During a cold winter night in Stockholm a young man is found walking alongside a railway bridge. The hospital declares that he is suffering from hypothermia and legionella. They also discover a death certificate stating that the man has been dead for over seven years.
The man was a victim of the serial killer Jurek Walter, who was arrested by Detective Inspector Joona Linna.Jurek Walter was convicted to forensic psychiatric care, a sentence served in total isolation. But where has this man been during all these years? Due to an unexpected testimony the case is reopened.
Someone needs to get under Jurek’s skin and fast.
Thoughts : Joona Linna is a rather known figure in the Swedish crime thriller world and in The Sandman he is back with another rescue attempt. I can’t help but compare Kepler’s writing to Patterson’s Cross series and I find that I enjoy them differently. With Alex Cross I enjoy Cross and his family more than the actual story, though it isn’t character based his gran is one of my favourite characters and the story continues rather consistently whereas with Linna, the story is off. With each story he has a different “family” and with each story it ends as though he’s never coming back or as if he’s vanished but then the next continues as though nothing really happened. Is that weird or is that just the way Swedish books are written? (I can’t comment since I’ve not read them in order, is this the last one?)
I had previously read The Hypnotist which I really enjoyed, I think I gave it four stars. This was a 3 star book. The story follows Detective Joona Linna as he tries to figure out how a psychiatric patient, Jurek Walter, is carrying out his threats despite being in a secure location, unable to contact anyone. The story takes us undercover in a psychiatric facility where people abuse their power and there is danger in every direction.
His writing style is pretty great, as usual. His stories are detailed without leaving any vague open gaps for the reader to gawk at. Unlike Indian thrillers where the story is more like a Bollywood script, his stories are long and detailed, like an adventure in itself. Somehow though, it is still plot driven, for the most part. I’ve read two Joona Linna books and I still don’t know Mr.Linna as much as I know the other characters. I suppose he keeps the main character vague?
We get to know the secondary characters better, though technically I suppose that makes them the main characters. What I mean is, Jurek Walter and Joona Linna are the only mentioned characters in the blurb, but, we get to know the characters surrounding them better than we get to know them. It sort of made things difficult for me by way of creepiness. I just didn’t get creeped out by the book!
The chapters themselves are very tiny, maximum being 4 pages and the pace is quite fast too. The reason I gave this three stars is, apart from the lack of creepiness, is the fact that The Sandman’s reasons for doing what he did didn’t seem convincing enough. I just didn’t buy that he did what he did because of why he did it. It felt rather convenient to conclude it that way. Apart from that this was a pretty entertaining read and I enjoyed all but the last four pages. Pick it up if you like consistently paced European thrillers.
Trigger warnings : (I’ve decided to include trigger warnings in my reviews whenever necessary) : Rape, Claustrophobia, Domestic Abuse