Title: Stalker by Lars Kepler
Date Published: 5th February 2019
The internationally bestselling authors of The Sandman and The Hypnotist return with a terrifying new thriller: Detective Joona Linna–recently returned from compassionate leave–reunites with hypnotist Erik Maria Bark in a search for a seemingly unassailable sadistic killer.
The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she’s being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman’s body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there’s nothing they can do. Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna’s worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things.
Years before, he had put a man away for an eerily similar crime, and now he’s beginning to think that an innocent man may be behind bars–and a serial killer still on the loose. . .
Early Praise for STALKER:
“The reveal of the stalker’s identity is a genuine gut-punch. . . . Kepler (the pen name for the husband-and-wife writing team of Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril) does a masterly job of elevating the serial killer thriller beyond genre clichés and tropes.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Kepler delivers a page-turning hunt for an expertly camouflaged killer that draws shocking connections between the hallowed halls of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm’s prostitution and drug scene, and Sweden’s rural churches. The author’s dark, complex procedurals are must-reads for readers drawn to Stieg Larsson, Mons Kallentoft, and Michael Connelly.” –Booklist (starred review)
“An intricate plot and escalating tension set the stage for this tense, clever, pulse-pounding thriller. A must for fans of Stieg Larsson.” —J.D. Barker, international best-selling author of The Fourth Monkey
“Dark, complex, and chillingly intelligent, Stalker hooks you on page one and never relents. Lars Kepler’s vivid, visceral thriller had me holding my breath to the last page.” —Meg Gardiner, Edgar-winning author of UNSUB and Into the Black Nowhere
I want to thank Abby Endler at Knopf Publicity for my copy of this fantastic book.
So I haven’t actually read any of the previous books in this series, even though I think I own one or two (naughty I know) but for me it worked perfectly well as standalone.
Joona Lima is no longer a policeman, and a shadow of his former self but he can’t resist when Detective Margot Silverman asks him to help with a case.
A video of a young woman, unaware she is being watched, is sent anonymously to the Swedish National Crime Unit. They are written off as nothing, until the woman in the video is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home.
The case gets personal when evidence points to Joona’s friend, Erik Maria Bark. Will he catch the killer before the police catch up with Erik?
Wow, I don’t know where to start with this book, it’s gripping, gory and utterly addictive!
Stalker is over five hundred pages, but it didn’t feel like it was that long with short chapters and a rapid pace had me flying through those pages.
Fair warning, do not read this book at night, especially if you’re a bit of a scaredy cat like me! After reading the scene where a woman is being stalked in her own home by an unknown person, I ended up going round my house checking all the doors and windows were locked.
Joona is really going through it in this book. His health is worsening, he’s still suffering from an old injury and is convinced he’s done with being in the policeman. But he can’t resist a case and you see as the book goes along, he’s the kind of person who seems to need police work, as it lights a fire under him.
My heart was in my mouth for most of the ending and I was very surprised by who the killer was, which for me is a rarity.
The book is quite gritty with a lot of twisted and unnerving characters. There’s also sex, drug and extreme violence, so if you’re a fan of more light hearted crime fiction, it may not be for you.
My only issue was I don’t know if this is because it’s translated or it’s just the way the authors write but it took me a little getting used to the blunt style of writing.
I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys gritty and violent serial killer thrillers.
About Lars Kepler:
LARS KEPLER is the pseudonym of the critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril. Their number one internationally bestselling Joona Linna series has sold more than twelve million copies in forty languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler and have each published several acclaimed novels. They live in Stockholm, Sweden. Translated by Neil Smith.
Author Website: http://larskepler.com/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larskepler/
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larskepler/