It’s time for all the spooky reads, and I’m pretty sure serial killer thrillers qualify. And one of the books I’ve been excited about since it came out last month is The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup. Because I have never read a single Scandanavian/Nordic thriller, and I felt like I had to fix that. And I’m glad I did.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
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.
The Chestnut Man was a difficult book to read. The crimes it deals with go far beyond murder to torture, child abuse, rape, and mutilation (trigger warning for all of the above). I watch and read quite a bit of true crime, but I do have a hard time stomaching abuse of children, and there was quite a bit in this book. So just a heads up if you’re planning on picking this up. You’ll definitely be thankful that it’s fictional.
I am definitely one of those people who has a weird (and probably unhealthy) fascination with serial killers. And I was honestly a little bit disappointed by that aspect of this novel. There was nothing wrong with it per se, but I personally like when books delve more into the psychology behind serial killers. And while that was explained in this novel, I just wanted a little bit more. However, I think that might just be personal preference.
I did really like that the mystery wasn’t predictable. I’m pretty good at guessing who the killer is, and I honestly didn’t guess this one. Which is pretty impressive since the killer is not introduced right before they catch him (I hate when they do that). Most of my predictions were either wrong or too vague to really count, and I’m pretty happy to have been wrong. Because every time I thought I had the answer, something happened to make me second guess myself. That’s a great thriller.
★★★★☆ – The Chestnut Man was a pretty solid thriller. I’m thoroughly impressed that I made it through five hundred pages without guessing who the killer is. If you like detective thrillers (and can stomach brutal murder and abuse), I would recommend this one. Bonus: it makes a great fall/Halloween read.
The Chestnut Man is available in bookstores (and on Amazon) now!
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose The Chestnut Man as one of your two free books.
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