Lars Kepler Book Review: The Nightmare & The Hypnotist

I love Scandinavian crime fiction — so on a recent long-distance flight, I gleefully lapped up Lars Kepler’s second thriller featuring Joona Linna, the charming Finnish-Swedish protagonist of the book.

The Nightmare, to be honest, gave me nightmares for the first couple of days. Not to spoil the story, but it has an absolutely heart-thumping beginning. Murder, the chase, the escape, the futility of escaping…

Lars Kepler, who I later realised is not a male writer but the joint writing combination of a Swedish couple, does an astounding job of keeping the pace going. Never for a moment was I bored or wondering where the story was going. Faster, faster, faster is how I wanted to read. I desperately wanted to know what would happen next and that, in my opinion, is the sign of a good thriller. And once the book was over, I was numbed by the sense of absence. Now what should I do?

Happily I realised that I had the first Lars Kepler thriller ‘The Hypnotist‘ on my Kindle. The Hypnotist, the first novel in the series, I have to confess, is quite immature. The characterisation is average (Joona Linna comes across quite pompous with his ‘I’m always right” assertion), the story is convoluted, and it isn’t as good a read as The Nightmare. However, what it does have going for it is the absolute riveting pace. Loved it. You can’t put it down.

It’s great to see a writer’s progress over books. Now I can’t wait to read the remaining three Joona Linna novels.

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