The Nightmare

The Nightmare

by Lars Kepler


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The second book in the #1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series, The Nightmare finds Joona teaming up with a national security agent to find the link between two mysterious, seemingly unrelated deaths.

One summer night, police discover the lifeless body of a young woman on an abandoned yacht. She appears to have drowned, but it's clear she was never in the water. The next day, a man is found hanging in his completely empty apartment. It seems like a suicide, but the circumstances are suspicious.

Detective Joona Linna is called in to investigate, and, with the help of a young Swedish Security Police detective named Saga Bauer, he soon discovers a surprising connection between the two deaths. With more lives at stake, Joona and Saga must fight to stop a killer who always seems to be one step ahead. Ultimately the case will lead them into the shadowy world of international arms trafficking, where they are forced to confront a ruthless psychopath.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525433101
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Series: Joona Linna Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 83,507
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

LARS KEPLER is the pseudonym of the critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril. Their number one internationally bestselling Joona Linna series has sold more than twelve million copies in forty languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published several acclaimed novels. They live in Stockholm, Sweden. Translated by Neil Smith (acclaimed translator of Jo Nesbø).

Read an Excerpt

The yacht is found drifting in the southern part of the Stockholm archipelago on a bright evening with no wind. The bluish-gray water is moving as gently as fog.

Excerpted from "The Nightmare"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lars Kepler.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Title Page,
Note to Reader,
1. Foreboding,
2. The Pursuer,
3. A boat adrift in Jungfrufjärden Bay,
4. The swaying man,
5. The National Homicide Squad,
6. How death came,
7. Helpful people,
8. The Needle,
9. All about hand-to-hand combat,
10. The woman who drowned,
11. In the cabin,
12. An unusual death,
13. The reconstruction,
14. A party in the night,
15. The identification,
16. The mistake,
17. An extremely dangerous man,
18. The fire,
19. A wavy landscape of ashes,
20. The house,
21. The security service,
22. The incomprehensible,
23. The forensic technicians,
24. The object,
25. The child on the staircase,
26. A palm,
27. The extremists,
28. The brigade,
29. Waiting for the SWAT team,
30. The pain,
31. The message,
32. Real police work,
33. The search,
34. Dreambow,
35. Deleted data,
36. The connection,
37. Collaborating units,
38. Saga Bauer,
39. Farther away,
40. The replacement,
41. Sleepless,
42. National Inspectorate of Strategic Products,
43. A cloned computer,
44. The e-mails,
45. Riding down the highway,
46. The photograph,
47. The fourth person,
48. The bridal crown,
49. The blurred face,
50. The hiding place,
51. The winner,
52. The messenger,
53. The signature,
54. The competition,
55. The maritime police,
56. The helicopter,
57. Thunderstorm,
58. The heir,
59. When life gains meaning,
60. A little more time,
61. Always on his mind,
62. Sweet sleep,
63. The Johan Fredrik Berwald Competition,
64. The elevator down,
65. What eyes have seen,
66. Without Penelope,
67. Follow the money,
68. Something to celebrate,
69. The string quartet,
70. A feeling,
71. Seven million alternatives,
72. The riddle,
73. One last question,
74. A perfect plan,
75. The bait,
76. The safe apartment,
77. The stakeout,
78. Östermalms Saluhall,
79. When it all goes down,
80. The shock wave,
81. The German Embassy,
82. The face,
83. The suspect,
84. The fire,
85. Hunting the hunter,
86. The white trunk of the birch tree,
87. The red herring,
88. The visitor,
89. The meeting,
90. The photograph, again,
91. One last escape,
92. Discovered,
93. Greta's death,
94. White rustling plastic,
95. Disappeared,
96. Raphael Guidi,
97. Flight,
98. The prosecutor,
99. The payment,
100. Pontus Salman,
101. The girl who picks dandelions,
102. Turning over the picture,
103. Closer,
104. The nightmare,
105. The witness,
106. The pappa,
107. The empty room,
108. Loyalty,
109. The contract,
110. On board,
111. Traitors,
112. Automatic fire,
113. The blade of the knife,
114. The final fight,
115. The conclusion,
Also by Lars Kepler,
A Note About the Author,

Reading Group Guide

The piercing sequel to The Hypnotist, Lars Kepler's bestselling international debut, The Nightmare puts Detective Inspector Joona Linna on a case that takes him face-to-face with one of the world's deadliest power brokers. When police recover the body of a young woman from an abandoned boat drifting around the Stockholm archipelago, she is identified as Penelope Fernandez, a renowned peace activist. But soon the woman's identity is called into question, and other facts are troubling: though her lungs are filled with brackish water, there are no traces of water on her clothes or her body. The next day, a high-ranking government official from a weapons division is found dead in his apartment; he has apparently hanged himself.

Escalating into a pulse-pounding rescue mission—one that reveals a terrifying trail of corruption linking Europe's wealthiest families to vicious war crimes in Sudan—The Nightmare weaves an intricate web of motives and manipulation. And munitions aren't the only commodity in this novel: equally significant is a collection of priceless violins once owned by Niccolò Paganini, the virtuoso rumored to have signed a pact with the Devil.

The questions and discussion topics that follow are designed to enhance your reading of Lars Kepler's The Nightmare. We hope they will enrich your experience as you explore this mesmerizing thriller.

1. What makes Penelope a survivor while others perish? How does her mother's legacy become a source of strength?

2. How did your impressions of Björn shift? Why were he and Penelope drawn to each other? What did they fail to realize about each other?

3. Discuss the network of political leaders in the photograph. What is their common motivation? How are they able to look past the suffering Penelope has devoted her life to eradicating?

4. What accounts for the differences, yet the devotion, between the siblings Robert and Axel, as well as between Penelope and Viola?

5. As Penelope and Björn desperately searched for help, were you surprised to see them rejected and brutalized? In your community, would it be hard to find a stranger who is willing to render aid?

6. Enduring his memories of Greta, does Axel form a therapeutic relationship with Beverly, or is their arrangement harmful to both of them?

7. What is the effect of the music that echoes throughout the novel? We're told that Guidi's late wife, Fiorenza, was an accomplished violinist. How does he reconcile his passion for beautiful, rare musical instruments (including Fiorenza's Amati) with the bloodthirsty world he created?

8. How do Veronique and Pontus face the risks of doing business with Guidi? Why did they think they could outwit him? How did their experience differ from Palmcrona's?

9. Is money the only allure of signing a Paganini contract? If Guidi were able to uncover your worst nightmare, what would it look like?

10. How do Saga and Joona complement each other? How are their detective roles different from that of The Needle's (Chief of Forensic Medicine Nils Åhlén)?

11. In the closing scenes, a chain of world leaders, from Swedish export control workers to Kenyan politicians and international transportation companies, are thought to have acted "in good faith," just as Pontus said would happen. What power do Penelope and her fellow activists have against such a system?

12. What do you predict for Peter's future?

13. Discuss the statistics that are delivered in the novel's closing paragraph. How did you react to the realities of weapons exportation?

14. How has Joona evolved since he handled the Josef Ek case in The Hypnotist? What do both novels say about the nature of evil?

Customer Reviews

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The Nightmare: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
sixtyplus More than 1 year ago
I am not sure how I missed Lars Kepler but I certainly won't stop buying their books now. This is a man and wife writing under this name. Non-stop suspense and could not put down. I am a fan you can be sure. The Hypnotist is being made into a movie. I just wish it was in English. Both The Nightmare and the Hypnotist are a read until the end suspense. I can't wait for their new book, The Fire Witness due out in July. Explosive fiction at its best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has to be the most thrilling book I've read in a long time. Finished in one day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carolefort More than 1 year ago
The Nightmare, a dark Swedish murder mystery, is the second installment with Detective Inspector Joona Linna. The author, Lars Kepler, is actually the married couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Joona Linna is tasked with investigating two puzzling incidents: one of a drowned woman found in her dry clothing alone on a boat and also the apparent suicide of a man found hanging in his apartment. It soon becomes apparent that the two are linked. With the help of Swedish Security Police Detective Saga Bauer, the pair set about solving the mysteries as it becomes clear that a psychopath involved in arms sales is the key. As the investigation reveals, others are also in danger of being killed by this cruel man. This is an edge-of-your-seat thriller. I look forward to reading more in the series. Thank you to Knopf Doubleday Publishing, NetGalley and Lars Kepler for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable read, but reads a bit like pulp fiction due to the simplicity of the characters. Story is fun though. I would suggest it to friends knowing it won't keep you awake at night reading.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lars Kepler is an excellent suspense writer. I've enjoyed everything I've read by him. The plot has lots of twists and turns. The characters are well defined. His detective that appears in two books is very likeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Daisy22NR More than 1 year ago
If you like a mystery, you will love The Nightmare. Lots of twists and turns that come together in the end. I love Joona Linna's personality. Had a hard time putting this book down.
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KarenHA More than 1 year ago
This one's even better than The Hypnotist and think the series thus far is every bit as good as the Millenium series by Larssen!
PCSTEXAS More than 1 year ago
I liked this book allot more than the Hypnotist. Maybe cuz I was already familiar with Joona Linna, the main charater, or it was translated better. I might have liked it even more if I was into classical music or had played the violin in school. It was easy to read, easy to follow, a little far fetched that the bad guys would go so far and that someone could tell what song was being played by a still picture of instruments. I found it somewhat annoying that the author(s) apparently don't know much about guns and wrote a story about Arms Dealers. This might be a weak attempt at a polictical statement but so weak you can't tell. They picked a wrong gun/caliber for the bad guy arms dealer to use (a Winchester 490 is a .22 rifle), used unnecessary detail on FMJ or HP and used Parabellum to discribe a type of cartridge. (About 100 years ago Parabellum was used to differentiate between the 9x19mm Lugar - "9mm", and the 9x17mm Makarov now the ".380"). Maybe they still use that word in Europe but he can't shoot 380/Makarovs thru his 9mm and shouldn't even have them around. The author(s) probably couldn't resist using a word that in Latin means "prepare for war", even though it comes from the phrase Si vis pacium, para bellum... if you want peace, prepare for war, which they probably did't know either. (Plato?) They should stick to weapons they know like the Swedish M/45, Russian AK or the new Belgian FN 5.7, the latest NATO pistol. The bad guys are Arms Dealers, shouldn't they shoot the latest cool stuff? They were probably taking a shot at US Arms but all the Winchester 490s were made in Canada. (missed again) I was able to get past all that and enjoy the book anyway.
Sherryv07 More than 1 year ago
Loved both the hypnotist and this. Really kept interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great sequel to The Hypnotist! Characters well developed and plot very intriguing. Not sure where the confusion comes in as per one of the reviewers post. Wouldn't be surprised if it's made into a movie like The Hypnotist is. Highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so confusing I feel like giving up.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
May i join