Johan Theorin

Winner of the CWA International Dagger 2010!

Books

2013 – The Ghost in the Grave (Rörgast)
Originally published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand.
455 pages.
Genre
Thriller
Download
Sales sheet (PDF)
Rights sold
Czech Republic/MOBA
Denmark/Lindhardt&Ringhof
Finland/Tammi
France/Albin Michel
Germany/Piper
Japan/Hayakawa
The Netherlands/De Geus
Norway/Gyldendal
Spain/Mondadori
English UK/Transworld

The Ghost in the Grave

Original title: Rörgast

Now the sun is broiling the limestone-white island, but this vacation paradise is hiding dark secrets.

“The ghost ship came gliding through the darkness, across the glittering black water, making way for nothing and no one. It towered over the boy. It was rusty, as if it had been at sea for centuries. There was no one moving on deck, but an engine throbbed deep inside the ship like a living heart.
The rubber boat had begun to sink, so he had no choice. He reached up for the railing and climbed aboard.”

Elderly skipper Gerlof Davidsson wakes in the middle of the night to a boy pounding on his door. The boy staggers in from the shore and tells him of a ship full of dead and dying sailors and a crazy man with an axe.

It’s the start of a sultry peak season on Öland, as tens of thousands of tourists descend to celebrate Midsummer. But one of the visitors has returned home from another country to demand payment for a very old debt, and he leaves death and terror in his wake in the summer night.

In the throng of people, it is only Gerlof who begins to suspect who has come home, and why his goal is to get revenge on an entire family. He is the only one who has met the man before, in his youth, when the two of them suddenly heard knocking from a freshly-dug grave as they stood in the cemetery ...

REVIEWS:

"Theorin has stylistic excellence in his way of writing to create suspense and mystery." 
(Tidningen Kulturen)

"Johan Theorin is a suspense writer who excels at the grey areas. While the crime genre grows more and more weighed down with stock images, Theorin's crime and horror novels, since his debut in 2007, have gone in the opposite direction – into uncharted territory, where the boundaries between worlds are thin, and dusk is falling both on the inside and the outside of human beings (...) His style is straight and spare, his intrigue is intricate: nothing is quite what it seems." 
(Göteborgs-Posten) 

"Rörgast is fundamentally about revenge, but also about how an area can be owned by those who admittedly know about money but have forgotten about values. It is the sharpest thing Johan Theorin has written – precisely because he more than ever trusts in suspense, without needing to draw attention to it. It hits us from behind like a blast of ice, sometimes also from the side and, finally, it stares us right in the eye as it enfolds the world in its arms."
(Helsingborgs Dagblad) 

"It's a fateful drama, but it's also a tale of a family and a low-key drama of class, in which all must fight for their survival and the poor always lose out. (...) As in his earlier books, Johan Theorin manoeuvres on the boundaries of the ghost story: he makes use of its form and is masterly when constructing his atmospheric terror.
(Dagens Nyheter)

"In other words, the novel works on several levels at once, with abrupt turns, and Theorin brings in his ship skilfully. Throughout the text, there is sense of simmering threat than cannot be explained in rational terms.
(Svenska Dagbladet) 

"Johan Theorin manages in Rörgast to unify everyday respectability with cruelty, emotional coldness and violent death. He shows how money can change a community. (…) With a cool head he continues seducing his readers by writing horror stories as if they were tall tales. And he does so with his usual stylistic ease, which is one of the reasons for his success." 
(Dalarnas Tidning) 

"I have never doubted for a moment that he really knows how to write stunningly good novels, and in Rörgast he proves it." 
(Hallands-Posten)

"Johan Theorin is an accomplished storyteller and, just as in his earlier novels set in Öland, he varies the supernatural with delectable descriptions of nature and fine portrayals of character." 
(Gefle Dagblad)




2012 – The Wave Rider (På stort alvar)
Originally published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand.
Genre
Thriller/Short stories
Download
Sales sheet (PDF)

The Wave Rider

Original title: På stort alvar

An entertaining tribute to the imaginative tradition of storytelling on the island of Öland. 

This is a collection of short stories – yarns, ghost and horror stories – all set on the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. 

Several stories feature Captain Gerlof Davidsson, whom readers will remember from the suspense novels Echoes From the Dead, The Darkest Room and The Quarry

Figuring in these stories are frightened tourist guides, scary dogs, murderous swans, dying archeologists and naked fishermen.

2011 – The Asylum (Sankta Psycho)
Originally published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand.
395 pages.
Genre
Thriller
Download
Sales sheet (PDF)
Rights sold
Danish/Politiken
Dutch/De Geus
Czech/MOBA
Finnish/Tammi
French/Albin Michel German/Piper Norwegian/Gyldendal Polish/Czarne Spanish/Mondadori
Russian/Ripol
UK World English/Transworld

The Asylum

Original title: Sankta Psycho

Jan Hauger moves to a town on the west coast of Sweden to work as a nursery school teacher. His new workplace, The Glade, is no ordinary nursery. It lies in the shadow of the walls of Saint Patricia’s Clinic, known locally as “St Psychos”, a high-security psychiatric hospital for violent or insane convicts. 

The Glade is a nursery for the children of Saint Patricia’s inmates. Part of Jan’s job is to escort the children through the underground passage that joins the nursery to the clinic. 

Jan is an accomplished teacher, but he has secrets. He has not revealed his true reason for wanting to work at The Glade. Nor has he spoken of the events that unfolded a few years ago, when he took a group of children on a trip to the woods – and returned with one boy too few. 

The Asylum is a dark love story and a chilling psychological thriller. 

REVIEWS 
”This is really creepy horror, creepy and thrilling, and plain out lovely.” (Katarina Gregersdotter, Västerbottens Folkblad)  

“The Asylum makes you want to sleep with the lights on.” (Annelie Henrysson, Karlshamns Allehanda)

“...a real page-turner. Not to mention the thrilling, unexpected denouement.” (Monica G Engström, Västerbottens-Kuriren)

“A psychological thriller with high level suspension to the very end.” (Karin Widegård, Göteborgs-Posten)

“With The Asylum Johan Theorin once again stands out as one of our absolutely best and most original suspense writers.” (Gunilla Wedding, Skånskan)

“...a realistic horror tale about vulnerability, revenge and the wish to disappear in the dark...” (Emma Almgren, DT)

“A story about the darkness within a person, about impossible love and friendship born out of vulnerability. A cleverly told psychological story with increasing suspense, and the thing crawling down your spine is nothing less than plain human evil.” (Johanna Bisterska, VLT)

2010 – The Quarry (Blodläge)
Originally published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand.
Genre
Thriller
Series
The Öland Quartet (vol III)
Download
Sales sheet (PDF)
Rights sold
Danish/Lindhardt&Ringhof
Czech/MOBA
Dutch/De Geus
English UK/Transworld
German/Piper
French/Albin Michel
Finnish/Tammi
Norwegian/Gyldendal
Polish/Czarne
Russian/Ripol
Spanish and Catalan/Mondadori RH
Japanese/Hayakawa

The Quarry

Original title: Blodläge

Through the limestone in Öland shoots a dark red vein, which the workers in the quarry used to call ”the level of blood”. 

In old times people said that it was stale blood from the struggle between the trolls inside the stone and the elves from the plain. But now, just recently, luxurious villas have been built close to the quarry and people from the mainland are moving in. Between the new neighbours, there is jealousy and suspicion, and during this very spring, the lives of a number of people living there will change for good. 

Gerlof left the his old people’s home to go back to live in his cottage at Stenvik – he feels that this might be the last spring of his life. His peace of mind is disturbed when he finds and reads the diaries of his long dead wife. 

One of his new neighbours is Vendela Larsson. Vendela grew up on Öland and returned to the island haunted by
a tragedy as her childhood farm was destroyed by a fire. As a child, Vendela was convinced that the fire was started by the fairies, because the farm had been in their way. 

In The Quarry Johan Theorin draws a poignant portrait of the legends, the history, and the present of the island of Öland. But next to the tales of murder, revenge, and illness there is also room for romance and love.

2008 – The Darkest Room (Nattfåk)
Originally published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand.
Genre
Thriller
Series
The Öland Quartet (Vol II)
Download
Sales sheet (PDF)
Rights sold
Bulgarian/Colibri
Czech/Moravska Bastei MOBA
Danish/Lindhardt&Ringhof
Dutch/De Geus
English UK/Bantam Transworld
English US&Canada/Bantam Dell
Finnish/Tammi
French/Albin Michel
Greek/Metaixmio
German/Piper
Icelandic/Uppheimar
Italian/Mondadori
Korean/Munhakdongne
Norwegian/Gyldendal
Polish/Czarne
Russian/Ripol
Slovak/Marencin
Spanish and Catalan/Mondadori
Thai/Sanskrit Book
Turkish/Dogan Egmont
Rumanian/Editura Trei
Complex Chinese/Spring
Simplified Chinese/Beijing Booky

The Darkest Room

Original title: Nattfåk

In the follow up to the amazing international success of Johan Theorin’s debut, it is winter, with a smell of snow and a dreaded storm in the air, where new beginnings are halted by the frost, and the cold and the wind join forces to preserve some old secrets while others are suddenly exposed... 

The Westin family has recently moved from Stockholm to the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. They have bought an old house, where generations of lightkee- pers used to live which they intend to renovate. 

Soon they will learn that there are tales of several uncanny happenings related to the house. Downright superstition, of course. Or not? It doesn’t take long before seemingly inexplicable things start happening. Are they all accidents and coincidences or is there a murderer on the island, a murderer who might strike again? 

As Christmas draws closer, the heavy winter blizzard, constantly feared on the island, sweeps in, covering everything in deep snow... In The Darkest Room we meet a number of new characters, but also a few we know already – not least the retired sea captain Gerlof Davidsson. Just like Echoes From the Dead the new book offers a powerful and unforgettable reading experience. It is a mixture of a crime novel, a ghost story and a family drama featuring characters out of the ordinary, captivating settings and a plot full of sorrow and suspense.

2007 – Echoes from the Dead (Skumtimmen)
Originally published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand.
Genre
Thriller
Series
The Öland Quartet (Vol I)
Download
Sales sheet (PDF)
Rights sold
Bulgarian/Colibri
Czech/Moravska Bastei MOBA
Danish/Aschehoug
Dutch/De Geus
English-UK/Bantam/Transworld
English-US & Canada/Bantam
Finnish/Tammi
French/Albin Michel
German/Piper
Greek/Metaixmio
Hebrew/Kinneret-Zmora
Italian/Mondadori
Korean/Munhakdongne
Lithuanian/Alma Littera
Norwegian/Gyldendal
Polish/Czarne
Portuguese (Brazil)/Record
Russian/Mir knigi
Slovak/Marencin
Spanish and Catalan/Mondadori RH
Thai/Sanskrit Book
Icelandic/Uppheimar
Japanese/Hayakawa
Turkish/Dogan Egmont
Rumanian/Editura Trei
Hungarian/Animus
Estonian/Ajakirjade Kirjastus
Complex Chinese/Spring
Simplified Chinese/Beijing Booky

Echoes from the Dead

Original title: Skumtimmen

On a foggy summer’s day in the early 1970s, a little boy disappears from the island of Öland, leaving not a single trace. For days his family, the police and volunteers search for him with no results. Twenty years later the boy’s mother, Julia, receives an unexpected telephone call from her father, a retired sea-captain still living on Öland. He tells her that he has received a package containing the worn and mended shoe of a child and asks her to come to Öland to investigate the disap- pearance of his grandson. 


Although reluctant at first, she returns to the island where she grew up, and soon they are both involved in the piecing together of a puzzle of the past. It is only now that Julia hears of the tales of a mythical man from Öland, Nils Kant, once the fear of the whole countryside. 

Although he was dead and buried long before Julia’s son disappeared, people say that he sometimes can be seen, wande- ring across the fields as darkness falls in the shady twilight hour. Echoes From the Dead is a crime novel out of the ordi- nary, a tale of sorrow and deep loss with shadows from the past hovering over the present. The reader is swept along, from the barren nature of Öland back to the Second World War, away to distant ports of the Caribbean and back again.