Lena Sundström ten Hoopen

Lena Sundström ten Hoopen (b. 1972) is a writer and reporter, who currently works as a journalist on Uppdrag Granskning, an award-winning investigative journalism program on SVT.


August Prize (Shortlisted), 2009
Guldspaden - Sweden's finest journalism award, 2009
Publicistklubbens stora pris, 2009

Photo: Ola Kjelbye



Traces tells the true and dramatic story of how three journalists investigating Sweden’s deportation of two Egyptians found themselves at the centre of international politics, in the aftermath of September 11th.

On a cold winter evening in 2001, two men were picked up in Stockholm and brought to Bromma airport outside the city. They were forced to take off their clothes and to put on diapers, overalls, handcuffs and chains. Bags were placed over their heads. Masked men led them out to a waiting airplane. The next day, they arrived in Egypt, where they were tortured by the security service of the Mubarak regime.

Two years later, three journalists begin to uncover the story of the two deported Egyptians and a mysterious aircraft, named N379P, that pops up in places around the world – matching incidents where people seem to disappear into thin air. The traces lead to a world of CIA agents, Italian prosecutors, and a fleet of exclusive business jets that are supposed to fly millionaires, but in fact are transporting a completely different type of cargo.

Traces dives into an extraordinary period in our contemporary history, the time after September 11th when politicians made decisions that created deep wounds which still have not healed. It is a work of nonfiction – and it is also a thriller.

Lena Sundström ten Hoopen

Original title:

August 2013

Non-fiction/ Documentary thriller

Original publisher:
Natur & Kultur

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final)
English sample

379 pp.

Poland/Czarna Owca
Sweden/Natur & Kultur


“It is with journalistic diligence and attention to detail that she makes the history human and exciting. Traces is, in short, a journalistic masterpiece.”



“If you were thinking of reading one thriller in the autumn, choose this one. It is well written, timely and thrilling; the brutal violence is not on the surface but just underneath; worldwide, around the clock. And the most ghastly thing of all is that it is for real.” 



“Lena Sundström's new book has a serious problem: it does not allow you to press the pause button, to stop, to make dinner for the family. It is simply too exciting – and outrageous.”


“It's very scenic, like made for a feature film […] Traces has a sharpness and clarity that is directly painful. Every time I raise a question, there is soon an answer. Because Lena Sundström, and the reporters she follows, is turning every stone. And when the stones are turned a smell is welling up that is hard to dismiss: ‘Do you understand this?’ one of the reporters says to the other when assurances is proved to be equal with lies […] I am loudly applauding while reading.”