I’ve Read more than a few Scandinavian crime thrillers and have been a great fan of Jo Nesbo (Although see below for my feelings regarding “The Bat”). Its nice to find a fresh author and Lars Kepler largely lives up to the hype on the cover. In my opinion its very nearly as good as The best of Jo Nesbo’s output.
Here we have a ruthless killer who is planning and executing an orchestrated chain of deaths to prevent the revelation of a terrible secret. This secret penetrates deep into the heart of the arms trade and its global shady shenanigans.
There is much here to keep the seasoned crime thriller addict occupied. Some of the elements are a bit “off the shelf” and can be seen coming from some distance but I was genuinely intrigued by the way Lars Kepler brought in some seemingly unconnected threads.
What do I think of Joona Linna? To me he seemed a little 2D and I didnt really get into the whole “Disa” storyline and was actually way more interested in the character of Saga Bauer.
The whole story with Axel Riessen and the musical references seemed very well researched and I had no issues with his personal history which becomes critical to the ending of the book. In Raphael Guidi we have a criminal mastermind who retains and maintains an consistently intelligent profile for the whole of the book and this adds to the way the reader is drawn into a plot which is thoroughly plausible. There was a good deal of originality in the reasons for the killings and it was quite fresh in this way.
My only slight disappointment was with the final act. It just seemed a bit, well; lazy. It was quite tidy, but felt like an ending which was being written for film rights rather than to give the reader satisfaction. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh but there are a lot of authors out there and a lot of new books and plenty of choice. I might read his other books but then again I might not.