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While delving into research for a documentary, journalist Axel Sköld uncovers a mysterious thread weaving through history. From filmed surveillance material, Axel finds that there is one man who seems to be involved in three pivotal deaths: the assassination of Sweden’s former Prime Minister Olof Palme, the alleged suicide of weapons inspector Algernon, and the fatal car accident of Cats Falck. Axel, consumed by his findings, becomes increasingly fixated on proving this ominous link. After airing a radio show featuring the information – deemed inadequate by his employers – he is catapulted into a whirlwind of trouble.

Left unemployed, Axel delves even deeper into what now appears to be a huge conspiracy theory. On the brink of ruin, he is unexpectedly approached by the venerable banker Ragnar von Scheele, who urges him to persist in exploring the theories he presented in his last radio show. Intertwined with the banker’s own vendetta, Ragnar offers Axel a substantial sum in exchange to continue his investigation – a proposition Axel finds impossible to decline.

As Axel peels back the layers, his investigation unveils ties to a Swedish royal assassination and a hidden organization rooted in the 18th century. Astonishingly, the secret society continues to wield influence in the present day and that from the highest echelons of power. Its members are not averse to extreme measures, including the murder of those involved, to safeguard their secrets and thwart the revelation of the truth. Can Axel Sköld’s relentless pursuit expose the malevolent forces at play?

The Eighteen unfolds a riveting conspiracy thriller about men of power, painting a chilling picture where some will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their age-old secrets. Stieg Larsson meets Dan Brown in this intelligent and intricately plotted novel that marks the beginning of a suspenseful trilogy about Axel Sköld’s unwavering pursuit of the truth.

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

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