The Chestnut Man
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication date: 10th January, 2019
Amazon pre-order link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chestnut-Man-S%C3%B8ren-Sveistrup-ebook/dp/B07D9Y4GGF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546196985&sr=8-1&keywords=the+chestnut+man
Trigger warnings: child abuse, abduction, rape and mutilation
The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup is a very well-written serial killer thriller. I loved just how dark and twisted it was, and managed to sympathise with most of the characters, including the killer for a variety of reasons. Sveistrup does well at inducting people to Denmark’s landscape and ensuring an understanding of the laws and behaviour of police in the country. I found it thrilling and intelligent all at once. The Chestnut Man is out on 10 January, 2019 from Michael Joseph.
A woman has been murdered. Before she was murdered, her hand was chopped off. A little doll made from chestnuts stuck together with matchsticks was found at the murder scene complete with a missing girl’s fingerprint on it. Thulin and Hess, an unlikely team, band together in the hopes of discovering who has murdered this woman. As the next victim turns up with both hands chopped off, the kill pattern starts to become clear. With both Thulin and Hess not wanting to remain in the homicide division, this is a difficult case for them to work on and it brings out their tough exteriors. But can they stop challenging one another and their superiors to discover the truth behind the chestnut man?
What I thought…
The Chestnut Man is a very well-written thriller. My only negatives about this book were that some sections were extremely long, which meant it took a lot longer to get to the point than I would have liked and I ended up scanning through large bits of description about the main characters’ lives. I also didn’t like many of the overtly sexist remarks made, mostly in the first half of the book. I felt that they were completely unnecessary and didn’t add anything to the characters or the story.
Everything else about this novel is well-constructed with many big ticks in the compelling crime thriller department. I enjoyed being taken for a ride with multiple red herrings and a variety of explanations set up by the actual killer. I have to say that I loved the descriptions of the mutilations and the fact that they were not hidden from the reader; you have to be prepared for the gory elements. Furthermore, this book does not hold back. With rape, abduction, mutilation and murder, it is by far one of the darkest books I have ever read, but the justification for the killer’s actions nearly makes it okay.
Overall, The Chestnut Man is a very dark serial killer thriller with many layers. I would recommend this to people who enjoyed Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson and thrillers of a similar variety; this is not for the faint-hearted. Thank you, Jenny Platt and the team at Michael Joseph for my advance copy of The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup in exchange for an honest review.