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The Chestnut Man    by Soren Sveistrup order for
Chestnut Man
by Soren Sveistrup
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's a mystery that is so far my favorite of the year, not surprising since The Chestnut Man was written by Soren Sveistrup, creator of the excellent hit series, The Killing. This new venture keeps you guessing too, all the way through.

A psychopathic serial killer is on the loose in Copenhagen, Denmark. His signature at each horrific crime scene is a chestnut man. It's a handmade doll, commonly made by children out of matchsticks and two chestnuts.

What makes this mystery rather different from the usual fare (as well as the chestnut theme) is the fact that the two lead detectives (Thulin and Hess) both want to be doing something else and aren't very keen, either to work with each other or in the murder squad. Thulin plans a move to cyber-crime while Hess wants to get back to his Europol job in the Hague).

What's most intriguing (and strongly holds the reader's interest) is the fact that a fingerprint on a crime scene chestnut turns out to be that of the kidnapped daughter of government Social Affairs Minister Rosa Hartung. Kristine was believed to be dead and the killer convicted and locked up.

More killings - and more chestnut men - follow. Thulin tackles the case like the professional she is. Hess mostly does his own thing, but is steadily more absorbed by the challenge. There's an arrest but Hess is not convinced. Tension builds to a crescendo of a shocking ending.

Note that a Chestnut Man series is set to launch on Netflix worldwide, date still to be announced. I do hope the author will write more involving his two fascinating leads.

2nd Review by Mary Ann Smyth:

Soren Sveistrup , author of The Killing, has won several international awards and sold that book in more than a hundred countries all over the world. He will surely do the same with The Chestnut Man.

Warning! The Chestnut Man proves to be a long book Ė 528 pages - and very hard to put down. Once the first page is read, I guarantee you will be a goner. Give into it and enjoy.

The idea for the plot came to the author when he picked up his youngest from nursery school, where children were singing and deftly constructing chestnut men. They sang 'Chestnut man, do come in / Chestnut man, do come in' and the plot was born.

Whatever you do, donít miss this one.

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