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The Fire Witness

(Joona Linna #3)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  21,371 ratings  ·  1,345 reviews
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
Hardcover, 497 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published November 11th 2011)
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Marcus Absolutely, you won't be missing out on much story-wise, but I would definitely recommend reading the first two too as they are really good!…moreAbsolutely, you won't be missing out on much story-wise, but I would definitely recommend reading the first two too as they are really good!(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  21,371 ratings  ·  1,345 reviews

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(B+) 78% | Good
Notes: Clever and on-point, it finally presents its detective as the main character rather than a mere component perspective.
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kepler's third thriller surpasses all expectations laid out in the previous two novels, placing Joona Linna in the spotlight of this terrifying story with no halt in the action. Detective Inspector Joona Linna has been placed on quasi-administrative leave, as internal affairs investigates a violation he made while on the job. While not actively investigating, he is called to consult when a teenage girl and night nurse are found with their heads caved in at a secure group home for troubled youth. ...more

I was so fortunate to receive a free download of "The Fire Witness" by Lars Kepler through the NetGalley book review program, in exchange for an honest review. This is the third book in the Joona Linna series by Lars Kepler, author of "The Hypnotist" and "The Nightmare". As I was so impressed with The Hypnotist, and plan to read The Nightmare, I couldn't wait to read the latest novel...and I was not disappointed. This is a psychological thriller at it's best.

Detective Inspector Joona Linna, from
Yigal Zur
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
amazing and beautiful thriller. it takes a bit of time to get to it height but once it is there it really fly. it is sensitive and deep and touch the nerve with a story that deal mainly with children abuse. even the killer who kills innocent girls is touched by this, been an adopted child with no clear history.
all main characters are wounded ones and Joona the investigator carry the heaviest burden. there are some flaws. i did not like the sex appearance it is a bit forced but it have its functi
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
In this book, Internal Affairs have Joona under investigation, but his boss sends him to participate as an observer in a case with murders in a house for young girls with special needs. House like that offers hospitality to young girls that might have faced abandonment, psychiatric problems or drag addicts. A young girl and the house nurse are found dead; one girl has gone missing and she’s claimed to be responsible for these murders.

This third book, is mostly based on the detective’s perspectiv
Stephanie Patterson
I found "The Hypnotist" a bit over the top but highly entertaining. I thought "The Nightmare" needed an editor. I'm afraid with "The FIre Witness, Lars Kepler has lost me. The chapters are very short and most end for no good reason. I know short chapters have seemed to work for James Patterson but they don't work here.
Many basic things were explained that didn't need to be and people are always talking about Joona Linna's brilliance but I find him a poorly delineated character.
I have one other o
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller
On the whole, I liked The fire witness, but I couldn't help feeling that the book suffers from the same maladies the previous installment in the series did.

While The fire witness has a pretty good plot and delivers suspense and tension, there were instances of telling which were, to be honest, quite unnecessary. Also, I have expected more character development from a third novel in an established series. The aforementioned character development exists in traces and is confined solely to Joona Li
Kat Dietrich
4.5 stars

The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler is the 3rd in the Detective Joona Linna Series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Knopf Doubleday and Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Series Background:
Homicide Detective Joona Linna works for the National Criminal Investigation Department in Sweden. His father was a policeman who was killed on the job when Joona was 12, so h
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's your turn to close your eyes

Joona Linna is a Swedish detective currently under suspension and relieved from active duty, while under investigation by The National Police's Internal Review Board.
He is called in as an 'observer' in the investigation of violent murders at Birgittagården, a halfway home for troubled girls.

Many are drug addicts...some can be violent. For these girls, there is no alternative to Birgittagården, with its alarms and double- locked doors. The next step would be
Laura/Mystery in Minutes
The Fire Witness is the third installment in the Joona Linna series by critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril, writing as “Lars Kepler”. Their Joona Linna series has sold more than twelve million copies in forty languages! Re-edited and reissued by a new North American publisher, with a brand new translation from the original Swedish by Neil Smith, The Fire Witness demonstrates the authors’ mastery of layered, complex plotting, replete with nu ...more
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In the book The Fire Witnesses
BRIGITTAGARDEN HVB IS A HOME FOR YOUTH SPECIAL NEEDS; Some can be violent. The doors have alarms and double locked doors. Some of the girls who stay here are aged 12years old - 17 year old girls. Some are drug addicts, self-injury and with eating disorders.
One fatal night
Miranda a young girl at Brigittagarden was sitting in her room when she was brutally killed by a rock. A real page turner. I recommend The Fire Witness.

Merged review:

I have never read a Lars Kepler
Translated from the Swedish by Laura A Wideburg

Opening: Elisabet Grim is fifty-three years old. Her hair is streaked with grey, but her eyes are bright and happy, and when she smiles, one of her front teeth juts out impishly.

As always, I removed the dust cover before snuggling down to the big read and WHOH the cover is pure white - spooky.

The bad news is that I cannot for the life of me remember the back story that propels this episode on, and that may mean there was a shallowness underlying th
I remember reading this book some years ago, but I never actually bought this or any of the others in the series.
A mistake... should have done that immediately after reading this one.
The plot slowly reveals itself and the solution is way different than the reader would think. The characters reveal themselves slowly too, but it is still a big surprise to discover why the murders took place and how.
I always like it when next to the actual story, there is a story behind the main character, that yo
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is another solid four star novel from the Swedish writing duo of Alexander and Alexandra Ahndroril under pseudonym Lars Kepler; indeed the closing chapters that dip further into Joona Linna's back story is so dark and threatening that it propels this book to a five star thriller.
Slow at first; then the action scenes make this story take on a pace that never lets up, as the plot unravels at breath-taking speed. Good characterisation and locations in a multi-latered plot that Joona takes cent
Miki Mackennedy
An interesting plot, 2 murders in a residence care facility for teen girls that lead to a runaway, a kidnapping, and more. There were several interesting twists and turns as well as some interesting police procedural.

This detective story was told in very short chapters, which would make you think that it was a fast read but it wasn’t. The interactions between all of the characters were startlingly short or harsh and often ended abruptly. I didn’t notice a lot of character development. I struggl
When two murders are committed in a specialized home, and a young girl more than suspicious disappears, Jonna Linna is charged with the role of "observer" but will be enormously involved in the investigation, convinced that elements escape the attention of all involved.
I had a little trouble immersing myself in this thriller, disturbed by the few inconsistencies at the start of the investigation. The action evolves quite slowly until an end that one does not necessarily expect without being tota
Isabel Rose
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 STARS. Review to come!
Toria (Please call me Leo)
This is probably my least favorite book with Jonna Lina, that hasn't changed on my re-read. However it's still a fast-paced and exciting read that made me flip the pages like no tomorrow. My ebook was around 1000 pages but I read it quickly anywho.
The content in this was harder for me to read about than most others.
Feb 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOWW!!! Just wowww! Joona Linna 🔥🔥🔥🔥 Pick this up without a second thought!
Tanja Berg
This is the best book in the series so far, although I'm still a lukewarm rather than a die-hard fan. I liked this book better than the others because it showed more of the human side of detective inspector Joona Linna and all that he has lost. The story was also good. Of course I knew things could not be as obvious as presented, that there had to be a twist, but for a long time I had no idea what that would be.

At a home for troubled young girls, one of them is found brutally murdered. Her body
Maja Ingrid
This is not my favourite in the series. It could be the much shorter chapters that made the flow more bumpy, or that my brain had trouble focusing. I did feel the length of it at times, but did not see the twist towards the end coming. Also I'm happy (and sad) to learn more of what happened to Joona and his family in the past. Looking very much forward to listen to Sandmannen.

I really recommend these books! They are well written (at least in Swedish lol can't say anything about the translations)
Danni The Girl
I was really intrigued to read this book as my partner bought this for me randomly.

I was hooked straight away. It was just what I needed. A bloody, gory murder mystery.

I mostly enjoyed this book. It kept me guessing for most of this book. Although I knew straight away who the killer was not.

I didn’t like the ending. It didn’t finish on wrapping up the story and I felt a few things weren’t actually cleared up and finished talking about Joona’s past which at this point in the story I was not in
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Fire Witness” (Scandinavian noir) is my favorite Lars Kepler novel (thus far!). Detective Joona Linna is on leave due to personal/professional matters but gets dragged into an investigation of a brutal murder at a girls’ group home. Upon arrival and amidst chaos, Joona learns that not one, but two people are dead, and one girl is missing. All evidence points toward the missing girl but something feels off to Joona, he just can’t put his finger on it. So begins the wild ride of Fire Witness.


The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler has to be my favorite yet of the Joona Linna series, if only for the fact that we finally learn some more about his backstory. I was all ready to rate it a 4 but then we get those end chapters and that bumped it up for me. The mystery was still twisty and great, and even though there are quite a few viewpoints, they all felt more cohesive this time compared to the first 2 books. I did the entire book on audio, and I have to say that I am glad they have Saul R
Kaia Landelius
I never give books one star and it was probably three or four years since I last did but I can honestly not understand why people like these authors (Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for a married couple) or this book. At all. It's poorly written, with excessive violence and reads more as a movie script than an actual book. A bad movie script at that. There are factual errors, I feel very little connection to the people in the book and it feels disjointed at best. What really gets to me, though, is ho ...more
Kat ❅
Nov 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great continuation of the series. The pace of these stories continues to be very, very fast. A lot of times the characters don’t exactly act how you would expect them to and the dialogue can at times feel unnatural (not sure if that’s a translation thing or not). However, I’m always on the edge of my seat with these books and I always want to keep reading. I liked the story in this book, though if the stuff in the summary about a medium intrigued you, that’s definitely not really a major focus o ...more
Toni Osborne
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 3, in Detective Inspector Joona Linna series

Before you read this novel be warned it is one of those rare stories that are truly difficult to put down. Once started you will be reading till the wee hours….This pulse-pounding third outing sends Joona to a home for troubled girls where one of them was brutally murdered, one girls is gone missing and one girl claims to have witnessed it all.

The story weaves puzzles into puzzles and is as dark, gritty and as brutal as you can imagine. It starts
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler was first published in 2011 and has been published again in November 2018 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. Lars Kepler in the pseudonym used by married couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. This is #3 in their Joona Linna series and it can easily stand alone if you have not read the previous books. However, this series is so intense that readers will enjoy reading everything by Lars Kepler. Joona Linna is a troubled detective in Sweden. He is call ...more
Mozart Benedict
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced thriller of epic proportions. It served as a good page turner for me, especially in the hunt mode of Joona Linna. This is my first read of the series. Though there was a back story of Joona towards the end, the events pertaining to it were summarized by the authors making it a standalone thriller.

However, I do think it'll better to read from Book 1 to get the complete picture of events mentioned towards the end. Regardless, it's a page turner at its finest. Looking forward to read mo
Apr 15, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 but since Joona Linna was in it I rounded up.

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Around the Year i...: The Fire Witness, by Lars Kepler 2 23 Feb 28, 2016 02:22AM  

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Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril, authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series. With seven installments to date, the series has sold 13 million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published seve ...more

Other books in the series

Joona Linna (9 books)
  • The Hypnotist (Joona Linna, #1)
  • The Nightmare (Joona Linna, #2)
  • The Sandman (Joona Linna, #4)
  • Stalker (Joona Linna, #5)
  • Kaninjägaren (Joona Linna, #6)
  • Lazarus (Joona Linna, #7)
  • Spegelmannen (Joona Linna, #8)
  • Spindeln (Joona Linna, #9)

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