Jan and I can surely say, we will never look at chestnuts in the same way we once did after reading this book. If you are looking for a wonderful thriller with the right amount of twists and turns then do go out and find a copy of this story. It will keep you engrossed in its mystery and turn of events.
Fans of the hit show, The Killing, will find some common elements in the Chestnut Man, the debut from Danish screenwriter Soren Sveistrup. As a fan of the TV show, I appreciated the similarities, from the gloomy atmosphere to the flawed detective duo of Hess and Thulin.
The two are paired up when the murder of a young woman has links to the disappearance of a young girl a year earlier. When the cases are linked to other grisly murders, it’s clear there is a serial murderer on the loose in Copenhagen. The one defining characteristic, other than details of the actual killings, is the murderer leaves a calling card of a handmade chestnut doll at the scene. Chestnut dolls are apparently a thing in Denmark, and there is even a song: “Chestnut man, Chestnut man please come in…”
The story is a well-written, chilling, character-driven police procedural and the short chapters made for a tense page-turner that had me holding my breath and on the edge of my seat more than once. However, at slightly over 500 pages, the book would have been made even better had 100-150 pages been cut. Still, despite a few flaws, the story held my attention and I will definitely be in line for the author’s next book.
· Netflix has plans to adapt the book into a series. Production is planned to begin in 2020
· Recommended for fans of strong character-driven police procedurals such as those written by Tana French.
· This was a buddy read with Marialyce and one we both enjoyed.
A psychopath is running amuck in Copenhagen and two detectives, a female homicide detective Thulin, and seasoned detective Hess, a man who has gotten his wrists slapped by being thrown back into the lowly homicide division, are seeking a killer. This serial killer likes to take trophies, some hands, a foot just to make life interesting. He preys on women those who have the aura of abusive behavior to their children hanging over their heads. The victims have been tortured and of course this adds to the gruesomeness of the telling.
There’s a whole lot of atmosphere to this book, the dark and eerie telling adds so much and just when you feel you have it all figured out bam, you’re wrong, and led down a pathway that is twisted a devious.
To make things even creepier at each murder site, there is a doll left made out of chestnuts and matchstick bearing the smudged fingerprint of a young girl believed to have been abducted, raped and killed by a man who confessed to the crime. Could this young daughter of one of the ministers in government still be alive? What about the man who confessed to the crime?
How this all comes together results in a gripping page turning book that makes the reader fully immersed in the stoy and its characters. You don’t know where you are going so you stand at the sidelines wondering, frightened, and griped in the tension of this story.
The one issue I had with the story was its length. Granted the chapters are short but the book is long. However, the story is shocking and the elements come together in the end to give the reader that jaw dropping moment we all hope for in reading a mystery thriller.
I definitely recommend this book for all its spine tingling moments and the ability to keep you in suspense throughout all of those moments.
and here’s the author
Søren Sveistrup is an internationally acclaimed script writer, creator and film producer of several TV series. From 2007 to 2012 he was the creator and writer of THE KILLING, which has won several international awards, been sold to more than a hundred countries all over the world and remade for AMC by Fox Television Studios in the US. He lives in Copenhagen.