A huge thank you to Søren Sveistrup, Penguin Uk and Netgally for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I read this as part of a buddy read with my fellow bloggers. Check out their reviews here and see if we cannot tempt you:
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 . . .
Fans of The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Jo Nesbø will love this debut thriller.
This is the first Scandi-noir novel that I have read and it won’t be my last!
From the chilling image on the cover and the intense opening paragraph to the very last page, this novel is thrilling and compulsive reading.
In the beginning, Thulin and Hess are not a good pairing and although the potential is there for Hes to become a more likable character, Thulin is often pig-headed and narrow-minded regarding her carer. As the story progresses though we see both these characters in a different light and it’s easy for the reader to warm to them. I love the fact that despite not always being perfect (who is?), Thulin is a really strong female role model who has no devastating back story. As a female reader this is extremely refreshing. Each character in the novel has flaws and this is real life! It’s an unfamiliar feeling to read a novel where all the characters display this.
The first chapter sets the reader on an intense and shocking journey. As I have been told is common for this genre, the story slowly and intricately unfurls but at no point is interest lost (apart from one tiny section where there’s a long political explanation). Often seemingly no or little progress is made towards solving the case until each piece of the puzzle brilliantly falls into place and connects the dots.
Not for the faint hearted, this is an excellent debut crime novel and I cannot wait to read more by this author.