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Publisher's Summary

The chilling phenomenon begins again. On a summer night the dead body of a woman is found on board an abandoned pleasure boat drifting around in the Stockholm archipelago. Her lungs are filled with brackish water, but there are no traces of this water on her clothes or other parts of her body. Detective Inspector Joona Linna takes up the case. Forensics state that it was a simple drowning, that she must have been pulled aboard the boat which explains the lack of brackish water. But Joona knows better and suspects something much more sinister. The next day a man is found dead in his state apartment in Stockholm. The man is hanging in a noose from the lamp-hook in the ceiling. How did it happen? The room has a high ceiling with no furniture, absolutely nothing to climb on. Nevertheless Linna is convinced that it is suicide. Of course he is right. The man has committed suicide, but this fact doesn't close the case. It is only a prelude to a dizzyingly intense and dangerous course of events. There are certain agreements which cannot be broken off, not even if you are dead.

©2012 Lars Kepler (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

“A pulse-pounding debut that is already a native smash.” (Financial Times)
“A pulse-pounding debut that is already a native smash.” (Financial Times)
“A pulse-pounding debut that is already a native smash.” (Financial Times)
“A pulse-pounding debut that is already a native smash.” (Financial Times)
“One of the most exciting Swedish crime novels of recent years…It doesn’t get much better than this.” (Göteborgsposten)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Thoroughly entertaining

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a thoroughly entertaining scandi-crime tale. Very much in the Jo Nesbo mould (without the serial killers and with a more politically related storyline). There are some implausabilities every now and again but overall it is a rollicking and highly enjoyable story. Sean Barrett is one of my favourite narrators and he does another great job to boot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Favour for a nightmare.

Joona Linna investigates an illegal arms dealer after a corrupt government official commits suicide to avoid facing his worst nightmare. An incriminating photograph of an illegal arms deal is discovered and Joona Linna decides to investigate. A fantastic listen and read. Lars Kepler write brilliantly together and Sean Barrett gives an excellent performance as the narrator.

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  • Sherri
  • Guildford, Australia
  • 09-06-13

"I suppose the the title held a clue"

I love my Scandinavian crime but had a to drop out of this one before the end.
Great main character, perfectly narrated by the master but too violent, too many extra characters introduced just so they could be tortured or done away with - too much Mr Kepler. It actually reduces the tension and increases the eye rolling. I suppose the title held a clue. Should have paid more attention.

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  • Overall
  • c
  • 10-01-12

Non-stop Thrills- Written with a Film in Mind?

If you're looking for a book that's not long on character studies but is really rich in sheer thrills and action, then this could be the one for you. I was totally gripped by this novel from 'take-off to landing' and like all good thrillers, I just couldn't leave it alone! I could well imagine that the author(s) had the cinema in mind when they put this one together and it would make the transfer well I think. Central character Detective Joona Linna (a very sober Harry Hole type) is fascinating and potentially he could be compelling. Would just love to know more about him.....sometimes though you just can't have it all in one go, in one book. Sean Barrett is just SUPERB as always!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 04-04-15

Thanks Heavens for Sean Barrett

What made the experience of listening to The Nightmare the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the first book in the series, but the wonderful narration of Sean Barrett elevates the book to another level, it is a good well written book with plenty of twists and turns

Who was your favorite character and why?

Apart from the main character there is not a great of character development, but there are some interesting characters that I hope will be developed in other books in the series.

Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Great as always. He has made a good book even better.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

If you like Harry Hole you will like this one

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mr
  • 02-05-13

The nightmare

Brilliantly writen from first page to last. hold you throughout the lead detctive is clever and the villan rearly bad bad bad like a villan ought to be. not a book for the squeemish.

I look forward to my next book by Kepler. also the narration is spot on I love these scandinavin thrillers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sandra Robinson
  • 10-27-17

Well thought out

Plenty of substance in this book, expertly written and well narrated. Keeps you riveted until the very last page

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  • Mrs
  • 06-13-17

Sean Barrett as good as normal

a good story bought to life by the excellent Sean Barrett, and now onto the rest of the series

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  • Mrs
  • 12-12-16

Oh dear oh dear

What would have made The Nightmare better?

It just isn't my sort of book.

Has The Nightmare put you off other books in this genre?

No. The Nightmare is one of those books with drawn out chases, shootouts, and totally over the top co-incidences. I enjoy a good and serious murder mystery but this seems to have been written with a view to having an all guns blazing film. And I don't enjoy those.

Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

The detectives were OK I suppose but it is a shame that the tough female cop was described as looking like a fairy princess with braided blonde hair. The hard bitten male cop of course had a tragedy in his past. The replacement CEO of the arms exporting company was a superb violinist (with a tragedy which had warped his life) He hadn't played for decades but could still pick up a violin and from memory play an impossibly hard solo. The big villain collected Paganini violins. The gunman who pursued a fleeing couple for days and days and days, murdering many at the same time. An impossible shoot out, A sadistic ex TV presenter Oh many more. Oh yawn.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

If you like the things I have been describing then the book is for you.

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  • Andy
  • 08-18-16

PLEASE Audible get the complete series!

Any additional comments?

Sean Barrett does yet another fantastic job of bringing the book to life. His ability to move into the body of a character is unbelievable and is the main reason I bought this book at all.<br/><br/>That said the author has created what I would describe as a wonderful book and, were it not for Audibles inability to giev me a complete series....... I would love to read the next installment. Unfortunately thats not the case and so yet another series is started and will have to be found elsewhere to complete.

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  • Steven
  • 08-18-16

Nightmare thriller

Sean Barrett elevated the story beyond the level of the Hypnotist, the first in the series and to my mind defines Joona Lina the lead detective. It pains me to say that occasionally the reading by Saul Reichlin makes me think this detective sounds like Laura Bakker (from the Hewson books) and I don't see the expected Finnish accent .
Good engaging story, enjoy.

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  • Mark norris
  • 07-27-16

the wonderful nightmare

great listen fantastic story read brilliantly by the wonderful Sean Barrett I would recommend this to anyone who likes nordic thrillers a classic

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  • Mike
  • 07-16-16

Very enjoyable

If you could sum up The Nightmare in three words, what would they be?

Really good storytelling

What other book might you compare The Nightmare to, and why?

Harry Hole series. Not for the faint hearted.

What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

Everything is better read by Sean Barrett. I regularly try books that I would never normally consider if he is the narrator

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed The Hypnotist (the first book in the series) but Sean Barrett lifts the material to a higher plane.