What better way to kick off the month than with a crazy thriller??
Thanks to Knopf Publishing for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.
STALKER – Lars Kepler (Releasing February 5th, 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
My Thoughts: 5/5 stars!
Last year I devoured THE SANDMAN and absolutely loved it. One of my top reads and most recommended books of 2018, so naturally, I was so excited to be apart of the blog tour for the next Kepler book. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! This husband/wife duo brought us another crazy thriller that you won’t be able to put down.
I would highly recommend reading THE SANDMAN before picking up STALKER. There are some plot points and spoilers that would probably ruin the reading experience if you go back to THE SANDMAN. Don’t worry though, both are incredible and so worth it!
We are back with Joona Linna after her leave and she is up against her toughest case yet. When the Swedish National Crime Unit receives a disturbing video, they realize that they have a sadistic and calculating killer on their hands. The women in the videos are turning up dead and the crime scenes are truly horrific, and something you won’t soon forget. If you aren’t a fan of the more graphic thrillers, then this would be one I would recommend approaching with caution.
Kepler effortlessly weaves a story of cat and mouse between a twisted killer and the investigators. While stalking is a commonly used theme in some thrillers or crime fiction novels, this was unlike any other that I’ve previously read. I think this theme, when executed correctly, adds a level of eeriness and gives the reader an unnerving feeling. Well, this was one of those books! I’m not going to lie, I caught myself checking to make sure my windows were closed up and blinds drawn.
STALKER has everything a true thriller and crime fiction lover needs. Well-developed characters, a demented killer that is always one step ahead, short chapters, multiple POV’s, and a building tension that doesn’t quit. I will continue to pick up this series and anything else that Lars Kepler releases!
About the Author:
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.