The Heart Pounding Debut From The Creator Of The Hit Scandinavian Television Show The KillingIf You Find One, He S Already Found YouA Psychopath Is Terrorizing CopenhagenHis Calling Card Is A Chestnut Man A Handmade Doll Made Of Matchsticks And Two Chestnuts Which He Leaves At Each Bloody Crime SceneExamining The Dolls, Forensics Makes A Shocking Discovery A Fingerprint Belonging To A Young Girl, A Government Minister S Daughter Who Had Been Kidnapped And Murdered A Year AgoA Tragic Coincidence Or Something Twisted To Save Innocent Lives, A Pair Of Detectives Must Put Aside Their Differences To Piece Together The Chestnut Man S Gruesome CluesBecause It S Clear That The Madman Is On A Mission That Is Far From OverAnd No One Is Safe Omg I had to get this because I loved the show The Killing need to read those books LOOK AT THE STAINED EDGES it s signed and numbered A grizzly debut that will NOT having you dreaming of chestnuts roasting on an open fire anytime soon I d rather have Jack frost nipping at my nose instead thank you very much This debut novel details a police investigation into the murders of mothers who have had various allegations of neglect and abuse filed against them The murders are violent and gruesome He likes to take a hand here, a foot therebut he is a giver also his gift or calling card, if you will, is a chestnut man made out you guessed it chestnuts and match sticks Interesting choice of calling card but this is an interesting case What makes this even interesting that there is a fingerprint on the chestnut men left behind the fingerprint of a young girl who went missing a year ago She is presumed dead, but her parents are given hope when her print if found on the chestnut men.This had a few twists and turns, and things all do come together in the end I didn t figure this one out which was nice I liked to be surprised In the end it all made sense and had me looking back wondering if I might have missed some clues The only thing that would have made this book better for me was of the killer I would have loved to hear that POV without giving the identity away Not for the faint at heart but if you are a fan of Scandinavian fiction or the television show the Killing, this one is for you There are some gruesome scenes, but they are not gratuitous They serve a purpose to show just how sick and damaged the killer is I look forward to books by this author.Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Taking place in Denmark, this ominous novel positively pulses with menace A murderer leaves at the scene of the crime a sinister and primitive fetish in the form of a man made from chestnuts and matchsticks which echoes a childhood song about the apple man The beginning is jaw droppingly violent and the murders continue along this grisly vein Gripping, violent and gruesome this is quite an addition to the Scandi Noir subgenre Best of all nothing is obvious although the ending did feel a bit conventional despite the length of the novel Nevertheless, this is tautly plotted with a sure hand. Soren Sveistrup is the man behind the runaway successful Danish TV series, The Killing, he has now turned his attention to writing his first Scandi Noir novel set in Copenhagen The Chestnut Man carries trademark elements of The Killing, it is part police procedural, part psychological thriller, incorporating politicians whilst giving us social realism in its portrayals and insights into the lives of its diverse range of characters that inhabit the story It is dark, bleak, and brutal with a serial killer running rampant in the present day Naia Thulin is a detective in Homicide s Murder Squad led by Nylander, feeling that her workload has barely challenged her abilities, she wants and has plans to transfer to NC3 National Cyber Crime Centre She is a single mother, with a daughter Le Mark Hess has been pushed out of Europol after issues, and lands in the Murder Squad, not wanting to be there, with every intention of being reinstated in Europol as soon as possible He is partnered with Thulin, who quickly judges him to be a man that will be of little use, with a reputation for not being much of a detective.The detectives find themselves on a brutal murder scene where a 37 year old mother, Laura Kjaer, has been horrifically killed with her amputated hand missing, and left at the scene is a chestnut man A still grieving Rosa Hartung is returning to her post as politician and Minister for Social Affairs in the government after the disappearance of her 12 year old daughter, Kristine, a year ago Linus Bekker confessed to and is sectioned in a psychiatric facility for her murder, although his memory of the act was poor but evidence suggests the conviction is secure Rosa is plunged into fresh turmoil when fingerprints on the chestnut man at the murder scene are identified as being that of Kristine Additionally, Rosa is receiving disturbing death threats As further murders occur with a similar MO of mothers with children with the signature chestnut men with Kristine s fingerprints, the police struggle to find any leads whilst the serial killer runs rings around them Hess and Thulin are ordered to ignore the Hartrup connection, despite the fact it seems to be critical to the investigation Sveistrup gives us compelling crime fiction with a fascinating partnership between Thulin with her eyes on a future out of the murder squad, and Hess, with a traumatised past with little interest initially in the case One of the highlights of the novel is the development of their characters and their relationship from such poor initial beginnings Hess becomes a man obsessed to the point of falling apart, determined to get to the bottom of the heinous murders being committed None of the Murder Squad are accepting of him and the boss has lined him up as the fall guy as the pressure intensifies on the police It takes time for Thulin to see Hess as a dedicated and effective detective that challenges the perceptions of the case, dogged in his determination to find the killer and willing to enter forbidden territory, convinced the case is rooted in the past and that Rosa Hartung is central to it This is a crime thriller that will appeal to fans of Scandi Noir, a genre defined by its darkness and harrowing murders Sveistrup has succeeded in making a brilliant chilling debut, compulsive and gripping reading, packed with suspense and tension, and with great characterisation Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC. Serial killer fiction is one of my favorite subgenres, despite the fact that very few of these books reach a level of exceptional storytelling But when it s done right, there s no better read for me.Unfortunately, The Chestnut Man isn t done right.I often feel as if there is some outline for writers of the genre entitled How to Write the Typical Clich Serial Killer Novel of which they all follow and for some reason that s enough for the masses.That s not enough for me.The Chestnut Man follows this outline to a T I ll sum it up for you Bad cop, good cop in love hate relationship work under the threat of their up and coming superior who is concerned with his career than actually solving a crime Enter serial killer, throw in some gory scenes for distraction Sprinkle in a few red herrings even though the killer is pretty obvious to most astute readers Wrap everything up with bad cop saving good cop from killer but not before killer vomits the story of his entire friggin life as way of explaining why he started chopping people up as a hobby Good cop and bad cop live happily ever after fade to black 2.5 Stars If you re not a frequent reader of this genre then I ve no doubt that this one will be a sufficient and engrossing story If you wish to compare it to other books with depth and less clich , I can recommend a few Silence of the LambsThe Girl with the Dragon TattooPerfumeThe Collectorand a recent addition, The Butterfly Garden I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was a big fan of The Killing so when I heard about this book, onto the wish list it went Did it live up to my expectations You betcha This Scandi crime police procedural comes loaded with all the elements that will keep you reading into the wee hours Two compelling MC s, an intricate plot a sinister bad guy it ticks all the boxes Set in Copenhagen, it s the story of a current investigation with deep ties to the past delivered with a stealthy rising sense of menace.The first MC is Naia Thulin She s a young cop who is slowly dying of boredom as the newest member of the Major Crimes Division Despite her intelligence tech skills, she s being wasted on the small stuff Naia decides to ask for a transfer to Cyber Crimes but her boss has one last job for her It seems they ve been saddled with a Europol agent who was demoted back to Copenhagen Her job is to babysit for a few days until he s up to speed.Mark Hess spent the last 5 years living a nomadic life with Europol But a disagreement with higher ups resulted in him being sent back to his old stomping grounds He s been paired with Thulin, a rather intense young woman, but making new friends is not a priority Copenhagen holds too many bad memories his sole focus is getting his job back Then a body is found.In alternate chapters we meet Rosa Hartung She s the government minister for social services who is returning to work after compassionate leave A year ago her daughter Kristine disappeared has never been found The tragedy left it s mark on her family she needs to get back to some kind of normal.Thulin Hess take the call about a body arrive to find a young nurse who s been murdered The area is carefully picked over but no leads are forthcoming Until they get an odd call from the forensic crew One of the items taken from the scene was a funny little doll made from chestnuts matchsticks A fingerprint was found on it they have a match..Kristina Hartung.I ll leave it at that for the plot Suffice to say there are bodies, each accompanied by a chestnut man The book opens with a ominous prologue from 1989 so you know there s going on here than just the crimes in the present This is a great read for several reasons but two things stood out for me First, don t expect to be spoon fed We learn things right along with the MC s I enjoyed being a third partner in the investigation Some clever misdirection means you have than one candidate for the killer it keeps you guessing as a good thriller should.Second, I really liked Thulin Hess These 2 characters are the heart soul of the story They have very different styles it was interesting to watch them go from barely speaking to appreciating what the other brought to the table Both are smart capable of the intuitive thinking that puts it all together The author purposely gives only sparse details about their pasts you get the feeling there is so much to learn about them Maybe in book 2 hint, hint So many procedurals rely on a character s dumb decision to move the story along it was a pleasure to read one that didn t stoop to using this device With a clever plot intelligent characters, there was no need As for the ending, just when you think you ve made it safely to the other side.well, that would be telling My reaction Oh, crap A big bowl of shiny chestnuts to translator Caroline Waight She does a stellar job of providing a seamless translation while maintaining a Scandinavian vibe that gives the book a real sense of place.4.5 stars I must say it was difficult to read from time to time, as there is a lot of upsetting content in it, but it s not done in a vulgar way and put together very powerfully I loved Hess, and Thurin, both strong characters with their flaws Hess specifically fits quickly into the very likeable anti hero space in the eyes of the reader I wish there wasn t the classic encounter with the villain and action section in the end, this book really didn t needed it But the ending was beautiful I can t say too much about the plot to not to reveal but I can say Chestnut Mans will haunt you forever after reading this book Gritty, disturbing, dark Scandi crime, there are trigger warnings but pick it up if you have the stomach, you won t be disappointed. My thanks to Harper Collins and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book All for the price of a measly review So, my thoughts This book will make it to my top 5 books published in 2019 Seriously good writing I pride myself in being able to figure out whodunit, This one had my mind churning Did I figure it out Yes But then, no Then yes Crap I had changed my thinking so many times that I blew it This was one hell of a story, and just downright creepy I love chestnuts, but I don t think I ll ever look at them again without seeing chestnut people I m looking forward to from this author. Look at that fabulous cover I know one shouldn t judge a book by its cover, but I simply love its simplicity It s the kind of cover I m drawn to And, the best part is that the story is ABSOLUTELY fabulous as well The Chestnut Man is the very first book I gave a 5 star this year 2019 The combination of a thrilling case with two great detectives, the tough Naia Thulin and burned out investigator Mark Hess who has been ordered to take a break from Europol They make an excellent team, well not at first, it will take some time for them to get used to each other However, I can tell you this much, the dynamic duo is now a personal favorite of mine.As for the story, great pace, intriguing case, and what a fabulous ending I did suspect the individual behind it all, but I did have some other suspects in mind as well I liked how it all was resolved and I definitely loved the open ending I ended this book both hoping for a sequel soon and a TV series based on this book I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review Hay una raz n por la cual este g nero es mi favorito y cuando leo libros como estos, es cuando me reitero en las razones del porque disfruto mucho estas historias Antes que cualquier otra cosa esta es una historia inteligente, S ren Sveistrup ha ido hilvanando una historia coherente, intensa e inteligente, con un ritmo pausado pero constante, vamos avanzando a trav s de una serie de asesinatos y la investigaci n que le sigue es realmente buen sima Impredecible a la hora de identificar al asesino, al menos por m parte, ni por equivocaci n me hubiera imaginado quien result ser La narraci n me ha resultado un poco dif cil de seguir, no estoy segura de s es por el estilo del autor o la traducci n que al quererla hacer, creo yo, muy apegada al estilo gramatical del idioma original, a veces me resultaba extra o gramaticalmente, no digo que tenga errores, no los tiene, es que sencillamente a veces la construcci n de frases, aunque correcta, no era exactamente a lo que estamos acostumbrados, pero por lo dem s, el libro tiene cap tulos cortos, lo que le da agilidad, eso s , este es un libro que hay que leer con los cinco sentidos puestos, ya que hay muchos detalles en la historia que aunque en el momento no parecen tener importancia, la cobran m s adelante cuando cada pieza va poni ndose en su lugar Ahora, si bien es verdad que realmente este libro no tiene giros de historia, s que esconde sus propios secretos entre sus l neas, hay seg n qu cosas que en apariencia no importan, toman mucha relevancia al final El final me ha encantado, no hay nada mejor como leer un final realmente construido y explicado, no se dejan nada en el tintero, me ha parecido que se ha quedado abierto por ah la posibilidad de que se haga serie, pero realmente el cierre del libro es bastante trabajado y conclusivo Sus personajes realmente son bastante buenos y aunque sabemos que hay historias detr s por ah , el autor no se ha recreado en ellas, se dedica m s bien a dibujarnos la personalidad sin caer realmente en detalles, sabemos que hay tristeza, pero no sabemos porque, sabemos que hay soledad pero tampoco sabemos la raz n, los protagonistas, son eso, pero no son lo que mueve la historia, no son su eje principal, lo es el caso y eso me ha gustado mucho Como siempre la novela negra n rdica no decepciona, se ha convertido en una de mis favoritos, me gusta el estilo que tienen y adem s siempre resultan en entregar personajes singulares y originales, cierto que son muy sufridos, pero es verdad que el estilo que tienen es genial Si este libro marca lo que ser n las novedades del g nero de este a o, entonces este ser uno de los de buenas cosechas, ya me estoy frotando las manos.
- 528 pages
- Søren Sveistrup
- 19 January 2019 Søren Sveistrup