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The Fire Witness: A Novel | [Lars Kepler, Laura A. Wideburg (translator)]

The Fire Witness: A Novel

Flora Hansen calls herself a medium and makes a living by pretending to commune with the dead. But after a gruesome murder at a rural home for wayward girls, Hansen begins to suffer visions that are all too real. She calls the police claiming to have seen a ghost, but only one detective puts aside his skepticism long enough to listen: Joona Linna. Linna has spent more time at the scene of the crime than any other detective would.
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Publisher's Summary

Lars Kepler, the author of The Hypnotist and The Nightmare, deliver his most thrilling novel yet. Flora Hansen calls herself a medium and makes a living by pretending to commune with the dead. But after a gruesome murder at a rural home for wayward girls, Hansen begins to suffer visions that are all too real. She calls the police claiming to have seen a ghost, but only one detective puts aside his skepticism long enough to listen: Joona Linna. Linna has spent more time at the scene of the crime than any other detective would.

The case seems obvious on the face of it: One of the girls at the home escaped in the middle of the night, leaving behind a bloody bed with a hammer under the pillow. But why does Hansen insist that the murder instrument was a stone, not a hammer? And what’s the story behind the dark-red grain of sand, almost like a splinter from a ruby, stuck beneath the dead girl’s fingernail? As Linna refuses to accept the easy answers, his search leads him into darker, more violent territory and, finally, to a shocking confrontation with a figure from his past.

Just as The Hypnotist and The Nightmare did, The Fire Witness has spent months at number one on the Swedish best-seller lists. As the newspaper Dagens Nyheter put it, you start the book "on the subway home, keep reading at the dinner table, and then don’t stop until well into the wee hours." With publication to come in more than 15 countries, it’s sure to join the ranks of its predecessors as an international sensation.

Translated by Laura A. Wideburg. Translation copyright 2013 by Laura A. Wideburg.

©2011 Lars Kepler; translation copyright 2013, Laura A. Wideburg (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"Mark Bramhall gives a faultless, taut, and sympathetic performance, and that coupled with complex but controlled and fast-paced plotting and a silky-smooth translation makes this a completely absorbing production. Bramhall's timbre is attractively roughened, and his range of character voices is truly impressive." (AudioFile)

"Action-oriented, inventive, with over-the-top plots and larger-than-life heroes and criminals." (Los Angeles Times Magazine)

"[Kepler’s] ability to inhabit the workings of psychotic psyches is authentically shocking. Larsson is destined to have many heirs . . . Kepler is by far the best." (Time)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (110 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (42)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.2 (94 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (94 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Hassan Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 08-04-13
    Hassan Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 08-04-13 Member Since 2009

    5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredible Book, But Not As Scary"

    This is the first book i read from Lars Kepler and it was fantastic book, it reminded me of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (but i think mainly because both are swedish books).

    The plot is based around a murder case where everyone is assuming one thing and you have the one who is sure its something else and his name is Joona. I have noticed that a lot of people are talking about how scary the book is, but its not scary, its a murder case with blood and death, but people kept on saying "oh there is ghosts and its too scary".. Its not scary, its a great book, and I'll go later on and get the other 2 books, this is the 3rd book from Kepler and its a stand alone book, but from what i have read Joona is in the other 2 books (haven't confirmed that myself yet)

    If you are a fan of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Snow White Must Die, then you will like this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Indio, CA, United States 07-14-13
    Claire Indio, CA, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Scared to Death"

    What remarkable writing. Where does that come from? I couldn't sleep one night so I started listening to this book. Okay, then I really couldn't sleep! From the very beginning I was mesmerized, scared and intrigued by the story. The prime character Joona Linna is complex and at times endearing. The twists and turns throughout the story will keep you on your toes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-26-14
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-26-14 Member Since 2005

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "quite the interesting tale"

    First time author, Lars Kepler. What's interesting here is that Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for a Swedish husband and wife writing team. As I was listening to the book, I couldn't help but wonder if they sat around over coffee in the morning and came up with the plot. The book starts out set in a home for young girls, age 12-17, where they are there not because they are pregnant but rather that society has given up on them. They all suffer from issues with sex, drugs, violence, even a combination of them. There is a gruesome double murder where the prime suspect is one of the wards, a 15 year old girl. Right after the murders happen the 15 year old disappers, runs through a dark forest at night, comes out on a road where there is a car parked beside the roadn, running with the driver's door open and the female driver having run behind a tree for a bio break. The girl takes off in the car only to discover that the lady's 4 year old son is in a car seat in the back. The chase is on and this is only the beginning of the book! The authors go on to write a tale that keeps you guessing, keeps you turning the pges and, often, is quite spooky. I really enjoyed it and will enjoy the next book when it comes out. These Scandavian authors really have it going.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leticia Lawndale, CA, United States 11-14-13
    Leticia Lawndale, CA, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Nail biter!"
    Where does The Fire Witness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I want the story to end, but then I don't. I liked this thriller very much. Mr. Kepler writes very well and keeps you interested. There is, however, some repetition in the story line that could have been done without. That is the only reason I gave it four stars instead of five.


    What other book might you compare The Fire Witness to and why?

    I'm loving all the Swedish and Danish detective series and I would compare to Jussi Adler, who I really like.


    What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?

    the many characters, each with his/her own voice. And, he read at a very good pace.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Rindge, NH, United States 01-24-14
    Amy Rindge, NH, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2013

    amyk537

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    "A definite MUST!"
    Any additional comments?

    If you liked the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, you will love Lars Kepler. GREAT stories that keep you wanting more. Unbelievable plot twists that will take you by surprise and you will fall in love with Joona Linna! A defintite MUST READ!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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