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The Invisible Man from Salem by Christoffer Carlsson

The Invisible Man from Salem

Part of the Leo Junker Series
Crime / Mystery   Thriller / Suspense   Maxim Jakubowski's Selection   

RRP £12.99

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A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

Another Nordic noir revelation, the first novel in the Leo Junker series introduces a disgraced Stockholm Internal Affairs cop who is drawn into the murder of a young woman in his apartment building which his rogue investigation soon reveals to have a curious and unsettling connection to his own past. Intricately plotted, this is a first class urban police procedural that confronts many of the inequalities in Swedish society but steers clear from many of the snow ridden cliches of Scandinavian crime fiction to concentrate on character and carries the reader along as Leo and his teenage past story are slowly uncovered inch by inch and illuminate his troubled search. The novel won best Scandinavian crime book of the year and makes the still youthful Carlsson a name to watch. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

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The Invisible Man from Salem by Christoffer Carlsson

In the final days of summer in 2013, a young woman is shot dead in her apartment. Three floors above, the blue lights of the police cars awaken Leo Junker, a long-time police officer. Leo works in the internal affairs division as the lowliest form of officer - a spy. Leo is even lower, however, having been suspended after committing a terrible mistake. He can't stay away for long. A series of frightening connections emerge, linking this new murder to Junker's own troubled youth and forcing him to confront a long-ago incident that changed his life forever. Now, in backstreets, shadowed alleyways, and decaying suburbs ruled by Stockholm's criminal underground, the search for the young woman's killer - and the truth about Junker's past - begins.


'Carlsson renders a good plot with commanding writing. His moody portrayals of yesterday's Salem and today's Stockholm are convincing. Without trying to compare him to the Mankell/Larsson generation, I think he's worth the Swedish accolades that are heaped on him.'
Marcel Berlins The Times

'Book of the Month' 'The author's youthful mugshot belies his seasoned skill, and there are lashings of the kind of social critique we expect from this territory.'
Barry Forshaw Independent

'A wonderfully well written novel, with a prose style that seeks to update noir.'
Jeff Noon The Spectator

'The Invisible Man from Salem is a timeless and elegant piece of absolutely first rate Nordic Noir. Carlsson manages to remain true to the traditions of the genre, while seemingly effortlessly turning them inside out to construct a thrilling story that is as much about coming of age as it is about solving a murder case. An excellent and memorable work.'
Joakim Zander author of The Swimmer

'If you want chills in the middle of summer, you've found the right book.'

'Christopher Carlsson's The Invisible Man from Salem is something different in the current wave of Nordic crime: ambitious, idiosyncratic and dripping with noir atmosphere. Carlsson's protagonist Leo Junker is a memorable creation.'
Barry Forshaw

'Intricately plotted, this is a first class urban police procedural that confronts many of the inequalities in Swedish society but steers clear from many of the snow ridden cliches of Scandinavian crime fiction to concentrate on character ... Carlsson [is] a name to watch.'
Maxim Jakubowski Lovereading 'A gripping read from an experienced psychologist.
New Books

'An unnerving, unsettling, and intelligent crime novel.'
Dagens Nyheter

'Among Swedish crime writers, Christoffer Carlsson is entirely in a league of his own. And The Invisible Man From Salem is maybe his best yet.'
Ostgota Correspondenten

'A page-turner that is both well-written and intelligently plotted. There is a little of Stieg Larsson, Jens Lapidus and Jo Nesbo in [Carlsson's] writing but, most of all, there is Carlsson himself. The next time he has a book out, he has guaranteed himself at least one reader.'
Leif GW Persson

'[A] gripping and highly enjoyable read with the kind of unreliable hero you can't help but follow desperately, excitedly around.'

-- Fiona Hardy Readings '[C]leverly plotted and the tension builds expertly.
Herald Sun

'Carlsson is another Swedish writer with a flair for words and a social conscience. The shifting narrative between the past and the present creates intrigue as the introspective Leo re-examines the events of the seminal year of his life in a search for answers.'

-- Shelly Orchard Adelaide Advertiser 'This book is addictive. The reader is drawn into the vortex of events already on the first page, and one can get out only in the end. ... Christoffer Carlsson has written a terrifically well-constructed story, where everything is connected. His way of storytelling is captivating but at the same time touching, and he writes with huge ease. ... This series could represent a milestone in the genre of Swedish Crime. The author who previously succeeded in doing this was Stieg Larsson, more than 10 years ago with his Millennium Series.
WDR 2 Krimi

-Tipp 'Christoffer Carlsson's novels are so exciting that a heart attack is to be expected at any time. ... The story is mercilessly captivating, so sleep is not to think about. ... With The Invisible Man From Salem the Swede proves that he is a master of his craft. He knows like no one else to explore the psychological depths of his characters.

'With his German debut, at only 28 years old, Carlsson penetrates deep into the inner workings of his protagonist and creates a haunting mood that lasts for 340 pages.'
Fokus Online

'An extremely powerful, evocative thriller that reverberates far.'

's Online Magazine 'The Invisible Man From Salem is above all noir novel with a hypnotic rhythm, written masterfully by Christoffer Carlsson. ... It's a really great discovery.'
Critiques Libres

'Written with a poetic ease, the narrative is inspired by the great coming of age-novels; various voices, diary entries, recaps: we think of 'The Counterfeiters'. In the same way as Gides'
masterpiece took part in the beginnings of the literary movement

'Nouveau Roman'
we hope that Carlsson brings about a

'Nouveau Roman'
of crime fiction

- mixing solid knowledge to a mastered pen, being accurate without neglecting compassion and raising debate without neglecting style.

'This unique Nordic thriller of enthralling suspense takes a sickening dive into the murky corners of Stockholm and its suburbs ... a new and inspiring example.'
Le Figaro Magazine

'Christoffer Carlsson will lead you exactly where he wants you to go: into the maze of madness. Such narrative skill! Such control! Such a pleasure!'
Impudique Magazine

'Although the novel initially seizes several thematic elements, the author quickly paves a clear track with an exciting central nerve - a nerve that is nurtured with care even though some threads do not directly drive the action forward, but more describes Junker's complicated work. ... We rejoice, because Carlsson will obviously be central in Nordic crime fiction.'

'The Invisible Man From Salem is a thrilling, frightening and addictive tale. Through the tormented life of Leo Junker, and the fascinating characters surrounding him in the past and present, Carlsson portrays in an unparalleled way the gloomy, cold and afflicting atmosphere in the rough suburbs of Stockholm's underworld. It's an atmosphere of vast social tensions, far from the Swedish welfare that we know so well.'
Segunda Epoca

'Christoffer Carlsson's The Invisible Man From Salem is gloomy, frightening, thrilling - and a few shades darker than his predecessors. A perfect example of the blind, tragic loneliness that adds fuel to the fire of hate, violence, lack of solidarity and xenophobia.'
el Correo Gallego

About the Author

Christoffer Carlsson

Christoffer Carlsson was born and raised in Halmstad, on the west coast of Sweden. He earned his PhD in Criminology from the University of Stockholm where he currently serves as a lecturer. In 2012, he was awarded the International European Society of Criminology's Young Criminologist Award.

Author photo © Ann-Lena Ahlström

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Book Info

Publication date

31st May 2015


Christoffer Carlsson

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Scribe Publications


304 pages


Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection

Crime & mystery
Fiction in translation



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