Am back with one of my favourite crime fiction writer duo – Lars Kepler. I have been following the Jonna Linna series since the end of last year and this is the third book in this series. Here’s my take on it.
The book starts with introducing us to a youth home in an isolated place 377 km from Stockholm. Its home to only eight girls and it starts with them hitting the bed for the night. The only staff on duty Elisabeth is in her room ready to call it a night when she hears some noise and decides to catch the girls out of bed. Only it isn’t any of the girls but someone whom she cant recognise in the dark. Scared she runs out of the house hoping to call for help, only to be knocked off dead. Meanwhile one of the girls have woken up to use the loo and realises a dark pool of liquid is seeping out of the isolation room. She opens the door and sees one of her mates murdered. Panicked and scared she wakes up all the girls, one of whom calls for help. In the morning, Joona Linna arrives as an ‘observer’ and closely learns the murder and realises one of the girls is missing. Her room is host to a bunch of evidence that points she is the murderer. A search ensues for the suspect, meanwhile, the autopsy report reveals an entirely new aspect to the murder and Joona is caught between stark evidence and his gut instinct. His search leads to more and more shocking reveals. But will he find the murderer?
Oh wow. This book had me from the first page. Its just so atmospheric and the characters are so delicious that you cant help but want to read more. Its dark and twisted and yet almost comforting to read. A weird mixture but probably thats why I keep coming back to the series. The authors write with such deftness that its hard to stop reading. If it wasn’t for my drooping eyes I would have continued reading throughout the night. Yet certain scenes made me want to stop reading as it seriously made me feel creeped out but in a scary good way. You just want to peek a little more. Joona Linna’s characterisation is far better in this one than the other two. Here he is central to everything been revealed. The other two he was merely a presence. Needless to say, the risk is more, the scares are scarier and the characterisation is richer. The mystery keeps you on your toes and adds so much layers to this book that you find yourself on a journey, almost cinematic like, along with the characters. One of the ‘subplots’ that stood out to me involves a suspected kidnapping and the mother’s anguish is palpable. It seems like the author duo is getting better and better with each book.
Pros: Atmospheric, Suspense, Characterisation
Bibliogyan Verdict: The best one in the series, yet.