- The Chestnut Man.
- Søren Sveistrup.
- 512 pages.
- Crime / Thriller / Mystery.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
One blustery October morning in a quiet Copenhagen suburb, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.
Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who’s just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man – evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead; the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. But the man who confessed to her murder is already behind bars and the case long since closed.
Soon afterwards, a second woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women. But what is it?
Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the killer is on a mission that is far from over . . .
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I like my thrillers to be dark and gruesome and that is exactly what I found The Chestnut Man to be, it catered to my tastes and love of the macabre perfectly.
The Chestnut Man is a rather lengthy book clocking in at just over 500 pages but it is a book that, regardless of its larger page-count easily manages to keep your attention. You are drawn in with a horrific prologue that sets the scene for what’s yet to come and what follows is a devilishly dark and unsettling story that is well-paced, that is full of short and snappy chapters, that keeps you guessing, that is filled with more twists and turns than a winding country road and that is a disturbing mystery shrouded in suspense waiting to be solved.
Sveistrup’s writing is engaging and descriptive with a flair for vivid imagery and cinematographic descriptions. The serial killer is clever, devious and twisted and the bleak wintery Scandinavian setting fits the overall gloomy tone of the book perfectly.
The main characters are the duo of Hess and Thulin, both of whom are complex, engaging and well-drawn flawed characters. They make for a fantastic pairing, the young and ambitious Thulin with designs on promotion away from the MCD (Major Crimes Division) and Hess, the weather-worn and frayed at the edges haunted older detective who finds himself on hiatus from Europol and back on his old hunting grounds with Thulin as his reluctant partner.
The Chestnut Man is an intelligent and well-crafted thriller that radiates unease, it is a multi-layered story that grips you and doesn’t let go, it is chilling and compulsive with a setting that is steeped in atmosphere and it features a killer that is ice-cold and calculating.
Purchase The Chestnut Man.
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