The Sandman – Lars Kepler

Setting: Stockholm, Sweden. (Yes, Again.)

Story: There’s a very dangerous man – serial killer Jurek Walter – locked up, on his own, in a secure psychiatric facility. One of the people believed to have been a victim (but never found) suddenly appears after seven years. He has been drugged, is babbling, suffering from hypothermia, and Legionnaires’ disease. Where’s he been? Where is his sister, believed taken at the same time? Might there be other victims still alive? In a combined effort, the police reopen their old files and send an undercover policewoman in to the unit, disguised as a patient, to try and get more information from Jurek Walter. Detective Inspector Joona Linna leads the investigation in a desperate race against time.

Good Stuff: It’s a page turner. There are some terrifying moments. When it gets going, it truly hurtles along, and it gets going fairly early on. The back story and the unwinding of the plot are expertly done. The final twist is intriguing.

Not So Good Stuff: There’s a lot of mystery and threat in the idea of the Sandman silently taking away people in the night. However, there is no explanation ever given for how it is done. You just have to accept it. The character sketching is, er, sketchy. This may be because there are other earlier books in the series that fill in the details, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development, or time spent on the people rather than the action. Just a little…

Score: 7/10

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