Late one night, outside Stockholm, Mikael Kohler-Frost is found wandering. Thirteen years earlier, he went missing along with his younger sister. They were long thought to have been victims of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Now Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and being held by someone he knows only as the Sandman.
Years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna made an excruciating personal sacrifice to ensure Jurek’s capture. He is keenly aware of what this killer is capable of, and now he is certain that Jurek has an accomplice. He knows that any chance of rescuing Mikael’s sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and that the only agent capable of this is Inspector Saga Bauer, a twenty-seven-year-old prodigy. She will have to go under deep cover in the psychiatric ward where Jurek is imprisoned, and she will have to find a way to get to the psychopath before it’s too late–and before he gets inside her head.
“Even though Jurek Walter has committed the most heinous crimes of any serial killer in Swedish history, he is completely unknown to the public. The proceedings against him in the Central Court House and at the Court of Appeal were held behind closed doors, and all the files are strictly confidential.”
Detective Inspector Joona Linna is determined to find The Sandman who held a young boy and his sister captive for 13 years, and the serial killer, Jurek Walter, locked away in a mental institution with no physical contact with other people holds the secret. The young boy, now a young man, has escaped the elusive Sandman and tells a terrifying tale of terror and suffering beyond all comprehension. The boy’s sister is still a captive, and Jinna must find her before it’s too late. In order to get Jurek Walter to talk, Linna elicits Inspector Saga Bauer’s help to be part of a risky undercover operation posing as a mental patient and getting Walter to tell her the place where the missing girl is being held captive.
First of all, though this is book 4 in the series, it reads well as a standalone. Secondly, this edge-of-the-seat thriller had me thoroughly engaged in the characters and wanting–no, needing–to read the other books in the series. The character development is so intricate from Joona Linna, who sacrifices everything, including his family, in order to stop a psychopath, and Saga Bauer who risks her life to find a missing girl, to Anders Rönn, sadist psychiatrist, who wields his power over patients, and Jurek Walters, calculating sociopath, who is waiting for his day of revenge. If you like gripping and deeply engaging thrillers with bone-chilling characters and surprise endings, pick up this book. In fact, follow me to the bookstore to pick up the series.
Thank you to the authors and Abigail Endler from Knopf Publishing for inviting me on this tour and giving me the opportunity to review this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril, authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series. With six installments to date, the series has sold twelve million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published several acclaimed novels. Read more about the Ahndorils on their website.
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