Elias has just found out that a tumor is growing in his brain when he gets the news that his father has been assassinated in Sarajevo. Ylva, his late father’s devastated lover joins forces with him to unravel the mystery of his murder. Situations spiral out of control and the two soon find themselves fighting for their lives against powerful, deep-pocketed enemies.

Elias and Ylva, death brought them together.
Their enemies have unlimited resources.
They only have each other.

Håkan Östlundh on his new thriller:

“Elias, a 24-year-old student, and Ylva, aged 42 and head of European operations for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), meet when Elias father (who is also Ylva’s lover) dies in a terrorist attack in Sarajevo. At home during a harsh Stockholm winter they join forces to piece together what actually happened. Was he targeted for murder? Who is responsible?

The Winter of the Prophet is a story of espionage and corruption. But above all it’s a story of two ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, caught in the middle of a conflict between powerful nations and corporate entities. Do they stand a chance of survival?

I wrote The Winter of the Prophet to expose a side of Sweden that is rarely seen. We have perceived ourselves a more or less corruption-free society. Yet corruption exists and festers underneath the neat facade. In recent years, Sweden has been rocked by several government scandals forcing us to think twice about the illusion of unsullied Sweden. We are not quite as innocent as we imagined.

My aim has also been to create an exciting spy story with interesting characters, slowly developing tension and with a multifaceted intrigue. During my work, I grew very fond of my main characters Elias and Ylva. They move the story forward and it’s going to be a pleasure to have them around while writing the next books of the trilogy.”

364 pages


Czech republic: Omega
Finland: WAPI
Germany: Goldmann
Italy: SEM
The Netherlands: Ambo Anthos
Sweden: Polaris


“Murder, corruption, abuse of power and forbidden love. Boiled down to an extremely exciting brew of the kind you can not put away. Nothing is what it seems to be in this novel and the leads point straight into the heart of the governing party.”
Aftonbladet / SWE

“Exciting high-speed thriller, where everyone is suspected guilty and someone is leaking information.”
Dagens Nyheter / SWE

“The pace of the story is breathtaking and makes the book hard to let go of. I liked that even if there’s a political background to the story, it never interferes with the suspense and the action. The relationships between characters are almost perfectly tuned to fit the story and thus let the book be read as in a single breath.”
@book.a.like / DE

The Winter of the Prophet was a quick read. I was so enchanted that I couldn’t put it down. Apart from the really suspenseful story I especially liked the authentic characters.”
@beas_wunderland / DE

The Winter of the Prophet is the fast paced beginning of the new thriller trilogy from Sweden. […] A successful start with a multifaceted and captivating story with many twists.”
Maja Frings @thalia_trier (Thalia bookshop in Trier) / DE

“A really strong start of a great trilogy. I can really recommend it. Even though it’s not very violent, the mood is very suspenseful and captivating throughout the book. I really liked this book.” Raiting 10 of 10
@felixmeyer303 / DE

“I’ve been completely absorbed by this book! Partly because it is well-written and partly because it seems to be solid research made behind it, and that does a lot! But above all, it is the delicate portrayals of Elias and Ylva. Their fear, sorrow and insecurity is allowed to take place in the midst of all the action. They are not extraordinary superheroes. That’s what makes the book! ”
boksann, book blog / SWE

“I almost read the whole book in one single sweep and I really enjoyed to get to know the somehow odd Elias, the student who ends up in situations that he is totally unprepared for but still has to handle. Well-written, fast-paced and unpredictable.”
Och dagarna går, book blog / SWE

“I immediately fell for The Winter of the Prophet. It has a sad beginning, or maybe I’m just sensitive, but I empathise with Ylva when the bomb explodes and Anders goes missing. I can really understand and relate to Ylva, which is why I like the book so much. I also like the main character, Elias, and feel attached to him. It makes the reading so much easier when you like and understand the emotions of the main characters.”
Boktokig, book blog / SWE

The Winter of the Prophet is a well-written fast-paced suspense novel full of unexpected twists. Abuse of power, arms trade and forbidden love is some of the ingredients making this a really thrilling book. But it is not at all a shallow novel, it makes room for relations and feelings. I read it at a single sitting and tried to figure out who was the villain, which was impossible.”
Bina’s Books / SWE

The Winter of the Prophet is a real page-turner that got me hooked from the beginning, I couldn’t put it away until I finished. It is a really fast-paced thrilling novel. The book is unpredictable, and everything can happen […] This is the first part in a planned trilogy. I definitely want to read more and hope it won’t take too long before next part is released.”
Zellys bokhylla / SWE

“Thrilling from the first page and extremely well-written. I look forward to next part.”
Boklivet / SWE

“I was immediately struck by the story and read the book at one single sitting. […] The Winter of the Prophet is a well-written and easy-read page-turner and I really look forward to the next parts in this trilogy.”
Boklysten / SWE

“Suspenseful, entertaining and very well written!”
Jennies boklista, book blog / SWE

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