OVERRIDE

The Fire Witness

A Novel

Detective Inspector Joona Linna

Lars Kepler; Translated from the Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg

Sarah Crichton Books

The authors of The Hypnotist and The Nightmare deliver their 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 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 Lars Kepler’s The Hypnotist and The Nightmare did, The Fire Witness has spent months at number one on the Swedish bestseller lists. As the newspaper Dagens Nyheter put it, you start the thriller “on the subway home, keep reading at the dinner table, and then don’t stop until well into the wee hours.” Kepler writes with the force of Stieg Larsson and the plotting of Jo Nesbø. The Fire Witness is an unflinching page-turner, sure to join the ranks of its predecessors as an international sensation.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Elisabet Grim is fifty-three years old. Her hair is streaked with gray, but her eyes are bright and happy, and when she smiles, one of her front teeth juts out impishly.
She is a nurse at Birgittagården, a state-approved home for especially troubled girls north of Sundsvall. It’s a small, privately owned residence. Rarely are there more than eight girls there at a time. They range from twelve to seventeen in age. Many are drug addicts when they arrive. Almost all have a history of self-injury—eating disorders, for instance. Some can be violent. For these girls,
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Fire Witness

Praise for Lars Kepler

“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.” —Lev Grossman, Time

“Outrageously entertaining . . . Methadone for readers suffering from Stieg Larsson withdrawal.” —Laura Miller, Salon

“Kepler’s characters are admirably flawed . . . It’s a smooth collaboration . . . with frequent surprises and grace notes amid the carnage. With any luck, we’ll hear more of Lars Kepler.” —Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Lars Kepler; Translated from the Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg

  • Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for a literary couple who live in Sweden. Their novels, including The Nightmare and The Hypnotist, have been number-one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Spain. They live in Stockholm.

  • Lars Kepler © Anna-Lena Ahlström
    Lars Kepler
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The Fire Witness

A Novel

Detective Inspector Joona Linna

Lars Kepler; Translated from the Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg

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