I still can’t believe we are reaching the end of February. This month has been really weird for me. I feel like I have been stuck in a limbo with no possibility of reading anytime soon. But I finally broke away from it yesterday and read my first book of this month.
I had requested a review copy on NetGalley last month despite it been closed for request and thankfully I received it few weeks later. (This is an uncorrected copy). Surprisingly I have been continuing this series even though I never intended to. I like the way how this author duo writes despite many flaws in the storyline. I know I will be reading the next one too. The Nightmare is number two in the series followed by The Hypnotist.
So this is the plot:
The story begins with Penelope Fernandez, who is the chairperson of the Swedish Peace & Arbitration Society as well as a Peace activist. She is out with her boyfriend Bjorn and sister Viola on a Yacht but things take a U-turn when Viola is found dead in her cabin and the killer is after her and Bjorn. Who is he and why is he after them? On the other side of the town, a man is found to have committed suicide by hanging himself. He was the Director General of Inspectorate of Strategic Products, Carl Palmcrona.
This brings us to the Dectective, Joona Linna of the National Crime unit, who despite many other good officers still manages to be the one to crack the case with his hunches and guesses, including that both the killings have a connection and both were made to look like accidents/suicides but really aren’t. So what is happening and how big is this case really?
Did you miss my last post? Check it out here Kaffeinated Conversations
The story starts at an even pace and the author duo deftly manages to keep the suspense till three fourth into the book but loses steam in the last hundred pages. Its like those good movies that are ruined by the second half. But nothing drastically bad happens here except everything seems convenient. Specially that of the character Axel (Who replaces Carl) and his expertise on music. What can you say? Right man at the right place.
As usual I loved the characterisation and writing. Everything flowed very naturally but something was off about this book mainly because it included plots on arms dealing. I just don’t think it fits their style as this one veered towards almost a spy novel. Everything has a procedure and formality and yet Joona seems to manage to break them all and conveniently save the day. Its believable sure, but lacks authenticity.
Besides the different plot line it also lacked the creepy undertone that I have come to expect from the author duo. Sure the villain was dangerous and perhaps sadistic but didn’t scream “psychotic” or “creepy”. Though the story belongs to Penelope she has no importance and it bounces between her and Axel. The writers try to make things shocking or scary but don’t live up to the expectations.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for my review copy.
Pros: Writing, pace, characters
Cons: Plot, structure, too long at 500+ pages.
Bibliogyan Verdict: For fans of Lars Kepler but not the best in the series.