The Truth Behind the Lie

The Truth Behind the Lie


The Truth Behind the Lie

#1 part of Kouplan Series

Original title: Sanning med modifikation
Author: Sara Lövestam

Kouplan puts up an online ad: “Private detective. Contact me if the police can’t help you.” Pernilla gets in touch to ask him to find her missing daughter, Julia. Kouplan’s search for the missing six-year-old takes us through Stockholm.

But it is a Stockholm that most readers would not know about, a city where people live outside society, without social security numbers, without civil rights, in constant fear of being discovered and deported. People who live this way are easy targets for those who run the criminal world. Kouplan knows that. He is also faced with a mission that seems impossible, not because of the many dangers or the initial lack of clues, but because the girl’s mother carries so many secrets.

When will she start talking? And why is she scared? A complex psychological suspense novel with multi-dimensional characters that reads as if you had a lump of ice in your stomach all the way through.

Original language

SWEDISH | Piratförlaget

Translation rights

DANISH | Aronsen Forlaget
DUTCH | Stortebeeker
ENGLISH (World) | St. Martin’s Press
FRENCH | Robert Laffont
GERMAN | Rowohlt
GREEK | Oceanida/Niki Ekdotiki

  • Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2017
  • Deckarakademin’s (Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy) Award for the Best Debut Crime Novel of 2015
  • De Goulden Vleermuis Prize 2017

«The best of novels. Not only because of the topics (refugees, exclusion, loneliness, homelessness), but also for the humanity that exhales. And the prose: so delicate and balanced.» Göteborg Posten

«Impeccable. An anti-hero par excellence (…) a book that ignites from the first page. (…) Sara excels at throwing her reader off balance. Just in the space of a few lines, when you think you are in the middle of a detective novel, it turns to a social novel, and vice-versa. (…) You feel deliciously lost. (…) The descriptions are acute and well-chiselled, full of empathy, never oversensitive or over-voyeuristic. (…) One of the new Swedish literary voices. (….) As a teacher of immigrants, Sara knows what she is talking about. Kouplan’s story feels incredibly real.» —Le Monde des Livres

«Sara Lövestam has written an innovative, multi-layered mystery novel with a sympathetic and highly unusual protagonist. Her narrative style is appealing and poetic.» Fredrik Malmquist

«I know of no other writer than Sara Lövestam who can fill their stories with empathy, dignity and respect for those who are vulnerable and left aside, as well as keeping, constantly, the reader’s attention.» Corren

«Let’s highlight Sara Lövestam’s use of language: incredibly balanced, a pleasure to read.» Blog MsHisingen

«I have never read a novel like this. Incredibly original.» Eva Åström, Expressen Söndag

«The Truth Behind The Lie has the same rhythm as Sara Lövestam’s previous novels, and it also tells the story of odd and frail characters with a common search and collaboration. But in this novel the tone has darkened and the story is going deeper and more complex than in previous novels. The Truth Behind The Lie is great! The best! I know of no other writer than Sara Lövestam who can fill their stories with empathy, dignity and respect for those who are vulnerable and left aside, as well as keeping, constantly, the reader’s attention. And note the last sentence on the back cover, which promises more books about Kouplan’s survival. But start by reading this. You just have to!» Jacob Karlander, Bokcirkeln 

«The Truth Behind The Lie means that there is no truth. (…) It is also a qualified truth. Oops, the great Sara Lövestam has made this concept completely hers –and in so many ways– in this novel. Great novel!» Bokgalleriet

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