The Sandman by Lars Kepler

The Sandman

Lars Kepler

Fans of police procedurals, murder mysteries, and psychological thrillers will be completely engrossed by The Sandman.

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The #1 internationally best-selling thriller from the author of The Hypnotist tells the chilling story of a manipulative serial killer and the two brilliant police agents who must try to beat him at his own game.

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.

Advance Galley Reviews

The Kepler team requires a serious commitment from readers of this tale. Think Hannibal Lector meets Salt meets Jack Reacher meets a Scandinavian fairy tale with a great deal of Swedish geography to wade through. If readers are able to muddle through and invest in the narrative the potential of good to overcome diabolical will come into question. How far will the good guys go to save others and defeat evil? Is the war ever really over?

The story is well-paced and well-written. The characters on the police/crime force were nicely fleshed out. I was disappointed in the less-dimensional side players. Jurek is an excellent villian - his complete emotionlessness adds a level of otherness about him that plays well into the story. That said, his manipulative ability on characters other than Saga didn't really seem to have a reason behind it. I spent time wondering how he managed to bend these people with whom he had little actual interaction to his will. Definitely worth a read

A young man, Mikael Kohler-Frost, is found wandering outside Stockholm. He and his sister Felicia went missing thirteen years prior, presumed dead, victims of serial killer Jurek Walter. When Mikael tells police he and his sister were being held captive by the Sandman and that she is still alive, Detective Inspector Joona Linna begins his search. Jurek is being held as part of his life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital where he is not allowed to have any contact. Joona sends Inspector Saga Bauer deep under cover to the facility to gain Jureks trust and find out where Felicia is being held before it's too late. All the stars for this one...The Sandman is a fast paced action crime thriller that I could not put down. I have not read the other Joona Linna books in the series but did not find it a problem to keep up with the story line. I am an instant fan of this dynamic writing duo and will be adding more of their books to my TBR list. I found Jurek Walter's character to be an absolutely terrifying serial killer with manipulative capacities along the lines of Hannibal Lecter. I absolutely loved this novel and devoured it in a couple of days. I would definitely recommend this novel.

Intriguing. Closer to 3.5/5 stars for me. I'm a little torn on this one. On one hand Jurek Walter is the most sadistic, terrifying serial killer I've ever seen brought to life on the page. He makes my skin crawl the same way Kilgrave from Jessica Jones does. On the other hand, his sheer evasion, escape, ability to overpower and intuition seem almost supernatural in a somewhat annoying way. As in, nobody is that good. But, it's fiction and deserves a little suspension of disbelief. Besides that, it was great. Fast paced, easily digestible chapters, well developed characters, a truly detestable bad guy and an ending that leaves it open for another book. All in all, worth a read.


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