By Jessica Schiefauer

The Eyes of the Lake is the story of Esther and Isak, and Isak’s brother, Anton. Esther and Isak are hopelessly lost in each other.

Anton’s loneliness is as strong as their love. Without anyone noticing it, or wanting to see it, Anton is pulled towards Ruben, a violent alcoholic and neo-nazi.

When Anton sneaks in with blood on the clothes one night, and the media revels the details of the brutal murder, everything is changed forever.

Isak seeks consolation with Esther who secretly enjoys that he needs her. The love between them, that was once so strong, is no longer, and their relationship becomes more and more destructive.

Until Esther realizes that Isak’s life is shattered forever and he can not leave it. But she can choose to go.

Violence occurs repeatedly; in different decades, in different places, in different countries. Where does violence come from? What does it do to us?

The Eyes of the Lake explores these questions and has borrowed aspects from several true events.

It is not a true story. But it is not completely untrue.

First published by Bonnier Carlsen, 2015

Finland, Karisto
Italy, Camelozampa
Sweden, Bonnier Carlsen


“It is a novel that can be read by anyone. Anyone who has ever been madly in love, anyone who has ever thought about evil, about power, about the things that influence us to take action. Is it love, is it fear, or is it the need for acceptance? Jessica Schiefauer provides no answers. But she places her linguistic spotlight on the matters in a way that makes it difficult to stop reading.”

“The portrayal of Ester’s tenacious concern, Isak’s critical surrender which gradually turns into something close to disgust, and the atrocious consequences of the inner chaos – that story is truly pivotal, and very urgent reading for anyone who is 17 and struggling to understand oneself. Here, Schiefauer writes confidently and mercilessly about inner and outer cruelties, which she doubtlessly knows plenty about. The story does not really concern murder or neo-Nazism, but the desperate war that arises within and in between people who are put through an emotional meat grinder. Which is something that happens to everyone, sooner or later, in one way or another. And when that day arrives, it’s important to have read a book such as “The Eyes of the Lake”.”

“It is exactly that complexity which makes it such a good read. But what about the dogs? No, they are neither police dogs nor cadaver dogs, but guard dogs designated to protect the perpetrator’s family from assailants. They appear as a steadfast extra layer of skin. As an assurance, but above all, as a consolation. And “The Eyes of the Lake” sure is a successful YA portrayal of consolation. Despite death, despite the end of love.”
Svenska Dagbladet

“Rarely have I read a novel that offers such depths and at the same time shows coherence. Jessica Schiefauer also lets the light in with a prose, a text that is at once moderate and matter-of-fact but also lucid and constantly in glimmering motion /…/ Jessica Schiefauer’s story and prose are so intimate that it is almost impossible to detach one event from another, one impression from the other /…/ It is painful, it is beautiful, it is urgent. A magnificent read.”
Dagens Nyheter

“It is a brutal story. Occasionally the content is hardly bearable to read /…/ “The Eyes of the Lake” is a violent and captivating novel. Already from the start the pages are seething with an ominous mood. Schiefauer also uses lake water and dogs as strong, allegorical reflections, finding their way under the skin and into the dreams. It is as elegant as it is powerful.”
Borås Tidning

2015 August Prize
2015 Spårhunden Award
2016 Winner of the Audio Book Prize


Children’s & YA