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Monday, 10 December 2018

#TheChestnutMan #SørenSveistrup #NordicNoir

About The Chestnut Man

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. The man who confessed to her murder is 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 . . .

My review of The Chestnut Man 

Wow. This book is amazing! it's dark, it's disturbing, it's sexy and it has so many twists and turns with an ending that truly shocked ne. As soon as I saw the cover and read the blurb I knew I needed to read this book. The Killing still remains one of my favourite TV shows, and so I hoped to read a book that would echo its darkness, energy, and sinister goings-on. I wasn't disapointed. This is an addictive, disturbing and clever work of Nordic noir that kept me gripped until the very last page. I loved it.

The book opens with a deeply disturbing and unsettling scene that sets the tone for the entire book. Set thirty years before present day events,  you don't know what relevance this has to the present day storyline, but it has the effect of making you feel uneasy and on your guard.

We are then introduced to Naia Thulin, a detective with the  Copenhagen police and single mum. She is partnered with Mark Hess, a detective who has been kicked out of Europol and who has been put on the case, with most thinking he is not up to the job. These two characters make such a wonderful partnership. I loved their interactions. 

Thulin speaks her mind, is strong, resourceful and wants to leave the department in search of a  promotion.  The murders give her a chance to prove herself and she wants to fight for the victims, to solve the case. Hess also becomes heavily invested and begins to uncover many truths. He believes that the murders are linked to the Rosa Hartung case, the politician whose daughter was murdered. But will anyone take him seriously because of what happened in his past?

This book is a brilliant crime thriller and is  dark, gruesome and grisly, with a sense of foreboding running throughout. But there is humour to be found and a real human element, as I cared deeply for these two detectives and the Hartung family. I felt very protective towards them. 

The book reads very much like a film. I could see the action and setting so clearly in my mind, not surprising as Søren Sveistrup wrote The Killing. it will make a fabulous TV series.

The Chestnut Man is dark and derails some disturbing and upsetting storylines. But all are in context and integral to the overall plot. One thing is for sure, i will never look at chestnuts in quite the same way again. If you love your nordic noir, then cosy on up with this book when it's released in January.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Chestnut Man is published by Michael Joseph on 10 Jan. 2019)

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