Lars Kepler is not a real person, but a pseudonym of a couple from Sweden named Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahnodoril (who was born Alexander Gustafson). When the couple writes fiction together, they write crime novels that come from the mystery thriller genre. Separately, the couple both write plays and have been published on their own, and Alexander has written a novel about Ingmar Bergman (the famous Swedish movie maker) that was a bestselling novel. Both were born in Sweden (Alexander in Stockholm and Alexandra in Helsingborg), and Alexander was born in late January of 1967 while Alexandra was born in early March of 1966. Alexandra also writes for local newspapers in Sweden, where the couple lives in Stockholm.
Order of Detective Inspector Joona Linna Series
Together, the couple has written the “Joona Linna” series (about the detective inspector of the same name), and the “Playground” series that looks into the lands of the dead and the living. Their novels are published in Sweden first (that have sold a total of a million and a half copies) and translated into other languages, including English.
LARS KEPLER AWARDS
Alexander was a finalist for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009.
LARS KEPLER BOOKS INTO MOVIES
In Sweden, “The Hypnotist” was made into a movie in the year 2012. It was the Swedish entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2012, but missed the cut for the final shortlist.
BEST LARS KEPLER BOOKS
If you are looking to read any of Lars Kepler’s books, here is a guide as to ones you can start with first.
The Hypnotist: The first novel in the series starring Detective Inspector Joona Linna that was released in the year 2009. A teenage boy is injured after his entire family is murdered in a brutal way; he was attacked, but is still alive. Investigators pry to get information out of the kid once he recovers, and they call on Erik Maria Bark, who is a hypnotist. This is so that they can get him to provide some kind of insight and a description as to who left him injured and killed his entire family. The session with the hypnotist does not go well, but it looks like Josef Ek, who is a boy himself, had something to do with the killings. The hypnotist Bark, who has problems at home with a son who has a blood disease and a wife who does not trust him after he had an affair many years ago, investigates the case by himself as the guy who was given the case does not take the case to be a priority. They find that a former patient of Bark is the killer, who has another victim in mind and it is someone very close to Bark.
The Fire Witness: The third novel in the series starring Detective Inspector Joona Linna that was released in the year 2011. Flora Hansen pretends to be a medium, which is how she makes her money. A young woman is killed in a brutal way that causes her to have very real visions. She tells the police about her visions, but only Joona listens to her claims. Everyone thinks that it is all quite simple: that another girl left a bloody hammer behind under her pillow the night of the killing. Hansen insists that it was not a hammer at all, but a stone was used to murder the young woman. Linna does some hard detective work and finds something much more violent and darker; it involves something to do with his past.
The Sandman: The fourth novel in the series starring Detective Inspector Joona Linna that was released in the year 2012. A cold winter day in Stockholm, a man is found walking around near a bridge with Legionnaire’s disease and hypothermia. The man, according to his death certificate, has been dead for seven years, which officials find out when the man is hurried to the hospital. Everyone thought that he was the victim of a serial killer named Jurek Walter; a man that Detective Inspector Joona Linna arrested years ago and got a life sentence of isolation in psychiatric care. Joona Linna tries to piece together where the man has been all these years since then, and it leads to a cold case being reopened. The clock is ticking for them to catch a serial killer that is on the loose and seems ready to kill again.