Goodreads blurb: On a cold Monday morning before school begins, two children make a gruesome discovery. Hanging from the roof of the school gymnasium are the bodies of five naked and heavily disfigured men. Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen and his team from the Murder Squad in Copenhagen are called in to investigate this horrific case – the men hanging in a geometric pattern; the scene so closely resembling a public execution. When the identities of the five victims and the disturbing link between them is leaked to the press, the sinister motivation behind the killings quickly becomes apparent to the police. Up against a building internet campaign and even members of his own team, Simonsen finds that he must battle public opinion and vigilante groups in his mission to catch the killers.
When five naked men are found hanging in a school gymnasium with mutilated genitals, this sets in motion the investigation of one of the most gruesome mass murders in recent times in town. And almost as soon as the team of investigators from the Murder Squad led by Konrad Simonsen get started, things take an unexpected turn when the motive behind the murders is leaked to the press even before the cops begin to get a handle on the crime itself. Pretty soon, this case becomes the most public profile event in recent times and given the motive public opinion soon turns in favor of the perpetrators.
The investigating team, while already struggling to get a positive identification of the victims themselves, soon find themselves on the wrong side of the public discourse on the topic. And to complicate things even further, the perpetrators of the crime soon embark on a massive social media campaign to highlight the ‘justness’ and ‘nobility’ of their motive which adds to the already burgeoning public support.
While all of these things are happening in the background, Konrad Simonsen has to summon upon all his resourcefulness and years of experience with the force to unearth the truth behind the murders, uncover the perpetrators while ensuring that the situation in terms of the public sympathy for them doesn’t get out of hand. In a nutshell, he is left with a mountain to break and only a small hammer to break it down with.
This is the first book that I have read that has been authored by a duo of brothers, and to their credit it is impossible to make out which brother has written which portion. The tone and tenor of the entire book is moderately disturbing considering the motives behind the murder, which by the way seems to be a favorite of authors from this part of the world. The details regarding the police procedurals and the various methods used by the cops to investigate crimes are quite well detailed without getting too boring and pedantic about it. In a nutshell, this book is a good one and is surely a one-time read.
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Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in return for a honest and unbiased review.
2 thoughts on “The Hanging – Lotte and Soren Hammer – Book Review”
As usual an interesting review Jairam. I can help myself thinking of atrocities that’s happening in the country where the law takes a beating.
Just started on this one. Can’t wait to see how it goes 🙂