It’s no wonder they took a pseudonym; the real names of the husband and wife team known as Lars Kepler are Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Their book, The Hypnotist, (FSG, 6/21/11) is the most recent title to be hailed as the “next Stieg Larsson” (and, in fact, the authors chose the name “Lars” as a tribute to their predecessor).

The authors are profiled on NPR’s Morning Edition today. They say the real reason they chose a pen name for their first crime novel is that each is already a published writer in Sweden and they wanted to create a new identity. They are parents of three daughters, and much of the book’s violence is carried out by children and women. Why? Because, they say, books are scary if you “care for the people in the book…you don’t want anything bad to happen to them.”  In writing The Hypnotist, they thought of how frightening it would be if their daughters became evil.

The book landed on the 7/17 NYT Fiction best seller list at #15. Libraries are show growing holds.

Holds are equally heavy for the an earlier “next Stieg Larsson” title, The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Knopf, 5/10/11). It debuted on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #10, stayed on for four weeks and is now#28 on the extended list.

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