“Lars Kepler … [has] a taste for the macabre and a surefire recipe for the lurid serial-killer thriller. … This is not a book for anyone on heart medication. Kepler is a virtuoso at delivering scenes of suspense.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
The internationally bestselling authors of The Sandman and The Hypnotist return with a terrifying new thriller: Detective Joona Linna--recently returned from compassionate leave--reunites with hypnotist Erik Maria Bark in a search for a seemingly unassailable sadistic killer.
The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she's being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman's body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there's nothing they can do. Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna's worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things.
Years before, he had put a man away for an eerily similar crime, and now he's beginning to think that an innocent man may be behind bars--and a serial killer still on the loose. . .
Kepler's stellar fifth Joona Linna novel finds Joona, who faked his death in 2018's The Sandman to protect his family from a serial killer, replaced as the Swedish National Police Authority's expert on "serial killers, spree killers, and stalkers" by Margot Silverman. In Margot's baffling first case, Maria Carlsson, an Ikea product adviser, was stabbed repeatedly in her home, and her facial features were almost completely effaced. Maria's killer posted a video of Maria putting on tights, filmed from her garden, to YouTube shortly before the murder. Before Margot can make any progress, another video is posted of a woman eating ice cream and watching TV that also is followed by bloody slaughter. Joona reenters the picture after he learns that his nemesis is dead, but his unconventional methods again land him in trouble. The reveal of the stalker's identity is a genuine gut-punch, albeit fairly clued. Kepler (the pen name for the husband-and-wife writing team of Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril) does a masterly job of elevating the serial killer thriller beyond genre clich s and tropes. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This novel was my first experience with the authors and I’m sad to say I was not enthralled. The story starts out decently but quickly dives into the usual, cliched, run of the numbers murder mystery. The killer is painfully obvious. And the writing itself isn’t very sophisticated, it’s very basic and straightforward.