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Lindqvist's dark debut novel, originally published in Sweden in 2004, takes place in a 1980s Stockholm suburb. Twelve-year-old Oskar suffers beatings nearly every school day by a group of bullies who thrive on the fear they cause him. Oskar has no close friends until Eli, a mesmerizing girl about his age, moves next door. She has peculiar habits, like spending her days inside with curtains closed and only venturing out at night, but Oskar has no idea that besides being odd, she is also quite dangerous. Eli is a vampire who uses the services of a crazed pedophile named Hakan to forage for live victims from which she can take sustenance. When the unstable Hakan cripples himself by throwing acid on his face, Eli has to bumble through gory hunts on her own. Still, through it all she maintains her friendship with Oskar and at one point even becomes his salvation. Unfortunately, Lindqvist's predictable plot lumbers through one ghastly scene after another. Recommended only for comprehensive horror collections.