The Sandman by Lars Kepler Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date March 6, 2018
Late one night, outside Stockholm, Mikael Kohler-Frost is found wandering. Thirteen years earlier, he went missing along with his younger sister. They were long thought to have been victims of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Now Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and being held by someone he knows only as the Sandman.
Years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna made an excruciating personal sacrifice to ensure Jurek’s capture. He is keenly aware of what this killer is capable of, and now he is certain that Jurek has an accomplice. He knows that any chance of rescuing Mikael’s sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and that the only agent capable of this is Inspector Saga Bauer, a twenty-seven-year-old prodigy. She will have to go under deep cover in the psychiatric ward where Jurek is imprisoned, and she will have to find a way to get to the psychopath before it’s too late–and before he gets inside her head.
The Sandman by Lars Kepler Book Review
Truthfully, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading The Sandman. Rarely, do I read a book without at least reading the synopsis, but I dove in & didn’t come back for air until the final page. Honestly, The Sandman CAPTIVATED me. For real, I want you to just trust me & read this book.
So yes, this book is part of a series. No, you don’t have to read the other books to understand what’s going on. I am betting after you read The Sandman, you’ll be hooked on this series. I certainly am!
A Bit of Background
Years ago two kids went missing. You can imagine the surprise when 13 years later, one of the “kids” is found walking near train tracks. He is incoherent & rushed to the hospital. The suspense really kicks in when he tells investigators that he has to go back & rescue his sister. In grave detail, he describes his captor, a Sandman with porcelain hands that only arrives in the darkness.
Here readers meet the bad-ass investigator, Joona Linda. He previously worked the case & Jurek Walter is serving time for the crime. Quickly, Joona begins to question whether he has the right man behind bars. See, the timelines don’t match. Who was keeping these two alive while Jurek is in jail? Is Jurek working with an accomplice? Does Joona Linda have the right guy? And how the hell are they going to get to get the truth from Jurek Walter?
Full Hannibal Lecter Vibes, but WORSE!
Let me just tell you, Jurek Walter is downright terrifying. This is where Kepler does their thing. The authors craft this veil of mystery, fear & intrigue around Jurek. Although Jurek doesn’t say or do much in this story, I found my jaw clenched in any scene where characters made contact with him. Kepler makes it clear that Jurek Walter a seriously bad dude. One evening, I had to put The Sandman back on the nightstand after a particularly creepy scene where one of the guards has a nightmare starring Jurek Walter. BAH! I’ve got chills right now thinking about it.
If you look below, we always include an author’s bio on our page. Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for a husband & wife team, Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril & Alexander Ahndoril. If you want to read more about them, check out their author page. The authors are doing a US press tour this week & I’m planning to see them when they visit Portland!
The Kepler writing duo is SO smart. The Sandman is fast paced & plays in my head like an edge of your seat thriller. One thing I love about their writing style is the authors don’t just describe the characters, we learn who they are through their actions.
I am Really Into This book! The Sandman is thrilling, suspenseful, scary & incredibly well written. I’m so excited to have found a new author & a new series. If you’re into Nordic thrillers, be sure to check out Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson.
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Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril (b. 1966) and Alexander Ahndoril (b. 1967), authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series. With six installments to date, the series has sold twelve million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published several acclaimed novels.