The Sandman – Lars Kepler – Book Review

Goodreads blurb
: He’s Sweden’s most prolific serial killer.

Jurek Walter is serving a life sentence. Kept in solitary confinement, he is still considered extremely dangerous by psychiatric staff.

He’ll lull you into a sense of calm.

Mikael knows him as “The Sandman”. Seven years ago, he was taken from his bed along with his sister. They are both presumed dead.

He has one target left.

When Mikael is discovered on a railway line, close to death, the hunt begins for his sister. To get to the truth, Detective Inspector Joona Linna will need to get closer than ever to the man who stripped him of a family; the man who wants Linna dead.


As the blurb above reads, the storyline of this book deals with the eponymous The Sandman who at the beginning of the book is well and safe in jail. But things drastically change for Joona Linna, the National Crime Branch detective who actually put The Sandman in jail seven years ago when one of the supposed victims of The Sandman reappears. What begins then is a cat and mouse game between Joona and The Sandman where Joona soon realizes that there is more than meets the eye.

As is the norm with the other Swedish crime thrillers that I have read, this too is quite a dark, brooding book with extremely dark and gory undertones, both in terms of the storyline itself as well as most of the characters. Almost all the characters strike us as probably just a tad too close to reality and invariably have one or more character trait which will strike fear into the hearts of the readers. The authors (yes, I said authors) of the book have done an admirable job of keeping the pace of the book quite taut despite the book running into all of almost 500 pages.

All through the book, readers will be hung on tenterhooks waiting and wondering if The Sandman will achieve what he has set out to do or will Joona Linna manage to thwart his well laid plans. And what is better is how it all ends up right at the last page of the book as well. While this book will probably not appeal to fans of the American Crime Fiction genre a-la James Patterson, Dean Koontz, etc it will surely be enjoyed by readers who like their stories and suspense to be slowly built up before exploding in a huge ball of fire right at the very end.


A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in return for an honest and unbiased review.