An ambitious detective and suspended Europol investigator are thrown together with the task of solving the horrific murder of a young woman in Copenhagen. The brutality of the crime assures the pair that this is far from a normal case, but their expectations are even further shaken when they find a mysterious doll made of chestnuts hanging near the body – a chestnut doll that links the murder to the missing daughter of a politician; a case which was supposedly solved a year ago. When a second body is found alongside another chestnut doll, the detectives soon realise that the killer isn’t finished yet.
This novel is the first book by Søren Sveistrup, the writer behind the hugely popular Danish crime drama, The Killing. I love the American adaptation of the show (I know, I really need to watch the original) and Scandi crime thrillers in general, so I knew I’d enjoy this, but I wasn’t expecting to get so completely hooked by it.
I really liked both Thulin and Hess, the two lead detectives. When they were introduced I was reminded of Linden and Holder from The Killing, in their mannerisms and their relationship, but they soon grew to become more distinct characters in their own right, and they kept surprising me at every turn.
The story hooked me literally from page one. Every other chapter had a cliffhanger and I don’t know how many nights I stayed up late, saying “Just one more chapter…” There were several great twists that forced me to put the book down for a moment just to take everything in! I’m normally pretty good at guessing who the killer is, even if it’s only a chapter or two before the reveal, but the killer in this came as a complete shock. Saying that, it wasn’t unbelievable either – it was like ‘Oh my god… of course!” Everything suddenly slotted into place but I would never have guessed who it was. I’m really so impressed with this book and I can’t wait to read more from Sveistrup!
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
The Chestnut Man will be released on January 10th.
*I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*