The Lion from Zagros (Lejonet från Zagros)

Lena Matthijs

lejonet fran zagros

Rights sold

Sweden: Hjalmarsson & Högberg

During a canoe trip on a hot summer parts of a body comes floating in the river Ätran. A few days later another macabre discovery is done in a dustbin in Borås. Is there any connection between the man's dismembered bodies? The victims are unknown and not reported missing which makes the investigation extra.


At the same time twelve-year-old Zana fights to bring his siblings back to safety. He has been abandon with his younger sisters and brothers without food or water in the inaccessible mountains of northern Iraq. The parallel stories intertwine while time is running out for the children's ability to survive.


This is the third book in the standalone series about Deputy police Hasse Nelander-Wein and his team and the plot was inspired by a real case.


345 pages



"With her first two books, Matthijs approached the kind of crime novels firstly introduced by Sjöwall/Wahlöö in the sixties, and later carried on by Henning Mankell. In the parts of The Lion From Zagros taking place in Kurdistan, Matthijs has shown that she as well masters the complex portrayals of characters and detailed descriptions of the surroundings. Her authorship can now, with The Lion From Zagros, compare to the best Swedish story tellers."

Olof Engström blog


"This is a real gem and a great addition to the Swedish thriller market. Well written, believable, exciting and entertaining in a really good mix. "

Blog. En lundabos betraktelser


"The Lion From Zagros is well-written and exciting and highly readable. The story is inspired by a real case. "



"As in the previous books Matthijs picks inspiration from real cases and events. It's a good grip, it gives credibility to both the sometimes almost unimaginable events depicted, as a reminder that the world we live in is not always the best. "

Borås Tidning


"The Lion From Zagros, like the previous crime novels is also based on an interesting story and carries a sympathetic tone the makes it extra worth reading. This makes it rather uniqe in comparison to the steady stream of crime stories that absolutely isn’t."



Author photo by Pernilla Rudenwall