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A Happy New Year, cover

Fog lies thick on New Year’s Eve as 17-year-old Jennifer walks from a teenage house party into the cold winter night – and disappears without a trace. Across town, her parents Lollo and Max are hosting their own celebrations, blissfully unaware that their lives are about to change forever. The couple’s annual New Year’s party features a gathering of old friends bound by tradition rather than fondness. Over the decades, the relationships have become riddled with jealousy, forbidden opinions about each other’s parenting, and political incorrectness. And yet, there is a sense of belonging worth holding on to. Because who knows you best if not your oldest friends?

As the first day of the new year dawns, the adults wake up to throbbing hangovers and a world in pieces. Through three distinct points-of-view, the group of friends begins to unravel: Lollo, Jennifer’s mother, an interior decorator obsessed with outer appearances who realizes that she does not know her own daughter at all; Nina, a struggling preschool teacher and Lollo’s childhood best friend who secretively thinks that the capricious Jennifer may have got what was coming to her; and Nina’s husband Fredrik, a disgruntled father of three who is clearly hiding something, and who may have been the last person to see Jennifer alive…

What really happened to Jennifer? And what role did Nina and Fredrik’s daughter Smilla play in her disappearance? The missing teenager is the catalyst that leads Lollo, Nina and Fredrik to spiral out of control, awakening dark secrets that have remained dormant for years. Tensions rise between parents who are dissatisfied with the lives they have made for themselves, and children who have begun to lead questionable lives of their own.

A Happy New Year is an addictive novel with relationships in focus where allegiances and expectations unravel in a shattering twist. Debut author Malin Stehn skillfully constructs a house of cards wherein three protagonists are forced to reconsider everything they thought they knew about each other – and about their own families. When it comes down to the wire, everyone is looking to save their own skin.

Extra Materials

Skärmavbild 2022-11-11 kl. 11.20.19 Croatia, Znanje
Happy New Year_czech cover Czech Republic, Euromedia
Et godt nyt år HIRESny Denmark, Politiken
head-uut-aastat005 Estonia, Eesti Raamat
9789511403326 Finland, Otava
Stehn_Happy_New_Year_11k Germany, Fischer / Scherz
HappyNewYear_Cover_HUN_Parvonal Hungary, Partvonal
Voorplat Een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar g Netherlands, Cargo / De Bezige Bij
9788234707612_org Norway, Strawberry
Skärmavbild 2022-11-11 kl. 11.24.04 Poland, Sonia Draga
Un-an-nou-fericit-CVR-01 Romania, Bookzone
Skärmavbild 2022-11-11 kl. 11.25.19 Serbia, Laguna
BSXXXX-Frontal-Feliz año nuevo-v2 Spain, PRH / Ediciones B
A_Happy_New_Year_AW[1] UK, PRH / Michael Joseph

Reviews

“How well do we know our friends – or family, for that matter? Malin Stehn goes deep, and it’s harrowing and true to life in a way that is rare for suspense novels. Oftentimes grief, worry, and guilt are depicted very generally. This is the real deal, and it is ceaselessly captivating and tremendously tragic. Malin Stehn skillfully plants leads for the reader to follow deeper and deeper into the bog of lies that the couples have been living in. […] This is an incredibly well-written, clever, and brilliantly composed debut that leaves me wanting more.”
Norra Skåne (SE)

“Page turner is an overused word by now, but sometimes it covers everything. As in the case of Malin Stehn’s A Happy New Year. […] An incredibly clever and well written suspense novel.”
Allehanda (SE)

“Malin Stehn skillfully depicts superficial friendships, the perfect life and marriage as portrayed on social media vs the secrets that are hidden beneath the surface. Through the points of view of three distinct characters – their thoughts, doubts and guilt – the story creeps closer to a harrowing reveal.”
Aftonbladet (SE)

“I was very close to taking the day off last minute – that’s how hooked I was by Malin Stehn’s debut novel. (…) The hours tick by. And the closer the clock ticks toward midnight, the more the sense of control begins to crack. Things that should never be said are spoken aloud. Thoughts that never should have crossed your mind, do. And, above all, actions are taken that you can never undo. [Stehn]’s craft is brilliant.”
Blekinge Läns Tidning (SE)

“A fantastic debut, a fascinating suspense novel. (…) I would be delighted to return to Malin Stehn in the future.”
Deckardårarna (SE)

“A new suspense novel that draws me in.”
Smålandsposten (SE)

“Stehn succeeds wonderfully in evoking sympathy for the main characters and puts the puzzle pieces of the story together in a gratifying way.”
BTJ (SE)

“It is hardly a happy New Year in Malin Stehn’s tremendously immersive thriller, which fittingly enough begins with the hangover from hell. (…) What starts off as titillating becomes ever more thrilling as Stehn skillfully reveals one family secret after another. This is pure reading bliss for fans of domestic suspense and the books of Liane Moriarty.”
M-magasin (SE)

“If you haven’t already read A Happy New Year by Malin Stehn, do so immediately.”
Barometern (SE)

“The novel is a study in how a family breaks down over what could have happened to [the daughter] Jennifer. It’s very efficiently told, much thanks to Malin Stehn’s use of multiple narrators. I highly recommend this novel which also comes with a chocking ending. Simply put, it’s a very clever and well written suspense novel.”
Tidningen Ångermanland (SE)

A Happy New year is one of the best books I have read in this past year.”
Dast Magazine (SE)

“An impressive debut with a fascinating psychological suspense novel.”
P4 Västernorrland (SE)

“A splendid debut in the genre.”
Norran (SE)

“Peaked too early? Romantically heartbroken? All alone at midnight? With its long queues, high prices and even higher pressure, most of us know the feeling of New Year’s Eve disappointment. Just be thankful you’re not a character in prolific YA writer Malin Stehn’s debut adult thriller. When a 17 year old goes missing after leaving a Malmö house party in the snowy depths of a Swedish winter, the ripples spread around her parents’ circle, bringing dark secrets to the surface of their seemingly serene, stylish lives. Written in elegant prose, Stehn’s pacy narrative taps into every family’s worst nightmare. It asks moral questions about how well we truly know our friends and family—and how far we would go to protect them. Unpredictable plot twists touch on issues ranging from sexual politics to social media, from Islamophobia to mental health. Atmospheric flashbacks and alternate narrators add depth. This slow-burning mystery is Nordic noir via American Beauty with a dash of Big Little Lies.”
Apple Books Review (UK)

“What a pulse racing thriller! I couldn’t put this down.”
5* Early Reader Review (UK)

“This is a compelling and wholly immersive read. Impossible to part with until that final page.”
5* Early Reader Review (UK)

“One of the best thriller/mysteries I’ve read recently . . . I was gripped from start to finish”
5* Early Reader Review (UK)

“A lot of twists and turns which I didn’t see coming”
5* Early Reader Review (UK)

“Malin Stehn skillfully describes superficial friendships, outwardly perfect people and marriages, and the dark secrets that exist underneath this polished surface. The story inches closer to its horrifying core through the different perspectives of the characters, through their thoughts, their doubts and guilt. (…) This story is so real and gripping that it is hard to put down. All these relationships, both within the family and the friendship group, and the things that have been strained for a long time, come to a head in the events of the New Year. Each family has their own issues, and it escalates into a shared drama, where the boiling point is the disappearance of a child. The community is small, but the problems are big.”
Sober Raamat, blog (EE)

“A brilliant thriller in terms of psychological sophistication and hardly surpassable in terms of suspense.”
WDR5 (DE)

“A Swedish thriller in a class of its own.”
Augsburger Allgemeine (DE)

“Swedish author Malin Stehn has created an abysmal, exciting and entertaining thriller.”
Radio Göttingen (DE)

“This highly-identifying page-turner is addictive and grabs readers with revelations until the very last page.”
Bürgerjournal Langenhagen (DE)

“There are plenty of cliffhangers to keep the tension going. A bloody showdown and an unpredictable resolution included!”
SWR2 (DE)

“Perfect for New Year’s Eve!”
Frankfurter Neue Presse (DE)

“The discovery from Sweden”
Ostthüringer Zeitung (DE)

“A gripping bestseller from Sweden.”
Freizeit Illustrierte (DE)

“[…] Depth and suspense until the last page.”
Bergische Landeszeitung (DE)

‘A tense, slow-burn thriller looking at families and friendships and how they change over time. Believable characters and some surprising twists, a great read’
–  Catherine Cooper, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalet

‘A dark, compelling missing person story set in the depths of a Swedish winter. Fans of Shari Lapena will DEVOUR this. Pacy, atmospheric and extremely thrilling’
– Will Dean, author of Book of the Year awarded Dark Pines.

‘A riveting Scandi thriller, depicting every family’s worst nightmare in exquisite detail. The clever characterisation keeps you guessing at every turn – I can’t wait to read what Malin Stehn writes next’
– Amy McCulloch, author of the Sunday Times crime book of the month Breathless

‘Wintery, Scandi, twisty and compelling. What’s not to love?’
– Jane Fallon Sunday Times bestseller

‘Happy New Year is a smart page-turner that is impossible to put down. Ordinary people like you and me find themselves in the ultimate nightmare, which could become anyone’s reality. The story gets under your skin, leaving you defenseless.’
– Mattias Edvardsson

Paloma Agency is a boutique literary agency that represents Scandinavian writers at home and in the world.

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