The Chestnut Man
by Soren Sveistrup
Publication Date : September 3, 2019
Pages : 528
Synopsis From Publisher :
If you find one, he’s already found you.
A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.
His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.
Examining 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 ago.
A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?
To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.
Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over.
And no one is safe.
By page four of The Chestnut Man I was hooked. The Chestnut Man checks off each and every element of classic Nordic Noir that I love. It is dark, moody, gruesome (in the best way possible), immersive and unbelievably compelling. For readers who love Sara Blaedel and Lars Kepler-The Chestnut Man should be added to your TBR immediately.
In Copenhagen women are dying; their bodies dismembered, displayed, and a chestnut man doll posed near the bodies. As detectives scramble to collect evidence and zero in on the killer, more bodies emerge. The police struggle to find a connection between the women in order catch the killer.
Also in Copenhagen a respected public official is returning to work after a tragic loss; her daughter has been missing for several months and the trail has gone cold. As the cases of the murdered woman and the government official’s missing daughter collide, detectives discover they are dealing with a deeply troubled revenge killer. A killer who has a plan to right a perceived wrong, who will not stop until his plan is complete.
Two detectives, Naia Thulin and Mark Hess, have been assigned to the case of the murdered and dismembered women. Their relationship is complicated to say the least, however they do have something in common. They both want out of the Major Crimes Division sooner rather than later. Naia wants to move on to Cyber Crimes and Mark is desperately trying to get back to Interpol. What is interesting is how they both are reluctantly thrown into the most dangerous case of their careers. Initially Mark and Naia were not expecting this case to last much longer than a few days. As the investigation progresses with no suspects, they realize the case has much more depth; they begin to rely on each other. Discovering they may have misjudged each other. Reading how their relationship develops was my favorite aspect of The Chestnut Man.
The chestnut man dolls placed at the crime scenes raised the chilling factor of The Chestman Man. Traditionally chestnut man dolls were the source of lullabies and tall tales told to children. They were crafted by children to sell or give as presents. Sveistrup takes a symbol of innocence and childhood, making the dolls symbols of death and mayhem. This element is what makes The Chestnut Man so unsettling yet suspenseful.
The Chestnut Man starts out with a bang; from the beginning making it hard to stop reading. Readers who may be hesitant due to the size of the book (500 + pages) need not worry. With short chapters and alternating perspectives, I was shocked by how many pages I read each time I (reluctantly) stopped reading. The Chest Man is a must read for lovers of Nordic Noir.
*Thanks to Harper Books for my free review copy of The Chestnut Man*
Murder and Moore Rating:
4.5 out of 5 Stars