Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril, write under the pseudonym Lars Kepler. Photo: Frankie Fouganthin, Wikimedia Commons
It’s time to celebrate the work of Lars Kepler, arguably one of the most exciting crime fiction brands in the world at the moment
The genre of Scandinavian crime fiction is not a new one. Authors like Jo Nesbo, the ground-breaking series of Martin Beck novels by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö and Camilla Lackberg have been a constant feature on many reading lists for years. However, it is argued that it was Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy in the mid-late 2000s that fixed the spotlight prominently on this genre and made it an obsession for millions of fans around the globe.
This genre usually features a rich vein of crime that is not limited to physical violence but poses a tougher psychological dilemma that often forces readers to look over their shoulders long after finishing the book.
Lars Kepler is no different.
But what many readers do not know is that Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for writing duo, Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril, who are both critically acclaimed authors under their own names. Their books under the pseudonym of Lars Kepler started with The Hypnotist that introduced DI Joona Linna – a tenacious blond detective with a drawl and critics have gone on to cite them as natural successors to Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson. Their books are characterized by vivid descriptive narration that paints a vivid picture of the glorious natural beauty of Scandinavia and is in stark contrast to the horror of the crimes committed in such serene surroundings.
The much-anticipated fifth thriller – Stalker, released earlier this year is an intriguing mix of best-in-class suspense with the extremely damaging role technology can play today in the wrong hands. There is a brazen stalker on the loose and he is tempting Stockholm’s National Crime Investigation Department by sending them videos of his targets before they are killed. Lars Kepler’s books are characterized by dark and brooding covers that only add to the intrigue around the book.
FIVE BOOKS BY LARS KEPLER YOU MUST READ
Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide, all the victims from the same family, captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders — against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered.
But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is an intended victim – the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes intended for this boy to die: he has suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. He’s in no condition to be questioned.
Desperate for information, Linna sees one mode of recourse: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes. It’s the sort of work that Bark had sworn he would never do again – ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2ez3AxL
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 lamphook 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 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.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2eBfMQf
Flora has seen it all, but nobody believes her. The girl is dead, someone killed her. She was only fourteen years old, named Miranda, and was found in her room at the institution for young women in distress, north of Stockholm. The walls were splashed with blood, the sheets were soaked with it. None of the other girls know what happened, but one of them has fled into the night. What Flora does not know is that it is the redoubtable Joona Linna who will be investigating the worst and most puzzling crime of his career. Flora knows only she saw the girl and has seen the crime weapon that nobody can find. She knows what happened, but the police do not believe her. For one simple reason: at the time of the murder, Flora was hundreds of miles away. Yet Flora is certain that she is right. She has seen. Because she is a medium.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2eZOFAW
During a cold winter night in Stockholm a man is found walking alongside a railway bridge, suffering from hypothermia and Legionnaires’ disease. After he’s rushed to the hospital, it’s discovered that, according to a death certificate, the man has been dead for over seven years, believed to be a victim of notorious serial killer Jurek Walter, who was arrested years ago by Detective Inspector Joona Linna and sentenced to a life of total isolation in forensic psychiatric care. As Joona Linna investigates where the ‘dead man’ has been all these years, some unexpected evidence leads to the reopening of a cold case. Danger is imminent, and someone needs to get under the skin of the serial killer — fast —as they are running out of time.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2eBg8q3
A video-clip is sent to the National Criminal Investigation Department. Someone has secretly filmed a woman through her window from the garden. The next day she is found dead after a frenzied knife-attack. The police receive a second film of another unknown woman. There is no way of identifying her before time runs out. When her husband finds her he is so traumatized that he cleans the whole house and puts her to bed. He may have seen a vital clue, but is in such an extreme state of shock that the police are unable to question him. Psychiatrist Erik Maria Bark is called in to hypnotize him – but what the man tells him under hypnosis leads Erik to start lying to the police. If the lights are on, a stalker can see you from outside. But if the lights are off, you can’t see a stalker who is already inside the house.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2eBcpZp