By Gabriella Håkansson

London. March 1816. A nation plagued by war, financial crisis and the coldest spring in living memory. In the house on 45 Harley Street, more commonly known as The Temple, time appears to have stood still. The servants have returned from the continent, but the master of the house is still missing. Richard Payne Knight is waiting in the library with a letter in his hand. The message is short and concise: “Mr William Fitch-Aldermann and his tutor are on their way to London.”

William’s return is lined with scandals. The libertine Josias Gebhardt engineers a stock exchange fraud in order to gain capital for the new Dilettanti. The empire is unstable and vulnerable. The dark forces that are put into motion when the Priapus cult is reborn frighten the British supremacy. London is soon on the brink of a revolution.

Kättarnas tempel (The Heretic Temple) begins where the critically acclaimed Aldermanns arvinge (Aldermann’s Legacy) left off. The Dilettanti’s subversive plans are still hidden. Young William is determined to find them. And to implement them. At all costs.

First published by Albert Bonniers Förlag in 2014

679 pages

The Netherlands, Xander
Sweden, Albert Bonniers Förlag

… the text moves smoothly and sensually, whether it involves exuberant descriptions of the crowds (London is the third protagonist in this novel), the mental metamorphosis of the different characters or historical facts that have been integrated into fiction.
Claes Wahlin, Aftonbladet

… Along came Gabriella Håkansson. When she released the 800-page long “Aldermanns arvinge” last year, she immediately opened the gates to a bright tunnel, away from the contemporary prose, and it stretches all the way from Dickens, Dumas and Jules Verne to Umberto Eco, JK Rowling and Dan Brown – the kind of literature that urges people to read /…/ In all honesty, it is not the plot that is the primary benefit in these first two parts of the trilogy. It is rather the knick-knacks, the huge cabinet of curiosities: secret rituals, mysterious symbols, oddballs, De Sade-excesses and olden gods that truly dazzles.
Tim Andersson, Arbetarbladet

Håkansson has taken a prolific grip of the zeitgeist and produced a powerful literary project. She skilfully uses the tensions of the time to create a story that feels vivid and important. It is racily and exuberantly written, with a strong Dickensian outline.
Anders Rosesund, Dalarnas Tidningar

It is a brilliant and detailed mural, based on vast reading, without the appearance of being over-researched.
Nils Schwartz, Expressen

The London of this novel is the capital of the world. Here you will find everything: pastoral parks, smelly alleyways, Patrician palaces with invaluable art collections, catacombs in the slum infested with atrocious viruses, warehouse hangars filled with objects from around the world, children with no other possessions than their empty stomachs. It is first and foremost in the portrayal of this swarming, pungent, simmering, filthy, jewelled and biscuit-scoffing metropolis that Gabriella Håkansson’s imagination and verbal energy can truly excel.
Per Svensson, Sydsvenskan

There is such a narrative zest and such an ingeniously crafted plot at play, enough to make you happy. Add to that an impressive source of knowledge and a civilization critical perceptivity out of the ordinary and you have all the ingredients for a reading experience that is both affecting and enduring.
Christian Swalander, Ystads Allehanda