Excuse my 1.5hr lateness, I have literally just finished reading it! I am very excited to be sharing my review of ‘The Chestnut Man’ by the writer of ‘The Killing’, Søren Sveistrup. Many thanks to Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:
THE DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF THE KILLING
One blustery October morning in a quiet suburb of Copenhagen, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered in a playground and one of her hands is missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.
Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who’s just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man – evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead – the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung.
The man who confessed to her murder is behind bars and the case is long since closed.
Soon afterwards, another woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case, the murdered women and a killer who is spreading fear throughout the country. But what is it?
Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the murderer is on a mission that is far from over . . .
What does TWG think?
If you had said to me before I started blogging, that I would be reading a book about brutal killings, gruesome discoveries, and thrilling content which will make you hope that anything from your stomach stayed there, I would have burst out laughing. Seriously. I wouldn’t have wanted to read it, let alone enjoy it. It’s funny how things change though, isn’t it!! Fast forward nearly three years and I have read and enjoyed the exact book I said I wouldn’t read. Why? Because I like stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to books, and ‘The Chestnut Man’ certainly didn’t disappoint!
At just shy of 500 pages, ‘The Chestnut Man’ is quite a gutsy novel and, due to the intricate and detailed content throughout, the storyline does require a bit of brainpower and concentration. People usually associate chestnuts with Christmas time or as a snack in chocolate, whereas this author does not.
Chestnuts are heavily involved in this story (not just in the title), due to multiple killings where chestnuts are left at the scene of the crime in the form of a Chestnut man. Whilst it’s clear that no killing is a ‘usual’ killing, the fact that the sadistic ahem behind these killings enjoys amputating his victims, highlights the fact that they clearly aren’t textbook events. If there is such a thing, but I’m sure you know what I mean!
The details of the amputations are described very vividly early on in the book, as are the gruesome murders, both of which caused my face to contort in a very ugly manner. Usually said gruesome descriptions would have had me running for the hills, yet weirdly I couldn’t help but find myself gripping hold of the book even tighter. I was absolutely hooked. Who was ‘The Chestnut Man’? Why did he set his sights on particular people? Why were chestnuts even involved? Would Thulin and Hess ever reach the bottom of a case that just kept getting more and more complicated?
There are a lot of characters to keep tabs on in this book, and sometimes the too-ing and fro-ing between them all, as well as trying to remember who was who and who worked where, did end up making me a bit confused on more than one occasion. It took me a little while to slot all the characters into place in my mind, but once I did I found the storyline much smoother on that front.
I did struggle to gel with Thulin and Hess at times, but the fact that they were so different created fireworks in the story which were brilliant to read. I could understand their frustration though, as the case kept expanding quicker than they were solving it.
‘The Chestnut Man’ is a very in depth novel, but it is one that has been written in a way that made my jaw drop. The intensity through this book was out of this world, and the descriptions were brutal yet highly gripping. I couldn’t tear my eyes away even if I wanted to.
I had no idea what to expect from this book, however I have come away with a new author to watch and a storyline which I reckon I will be thinking about for a long time to come. Gruesomely thrilling – I’ll never look at a Chestnut in the same way ever again!!
‘The Chestnut Man’ will be published on the 10th January but is available to pre-order now from Amazon.