Eighteen-year-old Kasper has gone through a rough time, but now he has landed his dream job at the amusement park Gröna Lund. He befriends Iris who teaches him how to terrify guests in the haunted house.

Thirty years earlier, in Stockholm of the eighties, sixteen-year-old Håkan’s life changes when he meets Grim. They live and breathe music and have big plans for their death metal band. But it all comes to nothing when Grim dies. Håkan breaks up the band.

What really happened? Kasper, who is Håkan’s son, tries to find out the truth. Together with Iris he delves into the myths and secrets surrounding the band, and his dad’s best friend. Grim, who inexplicably died at such a young age. Who was he? And why does he
appear in Kasper’s dreams?

Grim is a gothic suspense novel. A story of friendship and family, community and alienation, and the life-altering forces of art and creativity

Grim is the second part in a quartet of stand alone novels.


Sweden: Rabén & Sjögren
USA: Arctis


“Just wanted to say that this novel, Grim, is out in the US now. It’s written by Swedish author Sara B. Elfgren who really is fantastically gifted and original and smart and just the right amounts of insane. The genre might be called “Gothic suspense”, but if that doesn’t tell you much I’ll tell you this: It’s really just a good story. It has ghosts and amusement parks and death metal bands, and it’s about friendship and love and about being young and wanting to be something, anything. And it’s scary and it’s haunting and it really is quite beautiful. I can’t compare it to anything because it is something else, because Sara really is her own voice. I’d recommend this to young people of all ages, or old people in any size. It’s an awesome adventure for your summer.”
Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove, Britt-Marie was here, Bear Town

Grim is a novel written by someone who has mastered their craft. Everything in the story has earned its place, every character throbs with life and all of it is conjured with deceptive ease.”
Maria Turtschaninoff, author of Maresi and Naondel. 

“Grim is a labyrinth built with a master’s hand: A dark fairytale brimful of empathy, an ode to a lost time and to the feverish ecstasy of youth, where the shadows that frighten the most spring from the darkness that lurks within us all. Once you lose yourself in it, you’ll wish you never find your way out.”
Niklas Natt och Dag, author of 1793/The Wolf and the Watchman

Grim is an astonishing work! For me, being part of the early Swedish death metal scene in the late eighties, it was almost a bit eerie how the text transported me back to that time. The story is spellbinding, and works on several levels. It draws you straight in, and you have no choice but to devour the book. It paints a very true picture of how the scene worked back in the day, with tape trading, fanzines etc, and I really like how Sara managed to build UPON that world and create a work that, for me, sometimes comes close to Magic realism. I truly recommend this book! Captivating and chilling!”
Tomas Lindberg,  (At the Gates, Grotesque)


“A young man struggles with his demons against the backdrop of the Scandinavian death metal scene in this novel translated from Swedish. […] A sprawling, multiformat narrative follows, including third-person chapters from Kasper’s point of view, historical flashbacks, transcripts of band interviews, internet forum chats, and further brief interludes from Iris, whom Kasper meets while working at a theme park haunted house. The intricately described world of this very specific music scene will thrill fans and those with a penchant for exploring subcultures. Richly imagined characters populate this niche setting, and the novel’s deft lacing of unsettling paranormal flourishes drawing on myth and magic with accurate and heart-rending depictions of the experiences Kasper has with anxiety and depression provide balance. Ethnic diversity in some background characters reflects modern Sweden’s immigration history. An atmospheric, heady, ambiguous mystery.”
Kirkus Reiveiws / USA

“Sara B. Elfgren has captured the musicians down to the last unwashed strand of hair, their band T-shirts, their lingo, their behavior in the rehearsal space, their partying and perilous games with dark powers. Metal bands that flirted with the occult have really existed, and this connection could have been used for sensationalistic purposes, but that is not Sara B. Elfgren’s way. […] Elfgren still writes YA novels, but I keep ignoring that fact and consider myself, a middle-aged lady interested in the fine arts, the target audience.”
Maria G. Francke, Sydsvenskan / SWE

“A tautly written book, brimming with suspense […] and yet it is not the occult that brings the greatest threat, but those who want to believe in the darkness, depicted with a virtuoso hand by B. Elfgren […]  the true evil is that a young person has been hurt so severely that he is at constant risk of being engulfed by his inner demons. The prose is straightforward as well as painfully beautiful – in the best parts there is a sense of modern poetry grown on a medieval gallow’s hill. ‘The darkness comes down like a blade’, and father as well as son are close to perishing in their respective decades.”
Stina Nylén, Göteborgs-Posten / SWE

“It is an extraordinarily well-constructed novel without any slow parts: everything is there for a reason. Even a piece of string.”
Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter / SWE

“Grim is a suspenseful novel, with elements of the supernatural, that rushes through the reader’s mind like a runaway ghost train. It is impossible to jump off, it is impossible to stop reading. At the same time, it is a tender portrait of young men with decades between them, who share a longing for community […] It can certainly be read by young people, I would even say that anyone over fifteen who doesn’t read this novel will miss out on something special. But it is just as suitable a read for middle-aged people. Those who were there in the 80’s, those who are parents of teenagers, and those who are just looking for an incredibly exciting novel. […] with it Sara B. Elfgren, who has been one of the heavy-weights of Swedish YA for a long time, has surpassed herself.”
Jönköpings-Posten / SWE

“Sara B. Elfgren’s prose is luminous, atmospheric and clear. The characters are layered […]  Kasper’s struggle with mental health issues is portrayed with authenticity, as are his attempts to find his own identity and place in the world. […] Aimed at young adult and adults alike. Grim is a tense, dark, mesmerizing and engrossing read.” Raiting: 5/5

“A supremely well told and complex gothic novel”
Yukiko Duke, Svenska Dagbladet / SWE

“Sara B. Elfgren’s pen can conjure up demons that will make your hairs stand on end, and relatable teenage emotions that will leave your stomach in knots […] Instead of a big and bloody finale the reader is left with something much more frightening. The question about which demons are the worst: the ones that exist on the outside or within you.”
Kulturnytt P1, Swedish Radio / SWE

Grim is a taut and emotional novel seasoned with horror /…/ recommended for teenagers as well as their parents.”

“I feel as though I am there, among Grim, Håkan, Tony, Ernesto and Malte and their friends. I share their experiences and their music. It is terribly gripping. […] Grim is written with such care and love that it feels like a gift […] fascinates from the first page to the last. Read it.”
Metallbibliotekarien (The Metal Librarian, book blogger who works as librarian, mainly with YA) / SWE

“I read Grim over the course of a day, captivated and spellbound. […] Sara B. Elfgren is especially skillful when it comes to the realistic portrayal of human beings and their relationships, and as a reader it is easy to identify with her characters’ emotions and thoughts and feel … seen […] Her characters are so real. They burst into my heart without knocking. They are so alive with all their flaws. The stories they inhabit are rich with atmosphere, and the pacing is perfect; the suspense never lets down, but one has time to really absorb and experience the events. It is impossible for me to read without becoming deeply involved and completely engrossed.”
Review by Liv, an employee at the Science Fiction Bookstore (the largest chain of scifi/fantasy/horror bookstores in Sweden), published as a book recommendation on the bookstore’s webpage / SWE

“Grim, Grim, Grim, how I adore you. […] It is mind-blowingly good, a world that draws you in and engulfs you completely. Please note that I’m not at all interested in either metal or haunted houses, but that doesn’t matter at all.”
Prickiga Paula, @prickigapaula, YA Librarian and blogger / SWE

Grim is an amazing book, the kind you may never forget. The darkness may seem impenetrable, but somehow the light gets in. Read it!”
@ungbibblo, The YA Librarians in Östersund City’s account / SWE

Grim takes me back to a fantastic time in my life. When I was 15-16 years old and found […] music that spoke to me, scared me and fascinated me. […] The faces of the characters in the book are often those of myself and my friends, and those pangs of insecurity that I felt at that age sometimes come back to me as I turn the pages […] Grim is bloody ‘true’! It is just as much a book for young adults as it is for fully grown adults. I love Grim.”
@deadmoonight / SWE

“I can’t recommend this novel enough to anyone who ever sent a cassette tape instead of a letter, to anyone who ventured into the woods to listen to a new album or sealed a friendship based on a band T-shirt. This one is for us.”
Vargtimmen Podcast (Horror podcast) / SWE

“This book is amazing. The two parallel storylines are just as exciting and together they become utterly riveting. […] Grim really touched my heart. More than once I found myself tearing up. […] run off and buy Grim because this is a novel that you just have to read.”
5/5, Bokdivisionen.se, book blogger / SWE

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