The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup review
One blustery October morning in a quiet Copenhagen suburb, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who's just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man - evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead; the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. But the man who confessed to her murder is already behind bars and the case long since closed.

Soon afterwards, a second woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there's a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women. But what is it?

I was super excited by this book, after a not so great last read I was itching to sink my teeth into a good book. Over the last year I've become a big fan of crime novels and the rave reviews this book was getting teamed with the Scandi noir genre comparisons to Jo Nesbo convinced me that this should be my next read. Sadly I found this to be another so-so read. I honestly can't decide if I'm in a bit of a reading slump or if this book really wasn't for me. 

I struggled to connect with any of the characters in the story, I didn't particular warm to any of the characters I was meant to be rooting for nor did I feel any particular disdain towards the characters that I was meant to hate. I don't feel like the characters were particularly well developed and by the end of the novel I still felt like I knew very little about them. 

Whilst there were times I was curious to see how the story would go it just wasn't enough to make me want to pick up the book during any spare minute I had, unlike some books I also found myself easily distracted whilst reading this and found it fairly easy to put it down.

Whilst there were some genuinely gripping moments that redeemed this book slightly, for me they were few and far between. The idea was a great one but the execution of it just fell flat. I feel making it shorter and tightening up the story line would have gone a long way to helping this novel be better.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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