOR "clues" are just dumped on you after the fact. (Here you were, trying to figure out why X was killed when, 50 pages later, the reason comes out of nowhere...There were not even hints!)
I gave the story two stars because I DID finish it (I reserve 1-star reviews for the ones where I cannot even manage that). I think that was in a large part due to the reader.
He was great, making you almost feel like you were listening to a foreign language.
I am a huge fan of Scandinavian mysteries -- and even liked The Hypnotist (did not love it) -- but I will scratch this pair off my list unless the next book garners stellar reviews.
Who needs the mall?
The proper pronunciation of every name and location I would never have been able to articulate on my own.
Joona Linna. The man is complex - brilliant, brave, mysterious, tenacious, and deeply damaged.
The last sentences of the book were my favorite because it set the stage for what I know is going to be another excellent story.
In the interest of staying spoiler free, I'm just going to say it was when Axel learned exactly where that spare part would have come from.
Can't wait for book number three!
This is the second Kepler book I have listened to and Mark Bramhall is one of my favorite narrators now. He is a great storyteller and shifts effortlessly from giving us the voice of the italian mobster, to an adolescent swedish girl of limited capacity to the main character of Joona Lina who has a rich and gravelly voice. Wonderful narrative technique and compelling storytelling.
It is very interesting to have the crime story set in Sweden as a wonderful change of pace from American crime fiction.
I'm sure reading the book would be a joy too, but it was great to have such an engaging audio book to pass the time when sitting in traffic!
The plot was fast moving and there was one turn after another.
Another great story by Lars Kepler, a pen name. The authors are a man and a woman. Nightmare is truly what its name implies. A wonderful boat trip takes a very wrong turn and will have you on the edge of your seat. Penelope is one hell of a woman, in my opinion and you'll see that as the story progresses. Joona Linna, an investigator, is the main character of the book and has an amazing aptitude for solving cases. Yes, he has secrets of his own too. If you enjoyed this book, try "The Fire Witness", another Lars Kepler novel.
it is right up there in the top few.
it's more an overall thing. keplar builds characters slowly and realistically, weaves in lots of careful detail, keeps the action going, keeps you guessing and anxious to know what comes next. the narrator is terrific!!! he doesn't sound silly when he shifts his voice to represent a woman or child, is expressive and dynamic, but never overwhelming. he becomes part of the story just perfectly.
They're all done very well, but I like the main character, Joona Linna, best. He gives the character a certain gravitas with his performance.
Get this book. You won't regret it. I started on these Nordic detective books through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have listened to more different authors than I can easily rattle off. This book is the best of the bunch - better than Larsson's series.
Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books
This is another fast and furiously paced thriller with multiple, unexpected twists and turns and a little bit of everything thrown in for good measure. This may not be the best thriller I have ever read but it sure was fun reading it. Like chocolate and James Bond, a guilty pleasure.
Yes, I listened to Bramhall narrate another work by the same author. He was perfect on both.
This is the perfect book if you want quick, fast entertainment that does not require or can stand close examination; there is a handsome, brooding, super smart hero-detective with an equally outstanding female partner, international intrigue, paid assassins, blackmail, etc. I really wanted to finish this in one sitting and had a great time listening.
Very similar to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series -- I loved the reader's accent and all of the Swedish places -- really great!
The plot was really well thought out and kept me guessing the entire time -- great story!
The detective is my favorite - Joona Linna is my hero and someone I could listen to forever! I listened to all of Lars Kepler's books and can't wait for the next one!
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