The Guardian Angel

Reading material

English manuscript
English synopsis

Original title: The Guardian Angel - Suojelusenkeli

Published: 2018

Publisher: WSOY

Class/genre: Crime & Thriller

Pages: 300

True crime meets psychological suspense in a gripping thriller about hypnosis murders in post-war Copenhagen.

The Guardian Angel, which is based on true events, is about a bizarre double murder that shook Copenhagen in the 1950s. Palle Hardrup, a former Nazi collaborator recently released from prison, walks into a bank, demands money and shoots two employees point blank. The police catch the man in no time, but according to the witnesses, he acted in a trance-like state. Inspector Anders Olsen’s suspicions are aroused: what if the man was operating under hypnosis – and what if the real killer is still at large?

The novel combines the genres of true crime and psychological thriller, against the atmospheric backdrop of post-war society in Copenhagen. The story of the singular crime committed under hypnosis mirrors also modern-day issues of manipulation and psychological effects of the new technology.

The book has been written alongside the feature film, a Finnish-Danish-Croatian co-production, which premiers internationally on 9 March 2018, starring Pilou Asbaek (Game of Thrones), Josh Lucas (A Beautiful Mind) and Rade Serbedzija (Downton Abbey).

Rights sold: 

DENMARK, Hr. Ferdinand
ITALY, Piemme
PORTUGAL, Grupo Planeta
SERBIA, Vulkan


100 wide


Josh Lucas

Mikko Nousiainen



In the Finnish press:

“The questions the work evokes fit perfectly in the year 2018. To which lengths can we be manipulated on a personal or a national level? The book, which is based on a true story, captivates the reader… The novel is so gripping it’s difficult to stop reading it.” – ET magazine, Finland

“The novel, which is based on a true story, is very interesting, and it makes the reader to think about the possibilities hypnosis offers and get curious about the background of the story. In the end it all boils down to one thought: who controls your mind?” ***** – Nousu magazine, Finland

Editorial praise:

“As soon as I heard about The Guardian Angel, I knew that it would be relevant for the Danish market. The hypnosis murders were an infamous case in Denmark, and with the strength of the narrative combined with a star-studded lineup we felt that this was a publication that we just couldn’t miss. All sails are set here at Ferdinand for the spring, when we will publish The Guardian Angel in close collaboration with Scanbox.” – Line Miller, Hr. Ferdinand, Denmark

“An amazing book. Impossible to put down. Very well written and with very good research. The suspense is intense! A book that makes us reflect how we can easily be manipulated,” – Paula Nascimento, Editora Grupo Planeta, Portugal

The Guardian Angel. I was mesmerized by the sparse and, yes, hypnotic language, which painted with very few strokes such vivid feelings and characters. Everyone, Anders and Marie in particular, as well as the very special “villains”, come alive in the strongest way, and the icy and still atmosphere of this post-war Denmark where the echoes of the past are still so powerful, is amazingly well done.” – Giulia De Biase, Piemme, Italy


Arto Halonen & Kevin Frazier

ARTO HALONEN is a film director and screenwriter, known for his strong socially-conscious stance towards his subjects. He is one of the few people in the world who have ever interviewed the killer Palle Hardrup. KEVIN FRAZIER is a novelist, nonfiction writer, essayist and reviewer who lives in Helsinki. Previous collaborations between Halonen and Frazier include the award-winning Shadow of the Holy Book.

The duo was previously known under the pseudonym Einar Hansen.


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